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PARIS gets doped up

High as a kite on nitrates

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The model aircraft enthusiasts following our Paper Aircraft Released Into Space (PARIS) programme will be relieved to learn we've finally cracked the Vulture 1-X skinning poser.

Last month we spent a not inconsiderable amount of time faffing about with various methods of cladding our aircraft, including a PVA/water mix applied to tissue paper, laminated tissue paper and bog standard photocopier paper.

All of this got you lot protesting that we should get some shrinking dope and give that a blast, so that's exactly what we did.

We tried attaching the tissue paper to the test frame with both PVA wood glue and epoxy - the latter since we're a bit concerned about the performance of the former under extreme conditions.

Both worked satisfactorily for fixing the tissue paper, and here's a PVA-fixed section of skin after two coats of dope:

Test skin on frame sealed with shrinking dope

A pretty good result. For key areas requiring extra strength (tail, nose, wingtips, leading edges, etc), we're experimenting with bonding the photocopier paper to the structure with epoxy, and then doping it. Don't start moaning, about the weight - we're not talking about many extra grammes here.

Suffice it to say, though, we can now stop sniffing nitrates for a bit and get on with completing the Vulture 1-X structure. Our next challenge is to put together the tail and (shudder) the wings, which are proving challenging to say the least. ®

Additional PARIS resources

  • Our dedicated PARIS section, with all previous updates, is right here.
  • New to PARIS? We have a basic mission summary here (pdf).
  • Our fledgling Flickr page, with all previous photos.
  • Check out our YouTube channel - currently featuring a few camera tests.

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