Ventus 2c: seals for the wing control surfaces

I’m finally starting to get the hang of doing the seals for the wing control surfaces. In the past I tended to make the epoxy resin mix too thick, which resulted in uneven seals. The trick is to leave the epoxy resin mix relatively liquid – it should be thin enough to spread out evenly, but no so thin that it flows over the tape. Here’s how I do it:

  • make sure you clean the gap between the wing control surfaces and the wing – any dirt, especially carbon dust, risks leaving black dots in your seals;
  • apply a thick PET Tape (see for instance here – with thanks to Martin E.) to the control surface, leaving just enough space so that when the control surface is at around 20-30 degrees down deflection the seal is nicely underneath the overlap on the side of the wing;
  • position the wing in a position that you can apply the epoxy resin to the tape so that it flows a bit more towards the side of the control surface;
  • prepare epoxy resin, thickened with a bit of aerosil and lots of micro-balloons as well as a bit of colourant (I use white) – the resin should be thin enough to spread out evenly, but no so thin that it will run off the tape;
  • apply the resin to the tape using a syringe – I also use a thin pin or metal stick to make sure it spreads out evenly;
  • wait until the resin is cured enough so that it no longer runs off, but still soft enough so that you can mould it;
  • move each control surface upwards and carefully slide the PVC tape under the overlap on the side of the wing – I use a long ruler for this. The control surfaces should be in a down deflection of around 20-30 degrees, the tape will round itself and ensure a nice and even round seal;
  • allow the resin to fully cure;
  • once the resin is fully cured, sand it back to the correct depth so that you have the deflection that you require on each rudder, leaving enough so that there is no gap between the seal and the wing for normal downward deflection (of course this doesn’t apply to the downward deflection of the brake flaps in butterfly mode)

Below are some pictures that hopefully clarify the above.