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Leading Edge Protection

To overcome the harsh conditions in which we land, it is sometimes necessary to protect your leading edge from damage. This is especially true for soft balsa leading edges. To this end, I will use some 2.5mm piano wire inserted into the leading edge to protect the soft balsa. The reason to recess the wire and not just tape it to the leading edge, is so that the leading edge profile is maintained.

To start, cut a slit along the leading edge with a craft knife.

Slitting the leading edge

You will some helping hands to keep the wings steady as you do this. Remeber to do many light slits to get some depth. Also note that the knife may wander if you encounter a hard piece of balsa. Take caution in this area and lift the knife over the hard piece and continue. You can always come back to it and work on the small area patiently.

Once you've cut a 2-3mm slit, it time to press out the slit using the piano wire. This is done by pulling the piano wire along the slit. Start with a shallow depression and work it over a few times to get the correct depth.

Gouging the leading edge

Sand the piano wire, use a slow cure cyano and cyano the wire into the recess.

Allow to cure. 

Apply some LifeFill along the piano where there are any depressions and sand the leading edge back to a prestine shape.

Cover with your favourite covering.

Job done!