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VMA-E340X Escape 40-52 ARF ECS Low Wing Trainer - Various Colors

Question: I am about to install the vertical stabilizer into my Escape. I find that when I am dry fitting and testing the installation of the vertical stabilizer before gluing that the rudder prevents full deflection of the elevator. The notch in the rudder that is intended to provide sufficent clearance appears to be slightly too high when viewed with the model top side up. What do I do?

Answer: This is a problem on some early production Escapes produced prior to 20050426. Enlarge the clearance slot in the rudder by about 1/8" expanding it downwards. This should be done BEFORE the vertical stabilizer is installed. Do NOT modify the elevator. See more information below.

More Information: See the attached picture. The Red tinted area should be cut away using a very sharp #11 blade OR preferably a powered fine blade scroll saw. Remove only about half of what is shown in the red tinted area and then do another trial fit. Only cut away more if you have to. Do NOT exceed the size of the red tinted area which as shown denotes removing a total of about 1/8" of material to expand the bottom limit of the cut out in the rudder.

After expanding the clearance hole in the rudder, wick thin CA such as ZAP CA from PACER into the wood edges of the cutout. Let the CA soak well into the wood. Do two applications. This will stiffen and significantly strengthen the wood. Now remove the covering from the pre-drilled rudder control horn hole represented by the blue circle in the picture (hold the rudder up to a light source to illuminate the hole if cannot locate it). Once the covering has been removed from both sides of the hole, wick thin CA into the edges of the hole. Let the CA soak well into the wood. Do two applications.

After the wood has been reinforced with CA, install the rudder control horn. Note carefully which way around you want to do this. Make sure that you have the control horn coming out the correct side of the rudder so that it connects to the rudder control rod. Seat the control horn firmly into the hole. You want a snug fit but do not overtighten. Remember that this is a model airplane not a Sherman Tank... no pipe wrenches please! After you have installed the control horn, again check that is correctly positioned and that it engages with the rudder control rod. Only after you are satisfied that the control horn is correctly positioned and snugly tight, then wick more CA or even better CA+ down the sides of the white T nut that is on the opposite side of the rudder. You want to fill any gap in the hole around the T-Nut so that there is one integral bond between the T-nut and the wood surrounding it.

Now you are ready to use 30 Minute Epoxy to glue the vertical stabilizer into place AFTER you do one more check on alignment, clearances etc.  

What to do if you have already glued the Vertical Stabilizer into place before you noticed the lack of clearance? Well it would have been best to check things out during the dry fit before you glued it into place BUT all is not lost. Review the information above and the picture attached. Then do what is described but you have to do the modification "in situ" i.e. in place. It's the same procedure just a bit more difficult to manage. Go slowing and carefully and use a shart #11 blade.

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Article ID: 4086