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Tips

T
hese tips apply to any of our free flight ornithopter kits.

Tip #1: White glue can be softened with a drop of water. Let the water sit on the glue joint for several minutes until the glue turns white again. Using this technique, you may be able to realign any glue joints that aren't positioned correctly. For example, if the bird is nose-diving, you may not have the tail at the correct angle. It should be angled up slightly, not straight in line with the body.

Tip #2: You can also replace the wings on your bird. You might want to do this if the tissue is badly torn, or if you want to change to a different color. Small repairs can be made with tape or by gluing a piece of scrap tissue over the tear. To remove the old wings completely, follow these steps: First, tear off the old tissue, being careful not to break the wing spars. Some tissue will remain along the spar. Moisten it with water. Allow it to sit for several minutes but not dry out again. Then you can scratch off the old tissue with your fingernail. Rinse off the remaining glue. Once the wing spars are clean, you can attach the new wing tissue without the heavy and unsightly residue from the previous wings.

Tip #3: Lubrication is very important for top performance. The rubber band should always be lubricated. We sell a non-toxic castor bean oil for this purpose. To prevent residue formation, you should wash the oil off with soapy water before storing the rubber band.

Tip #4: If you pick the ornithopter up by its tail, the tail sticks may break. Repair it with white glue. Fit the parts together as neatly as possible and brace the tail sticks apart so the tissue paper will not be loose after the repair. You can reinforce the glue joint with a small splint of balsa wood or toothpick.