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Modellbau Hans Müller 7-meter Salto Restoration

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  • Modellbau Hans Müller 7-meter Salto Restoration

    Back in the age of RCAerotowing.com, I had a thread going on this beautiful Salto. I acquired it from Kevin Kavaney at the JR Aerotow. It was originally owned by Dan Troxell in California.

    Some years ago I got caught in the magic disappearing slope lift sink bad mojo at Cumberland. The sort that brings down all the planes at once. The smaller stuff made it back fine coming downwind, but this beast without flaps kept on going into the hollow and landed with a thud that put a large crack across the nose (I subsequently learned the nose had previous damage) and shocked loose one aileron. The ailerons are knuckle-hinged, so they're a bit tricky. I quickly repaired the aileron and patched the fuse, delivering it to be painted. It sat for a year but was never painted. I got it back and it has sat for two more years waiting for me to get around to it.

    I recently decided against the simple approach of just getting back in service and instead a total gut-rehab is in order.

    You see, this Salto has a back story. It hit the runway landing lights at Monticello, site of the JR Aerotow, before it came into Kevin's possession. Result was two big hunks, one out of each leading edge. They had been repaired with great strength and the wing recovered, but both showed through with darker wood, some exposed carbon and a slight indentation on the top, bottom and leading edge. I almost didn't buy it for this reason. After I did, people would walk up to the plane's wings, look them over and find the spots with a bit of pride. "This is the one that hit the lights, right?" Ugh.

    So, I've now totally stripped the fuselage paint (my what a good bit of filler there was hiding under there!) and totally stripped the wings. The wings had that fun covering that the clear comes off and leaves the color layer behind. BTW, the wings are white foam, carbon and then Obechi.

    Here's some "before" shots at Lacolle, Canada after I detailed the cockpit an removed all of the previous graphics...
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    Team PowerBox Systems Americas ............You can't buy happiness. But, you can buy a sailplane and that's pretty darn close.

  • #2
    A beautiful, warm, low humidity Saturday makes a great opportunity to paint!

    Photo 1: The prior wing repairs were a bit rough. I filled each with several coats of USC Pro Glaze and sanded with a 16" bar between each coat -- first filling the surfaces, then restoring a straight leading edge. The wings had also gotten several small dings in the LE over the years, so those were filled as well. Here you see the beginning of masking the patches with beige paint to blend better with the surrounding Obechi. More work here over the coming days.

    After debate, I will be going with 10-meter rolls of Ultracote as covering -- white top, red bottom -- versus sign vinyl as I want to save every ounce on such huge wings. Sign vinyl does leave a much nicer surface. This is a heavy plane, so saving every ounce is welcome. The long rolls of Ultracote mean no seams.

    Photo 2: After stripping off a thick layer of clear coat, filling 1.75 million pinholes and replacing old dry cracked body filler, the fuse is getting a final prime coat before going off to an auto body shop for a proper top coat. A swatch of Ultracote white will be used for the paint match. All of the red fuselage trim will be GONE. Dennis Brandt is applauding right now. ;-)

    Next up is replacing 4 broken brass knuckle hinge points broken off or ripped out of the left wing when the aileron snapped thanks to my keen piloting skill. The ailerons have 6 hinge points, so this will be a fun task of alignment

    Stay tuned
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    Team PowerBox Systems Americas ............You can't buy happiness. But, you can buy a sailplane and that's pretty darn close.

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    • #3
      Very Nice Steve

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      • #4
        Nice work. I know how tough it is to get motivated to repair models, too! Saltos (vee tails) are really cool!!!

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        • #5
          Such a cool airplane Steve, It's good to see it made it way back the the front of the class.
          Len Buffinton
          Team Horizon Hobby

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          • #6
            I liked the Red Trim Steve!!

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            • #7
              I recommend 2 'landing light' emoji below the canopy.

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              • #8
                A small bit of additional work today. I added another super thin layer of filler as there were a few spots I could barely sense through the beige paint. Spots were sanded and got a fresh misting of paint. When fully cured in a few days, those will be lightly sanded with 400 grit.

                I used four 4mm brass control arms for the new hinge points on the damaged aileron. The heads were ground flat and made longer. The areas torn out of the interior foam in the wing were filled with white Gorilla Glue -- once fully cured it was cleaned up and then drilled to accept the threaded ends of the control arms. Finally all four were put in place as one unit with slow cure epoxy thickened with colloidal silica. Blue tape added to make certain I didn't risk gluing the aileron into the concave section of the wing if any epoxy overflowed. Finally the aileron was flexed to full up position to make certain there will be equal travel to the other wing. Cure and done.

                You can just catch a glimpse of the other wing on the bench showing it's 6 aileron hinge points in place. Now both wings are identical.

                On the workbench behind are the red tip panels that still need to be recovered. And, the original blue-tinted canopy that I've had in storage! Neither Kevin nor I flew the plane with that one in place. I have a spare brand new clear one, so that will be the ticket for the rehab.

                Covering has arrived, so that's up next. Hopefully I will find a weekday to deliver the fuselage to the paint shop and then another day to pick it back up. Might wait until mid-November. :-( No worries, spring is a long way away.

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                Team PowerBox Systems Americas ............You can't buy happiness. But, you can buy a sailplane and that's pretty darn close.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Finally made it back into the shop for some quality work time.

                  Wings and tips are fully covered. Like all restoration projects, there are some "might as well" additions -- when I looked at the gleaming white wings, it was also clear I needed to pull the airbrakes as they were significantly yellowed by comparison. Best of all, the black carbon patches in the wings, repair indentations and dings no longer show! Just 7 meters of shiny white and red. Only remaining step is to paint the white molded servo covers in a matching red. The wing bottoms used to have white ailerons and the white covers -- it just looked incomplete.

                  While we're going overboard with an old bird, Zbig at REVOC made me a custom set of wing, tip and v-tail covers for the model. Red, of course! Callie took one of Hans's old logo stickers and replicated them for me.

                  Fuselage goes to the paint shop in two weeks. We may make it by spring!

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                  Team PowerBox Systems Americas ............You can't buy happiness. But, you can buy a sailplane and that's pretty darn close.

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                  • ARUP
                    ARUP commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Yessir! Looks great!

                • #10
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                  Ahhhhh. Yes, this Salto! Could some of the damage come from this flight? The Salto cut through those weeping willow branches like a hot knife through butter. Well, it did take some foliage with it. If you look closely at the top of the tree, there is a nice flat spot from the cut!

                  Great work on this ship Steve. I was lucky enough to tow this up maybe a couple of times but it was usually towed up with Larry and Kevin's big Balsa USA Super Cub. Glad to see it getting pretty'ed up!

                  Tim

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                  • #11
                    Just so you know Steve...there was no damage on the maiden flight picture above from Tim...well, except to my Ego...everyone told me to go further back to set up to land, and of course I clipped the top of the tree...Honestly...I never saw the damage you found the first time you saw the plane. Dan never told me about the prior damage that you have discovered or I would have told you about that.
                    Anyway, I think about now I could finally fly the plane the way it was meant to be flown, but I never flew it fast enough like you can. Glad to see you restoring her to her glory. There is not another plane that I know of quite like this one...Han's planes are oneses....
                    kevin

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                    • Steve P
                      Steve P commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Hi Kevin. Absent the brush-hog incident, I know you took great care of it during your years. I would have never have made any changes had I not done the downwind plunk off the slope. It's just too big and too heavy for that sort of foolishness. Muller planes are hand-built, unique and becoming very rare -- something to be cared-for and maintained.

                      It's been a fun labor of love getting it back in shape. It was clear when I had those recovered wings and tips on the bench, the tails looked far less attractive. So that's today's project -- strip and recover.

                  • #12
                    Like I said, that's the thing about these projects... all the "might as well" items. The otherwise perfectly fine v-tails looked old next to the wings. So, strip, sand and recover. Now they look new too.

                    That's enough for one weekend. My covering iron needs to cool off and I need a cold one! Click image for larger version  Name:	 Views:	1 Size:	49.1 KB ID:	21598
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                    Team PowerBox Systems Americas ............You can't buy happiness. But, you can buy a sailplane and that's pretty darn close.

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                    • #13
                      Very nice Steve. Looks fantastic!

                      Steve K

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                      • #14
                        Is that a Mosquito on your tail Steve?

                        Tim

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                        • Steve P
                          Steve P commented
                          Editing a comment
                          It’s a Dragonskeeter.

                      • #15
                        I MISS my PAPA Salto !!!!
                        Glad you got her all rebuilt and stylish....I know she is grinning now...
                        Kevin

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