SSE – Covering Beings

Got a few hours of building time this weekend and I started covering the SSE. I really dread covering, so I tend to put it off and find other things to do. I am at the point on the SSE where I ran out of other things, so covering begins.

This will be my third covering job and my first time working with Monokte as opposed to AeroLITE (Stevens Aero branded version of Solite) which I used on Stella and my SA RV-4. I had two rolls of Monokote  (one white and one red) lying around that I was intending to use on my SIG LT-40 (I lost interest in that project once I got past the trainer stage of flying and never did get the plane covered).

I’ve read all the flame wars of Ultacote vs. Monokote and bought the Monokote on the advice of a friend who was helping to get started in RC. So far, I am finding Monokote to actually be a bit easier to work with than AeroLITE. Mainly, this is because it is a bit thicker making it easier to handle and less prone to burn-through when shrinking. It also does not fold over and stick to itself the way AeroLITE does. It clearly is a lot heavier than AeroLITE and would not be appropriate on a small park flyer. I have not tired any compound curves yet, which most seem to claim is Monokote’s biggest weakness (at leas as claimed by the Ultracote crowd!).

So far, I have the rudder and elevator covered in red and the rear half of the fuse bottom in white.

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I’m giving my covering job a passing grade so far, but barely. Most of my problems are related to surface prep. I spent way too much time sanding and filling (see my Lessons Learned post), but as you can see, it really did not pay off. Simply put, I need to develop a lighter touch when working with balsa during the construction phase. This includes not only a lighter touch when sanding, but also more care in handling the pieces prior to covering.

I tend to be a bit too critical of my own work, but I also look at every project for learning opportunities and for things I can do better next time!