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Paint a 12-14 inch snake on top of your elevator, the birds won't go anywhere near it (theoretically at least)
That's a good suggestion. And it is not too difficult to make a test.
Thank you, Doug.
let me know how you get on - and also if it attracts any birds of prey to attack the tail feathers thinking that they have a free lunch!!
I won't get around to do the test recently. Building a new workshop and moving my disassembled airplanes to new location have to come first.

I think I will make plywood mock-up of tail feathers. Removable pictures of angry eyes and predator snakes will be tested. Snake sizes wil be increased step by step.

And if King Cobra and Anaconda in the end can not prevent the ferocious bird of prey from attacking, I will somehow trade my STOL CH 701 with a Boeing 737.

As a bird owner (B&G macaw) I can tell you that there are two things my bird won't perch on: Something like a thin wire that's too small in diameter for her to clamp to, or something that is REALLY slippery. Nothing else seems to bother my bird in the least. It seems oxymoronic, but can you get press on Teflon? Or how about very slippery wax? The slightest wrinkle or seam is enough to allow her to "get a grip" and stay put for hours.

Thank you, Ron.

I may try with a thin and polished stainless steel angle, riveted and glued to top of rudder. In the picture, I tried with a piece of aluminum scrap. If too thin, it won't be strong enough to stay in flight. Too thick and the bird can perch.

I started out scraping off all those white part stickers with my finger nail and then using water to soak off the paper and mineral spirits to take off the glue. When you add up all the stickers it equals about 1/2 inch of finger nail. Then I realized that with a little heat from a heat gun they come right off. I hope I'm not the only one that didn't know.
Great tip, Alternatively, simply use a rag with thinner on it, let it soak for 30 seconds and it lifts off with a wipe - BUT our workshop temperature is over 80F/30C most days... so I guess the heat gun might be useful in cold places. Sometimes I prefer a hair dryer to a heat gun for less violent heat. WARNING: DONT use the heat gun thinner together - or you will have a fire!!!

HOWEVER, It is a good idea to write the part number on the part with a sharpie (especially on the 801 kit where part identification from the plans is more difficult) - before removing it.. Also mark up and forward, or inboard/outboard, left and right to speed up placement where applicable. (we didnt to start with and kept having to rethink each part - writing it on saves lots of time and avoids mistakes.)
Lighter fluid works great. Squirt a little on the sticker and a putty knife will take it off within 5 seconds or so. A little more fluid and a good rub with a rag will remove the rest of the gummy stuff.
I do not find any Sharpie pen around here but those pens for labeling CD's work just fine.

Now, back to the rudder tip, where birds love to perch and leaving droppings on the horizontal fins. For those who simply fly out of own back yard, you can have hair dryer, or heat gun, or thinner-soaked rag to clean up the tail fins the way you want. But for those like me, even water soaked rag for cleaning could be troublesome. Water is a scarce commodity for drinking, and to soak up a little towel on the back of your neck to keep you cool in the bright sun. And, prevention is better than cure, always.

I first tried with an angle piece taped on the rudder tip. The angle made it difficult for the birds alright, so they simply dropped off their loads before departing to other destinations. No perch but still droppings on the tail ! Next, I could not riveted it to the rudder tip properly. You can see why in the picture attached. I might use epoxy together with rivets to keep it in place. Also, there was a question of in-flight integrity of the riveted angle of .032 in. thickness. Using one thicker would allow birds to perch on the rudder tip. Not solving the problem.

My solution arrived with an early Valentine gift box this afternoon. Nothing about the content in the box here ( I have to keep a small secret ! ), but it's the wrapping that can scare away most birds, except for Albert Hitchcock's. Butterflies and moths, plus many small animals scare away predators with big bright 'eyes' in the back. I taped the wrapping on the rudder tip and placed the rudder near a tree that birds would come every afternoon. Well, even with bird feed near by, no bird wanted to come near those scary eyes.

I do not know how long it will last in the sun (and wind & rain) yet. When I finish with the wings I am re-building, I will glue or tape this scary eyed reflective wrapping on the top of the rudder, and see how long it last, and whether it needs any UV protection film. It is another simple and cheap solution that really works.

Please let me know if the birds in your area react differently. If not, we can suggest 3M or some big company to make quality tape for this application.
1. Get an Olfa Knife. Model P800. Great tool for making long, straight cuts in thin aluminum sheet.
2. Where the plans say "No Rivet Zone", what they really mean is "Don't Drill Any Holes Here Yet Zone". Big difference.
3. Think of each little piece as a project unto itself. That way you can achieve a success every time you work on your airplane. Big successes are made up of a whole lot of little successes, and finding satisfaction in the small successes will keep you going.
For straight cutting aluminum sheet, before I got hold of an Olfa hook blade, I simply used plain cutter. Enough repetitive cuts will break ths sheet in cleaner lines than with snipper cutting.


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