P-47 Wing Repair

The Hobby-Lobby “Hun Hunter” P-47 seems to have a small design flaw.  Because of the size of the wheel well required for retracting the gear, there is not a lot of foam material along the leading edge of the wing in this area.  At the thinest point, it’s pretty thin. The wing is subject to cracking in this area — starting at the leading edge and proceeding through the middle of the wheel well.  There is a carbon spar in the wing so the wing isn’t in any danger (I don’t think) of coming off in flight, but it does create greater flexing and makes me nervous.

It seems that any landing that is less than perfect has potential to crack the wings.  I can grease in a sweet landing now and then, but once in a while everyone bangs in a little harder than they intended.

In an attempt to repair this problem “permanently” I cut two small pieces of glass cloth, about 5/8″ wide by 1 – 1/2″ long.  I then used a mixture of slightly thinned 12 minute epoxy to glass in this cloth.  The picture below shows the outline of the tape along with the rough location of the crack (in green.)

The tape blends in pretty well once the epoxy saturates it, although the epoxy will cure a bit yellowish.  This takes away from the perfect scale appearance of the aircraft I’m sure, but what are you going to do?  I want to be absolutely rock solid safe in flight.

One Reply to “P-47 Wing Repair”

  1. Don’t worry about the patch— real P-47s were patched all the time. They tended to pick up more than their share of flak and small arms fire as “Jugs” were often employed down low as fighter bombers. Germans were known to get vindictive when “Jabos” were blowing their tanks and trains to smithereens!

    Patches add character.

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