Champ RTF Broken Wing – How do I repair them?

This is one of those things that is bound to happen with certainty. For most Champ owners, including myself, this usually happens on the maiden flight. Below is one of the many alternatives on fixing or replacing your Champ’s broken wing.

Here’s what you will need to repair the wing:

  1. Glue that is safe to use on Styrofoam (Gorilla glue is what I used in this case)
  2. Q-Tips, wet naps or towell
  3. Transparent tape (gift wrapping tape is what I used)
  4. Hobby Knife
  5. Clean work area

1. Start by removing the upper part of the cabin/fuselage so that I would have more room to work and not worry about breaking or bending other parts.  It is held together by about 7 small pieces of tape, here’s where your Hobby Knife will come into place.  Be very careful as you can easily cut through the Styrofoam.

Below are two images that highlight where to make the cuts:

Now carefully remove it from the rest of the body.  You can now work freely without having to worry about bending any other parts or breaking the tail section (more on that later :P)

2. Now that you have removed the top part, it is time to prep the wing to begin repairing it.   Most cements\glue require that you slightly dampen the surfaces on both objects being repaired (I used a q-tip to apply the water and glue to the surfaces).   Once you dampen the surface area, apply enough glue and adhere both surfaces while adding some pressure.

Note:  I also used 4 small strips of the clear tape to act as a mini clamp.

Depending on the type of glue you are using it can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 24 hours to cure and fully dry.

Here you can see the wing drying now, held in place by tape and Gorilla glue. (I held them together for about 5 minutes before letting go and applying tape).

Also, you can use a wet q-tip to clean up the excess.  Gorilla glue will expand (it bubbles and turns white when it’s drying).

3. Once the wing dries, rejoin the top part with the rest of the body and re-apply the tape to hold it in place.   You are now ready to fly again!

Another option is to simply order a wing from any of the vendors I listed in the parts section. If you are out flying and you break a wing,  the spare will come in handy in those situations.  very little wait time.    I did this myself, although I’ve been flying just fine with my originally repaired wing.   I got mine from Amazon for about $15 shipped and I keep it in the car when I go flying the Champ RTF just in case.

Feel free to comment and share your fixes, thanks!

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27 Responses to Champ RTF Broken Wing – How do I repair them?

  1. Brian says:

    Great article! We’ve broken ours several times and it’s time for a new wing. But that’s where I’m running into trouble – how do you get the old wing off, and how do you attach the new one?

    • Admin says:

      Brian:

      The original wing is glued on. Use a heat gun to get the glue a bit soft (careful not to melt the wing) then using a hobby knife or razor blade carefully start to remove it by cutting into it.

      When you install the new one, you can use double-sided tape instead (it will hold just fine) and make it easier to remove. Hope that helps.

  2. Jerry says:

    Excellent article. Our broken Champ looks just the the one in the picture, we laughed when we saw it.

    It was my son’s maiden flight.

    Did you remove the clear ‘clamp’ tape after the glue dried?

    • Admin says:

      Jerry:

      I left the tape on there for extra durability ha-ha. Packing tape seems to be the easiest way to fix broken wings now.

  3. Mitch Lowe says:

    I used packing tape for the initial repair and then slightly bend a wooden stick from a corndog andtaped that on top of the wing for added support. This of course was a repair done out on the field , but several flights later its still flying like a champ ! I’m waiting as long as I can to replace the wing.

  4. Vivcal says:

    Just did this on my champ, which broke on my maiden flight!
    Looks good, but I’m yet to test it out…..will post again after I do that 🙂

  5. Guy says:

    a couple of toothpicks stuck into the thickest part of the wing, plus tape, work well for added support. Just make sure you use the same number of toothpicks on each side of the plane.

  6. Newbie says:

    Worked great! Was really mad, pissed and upset after my maiden voyage went well, I crashed her on the second one due to wind. She hates wind. Super easy fix and made me feel more confident about fixing her later and learning more about repairing her. Guess was good to actually wreck her right away and have to be forced to learn how to fix them right away. My best flight yet was after her fix. It is so fun to play with and easy to fly. Just one thing. NO WIND AT ALL IS KEY 🙂 Thanks again…

  7. Jsn says:

    Excellent tutorial. I laughed that so many people broke their wing on the maiden flight me to.

  8. Paul says:

    Does everyone’s maiden voyage end in a broken wing? My maiden flight ended in tragedy as well. I sheared the wing off when the Champ hit the neighbors house when a wind gust took the controls from me. Should have went to the park, but was just too damn eager. Now I am reading this article and laughing a bit. At least I am not the only one who broke a wing as a noob! Great article!

  9. Admin says:

    Paul – That seems to be the theme on the Champ ha-ha. The wing sales have to be through the roof I would guess.

  10. John says:

    I broke the soft rubber part of my propeller today(the soft rubber part that protects the propeller and nose of aircraft). Any household replacements you guys have used? I want to avoid buying a new propeller if possible. =)

  11. Alex says:

    My champ is only part way ripped its still attached but it is lose

  12. Alex says:

    How do I fix it

  13. Ryan says:

    does hot glue work?

  14. Gary says:

    I broke the right wing off while learning to fly — crashed into a school jungle gym. I found that common Elmer’s Carpenters Glue worked just fine and without using toothpicks or wires for reinforcement. Just took care to get the parts propped up such that dihedral was maintained. This, of course takes overnight to cure/dry, but the wing is very strong and has not separated at the glue joint. Have flown it many times and with rough landings/crashes and the wing is still OK.

  15. Jorge says:

    Excellent article!
    Today, my son was super excited about taking his brand new Champ to the local park. Unfortunately, a tree got in the way and ended our maiden flight by breaking the right wing exactly as the pictures you posted. I followed your instructions and boom, it looks as if nothing ever happened (except for the clear tape). Thanks again my friend!

  16. Admin says:

    @Ryan Hot glue works really well with just about everything. As long as you clean the excess it should be as strong as the glues mentioned.

    @Gary Thanks for sharing.

    @Jorge Glad it was helpful.

  17. Howard says:

    Careful with hot glue. It works, but if you use the ‘hot’ setting it can melt the foam.

  18. doug says:

    How long did you let the hot glue dry before flying?

  19. doug says:

    Has anyone created any bracing or extra support for the wings?

  20. Nikolaj says:

    Hey. I have just bought a champ and also made it crash within ten minutes. The first two small crashes wasn’t that tough, but then when I was flying (not me the champ), the left wing broke in a sharp turn in a high speed dive. I guess the wing couldn’t take the pressure, and this is my first rc plane, so maybe I am just green. This last crash didn’t look good. The nose was totally broken, but now I have glued the plane together with hot glue and tape. It seems to work fine. I have also attached some fishing line from the middle of both wing and into the main body, to take some pressure from the wings. Have any of you tried that?

    Nikolaj, Denmark

    • Admin says:

      That’s strange it broke on a dive, it could have had a stress fracture from a previous crash. You can add wing struts to help it reinforce the wing. I used some coffee straws to make my wing struts with some tape for easy removal. Works great!

  21. person says:

    my wing broke just like that glad i am not the only person

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