• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Ultracote covered balsa frame rudder needs straightening, tips?

Hey all,

A couple of weeks back I ordered a 41" Edge 540 ARF kit from 3DHS (actually ADCHobbyStore) as a first balsa plane, I have plenty of experience on sports foam planes and some limited 3D experience so everything about this kit sounded awesome to me.

It arrived today and everything seems to be in working order except the rudder. When test fitted the bottom of the trailing edge skews about 6mm to the right (when looking at the plane from behind), confirmed by laying it on a flat surface - there is always one point that wont sit flush. I suspect this happened at some point on its journey from the US to Australia (temp/climate change) rather than being a manufacturing defect.

In any case it needs to be straightened out, and as this is my first balsa kit I am pretty much in the dark as to what I'm meant to do. Currently I have it sitting flat underneath some heavy books but I'm really not expecting a result from this. Anything that involves removing the Ultracote covering is not an option as I know I'd just mess everything up trying to get it back on, but other suggestions are most welcome!
The heat gun worked a treat! Annoyingly immediately after fixing that I messed up installing the vertical stabilizer - CA locked it in place almost instantly so I wasn't able to position it properly. Debonder did not want to seep through the joins and set it free but with some (gentle) bashing I was able to get it very close. The gap along the hinge line was a little wider than I would have liked but I have covered it with a strip of tape so hopefully it wont cause any issues, and the tail wheel and 'hinge' went on fine without any binding.

Here it is next to my very first RC plane, also an Edge 540 - purely coincidence:


Currently missing are the 2 aileron servos and an XT60 connector for the ESC, with any luck I'll be able to pick those up tomorrow and finish it off. Also absent are the wheel pants and strut covers (I plan to fly at a grass field which may be a bit rough for them, might look in to some bigger wheels before I maiden), decals (always do that last) and the spinner which is on backorder. Not entirely relevant to the topic but I wanted to show it off. =)
I managed to get out and maiden it this morning before the wind picked up, unfortunately my partner was too tired to come out and film for me - it wouldn't have been the most interesting video anyway, just taking it easy doing circuits and a few aileron rolls - but I'll be sure to get a video soon.

This plane flies so well!
Last edited: