Repair Parkzone Citabria Landing Gear

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Over time, and after many rough landings, the thin wire gear eventually starts to tear the styrofoam where they are inserted. The result is sloppy gear and a plane that doesn't sit level or straight. Eventually, the gear will be so far back that the risk of the prop striking the ground goes up. Here's how I fixed my plane.

First a shot at the problem.


Note the enlarged circles where the gear wire enters the body. This is not factory, and is the problem. The expensive (and complex) solution is to replace the body. But that will involve removing not only the gear, but the motor, control board, main and tail wings. Not to mention redoing the decals. There's gotta be an easier way.

I removed the gear and used some scotch tape to change the wire to a blade. This increases the surface area interacting with the planes body and should reduce the amount of damage sustained during a hard landing.


Once taped, I slid the gear back into the slot from which they came. The result is nearly new landing gear - nice and stiff!


One other repair I did while I had the plane apart was to remount the motor. I had a couple hard run ins with a concrete wall, and one with the floor that broke the propeller. The propeller was an easy field repair. Just pulled the old one off by holding the shaft with needle-nose pliers and twisting the prop off with my fingers. The new one goes on just as easy.

At home, I noticed the motor mounts had sheered off. So I simply reglued them with CA. I didn't use foam-safe CA since there was lots of left over white glue from the original replacement I did a while back.


I was hoping to add a couple of flashing LEDs to the top and bottom for the upcoming indoor fun fly (since I had trouble staying focussed last time...). But I have yet to come up with a small effecient circuit that can blink 2 LEDs every second and use the LiPo for power. Maybe someday...

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