Sooner or later you will crash your plane. Planes tend to crash in a predictable pattern and damage will be associated to particular areas of the aircraft. Planes tend to dive or crash out of control often going down with the propeller first to impact followed by one side of the wings.
If you have a Styrofoam wing as is prevalent with the light weight models being offered today, this wing will most likely break. Additionally, there will be possible damage to other areas of the plane. There is hope for the repair of your aircraft that will give it new life.
Repairs: A most traumatic visual is your wing broken and your thoughts of resorting to scrapping the plane. Before you scrap the plane, consider the following as an alternative that may bring your broken wing back to life. The thickest section of an airfoil is called the pitch thickness. This area is the strongest part of the airfoil or wing. Most likely, the wing did not break in an even straight line and is a jagged tear. This is OK and you do not want to try to make it straight. When you perform the repair, you will want to reconnect the two sections back together and do not want to disturb the original break.
First measure the thickness at the middle of the pitch line which will be the largest thickness on the airfoil wing. Then measure at least three more sections. Go to your local hardware or large lumber supplier and obtain wooden dowel rods that are about 1/2 to 3/4's as thick as the dimensions that you measured. Also obtain drill bits that are slightly larger than the dowel rods you selected.
The goal will be to drill both sides of the wing to allow you to insert the dowels. Remember that you will have several sizes of dowel rods as the thickness gets smaller. Cut the corresponding dowel rods to a length that is about 1/2 "shorter than the length of the drill bit times 2 as you will be drilling both sides of the wing. the dowels will mate.
After drilling the hole on both sides, place a small amount of glue on the end of both ends of the dowels. Place all the dowels into one side of the wing. Before inserting the dowels into the other side of the wing, place a small amount of glue down the length of the broken wing so the glue will bind the two pieces together. Now position the dowel rods into the other side of the wing and compress the two pieces of the airfoil together. Hold the repair in position until it is stable. The use of rubber bands may also assist you in this process.
We will address other damage control in the next article.