Quantcast

Cheap ultralight wing coverings

HomeBuiltAirplanes.com

Help Support HomeBuiltAirplanes.com:

lr27

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2007
Messages
3,822
I wonder if anyone has experimented with Tyvek? It might be hard to glue down, though. Ditto anything made from polypropylene. Then again, polyester doesn't necessarily glue all that well if you don't do it right.
 

TFF

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
13,454
Location
Memphis, TN
The disadvantage of cotton is it rots. At a certain age you can punch right through it. With anything alternate, life will be shorter than the right stuff. People use to recover every five years. You can find non shrunk. Anyway, Nostalgic for Disney’s “ The Sky’s the Limit”.
 

proppastie

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2012
Messages
4,641
Location
NJ
Many ultralight were made with ripstop nylon. Just don't store it outside.
 

delta

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 26, 2011
Messages
2,222
Location
Brookside Utah

TFF

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
13,454
Location
Memphis, TN
When you dope cotton you start with some shrinking dope, but then you switch to non-tautening. Shrinking dope shrinks forever. That’s why you might see a unrestored plane in a museum with twists in it. The covering is trying to strangle it. When covering with dope ,the man made fabric is shrunk with less heat to allow the dope to shrink over time to prevent it from pulling apart.

As for non shrinking fabric, glue it in cells. Maule covers in cells on the tail of their planes. No rib stitching. Tailwind tails are usually covered like that too. As long as the right amount of glue overlap is kept, you can glue direct to the fabric more fabric. Just manually pull tight and glue. Would have to do one glue line at a time and would have to be stuck good before pulling and gluing the next side.
 

proppastie

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2012
Messages
4,641
Location
NJ
As for non shrinking fabric, glue it in cells. Maule covers in cells on the tail of their planes. No rib stitching. Tailwind tails are usually covered like that too. As long as the right amount of glue overlap is kept, you can glue direct to the fabric more fabric. Just manually pull tight and glue. Would have to do one glue line at a time and would have to be stuck good before pulling and gluing the next side.
Not sure I understand.....Is this only for non shrinking fabric? Glue one bay at a time with overlap? I like the "no rib stitch" why not wings too? Why one bay at a time......do the whole thing and add tapes?
 

TFF

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
13,454
Location
Memphis, TN
The maule way to cover is glue one bay down as a starting point. Then using the repair overlap margin, glue fabric to the edge of the first bay fabric, that was done, and glue in the next bay and repeat. Each section is considered complete, but only if there is the correct minimum gluing surface available. Essentially you are covering like repairing. Maule uses it on the tail because they have metal wings. With man made fabric, the dope is still shrinking. All dope shrinks some, even the non shrinking.

If you were covering with dope and Ceconite, you shrink the Ceconite with less heat than Stits process because dope will shrink and continue to shrink, so you build in some shrinking margin.

My comment on non shrinking fabric is to manually pull it tight when glueing down.

A mix of covering ideas is experimental. Covering alternative will probably not be as good as just buying in on a regular process. Made to work does not mean the same as replacement. It’s a just get you going alternative.
 

Taylor.S

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2020
Messages
53
I love experimenting i would like to build a stable platform to do experiments with engines and fabrics and props
 

Megan May

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2020
Messages
66
Has anyone ever tested vinyl wrap, like they wrap cars with, as the structural covering? I imagine there's a strength rating for the stuff listed somewhere. Possibly various compositions, thicknesses, and strengths available? On a composite or rag and tube airframe, you could kill two birds with one stone: make it airworthy and pretty all at the same time.
 

TFF

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
13,454
Location
Memphis, TN
Wrap like the signage is probably not going to be good enough. But you would need to test. Puncture that turns into a rip is the biggest problem. Not just a hole. The wrap you see on new boats and some cars in transporting has been tried but unknown about success. There was a these here you can try and search for.
 

choppergirl

Banned
Joined
Jan 30, 2015
Messages
1,682
Location
Choppergirl's Flying Circus ★★☠★★ AIR-WAR.ORG
One of my planes is covered in vinyl wrap. Maybe the first and only one ever?

I don't recommend boat vinyl, or Tyvek if you're going to be sitting in the plane or want to keep it around forever. I've tested both just ripping them by hand or pushing my finger into them to see what they will do and how they will react and fail. For one thing, with vinyl, if you push your finger into it or stretch it, it doesn't bounce back but remains permanently stretched and deformed. For another, it sags in cold, and tightens in heat; I haven't observed that but I've been told that.

Using them as a cheap covering for a hanger, however, now that's a different matter.

I just spent $1,500 today on some premium long range digital fpv quadcopter gear, and not on ultralight aircraft raw materials, if that tells you anything as to the direction I myself am heading in with my aviation career. There's been a dramatic. radical paradigm shift in aviation most everyone on here is blissfully unaware of because they got their **** up their *** and are too busy trying to argue their 2 cents of rubbish the loudest. Here it is in a nutshell: You don't have to be sitting in an airplane to enjoy flying any more.

Goodbye airplanes, goodbye ultralights, goodbye homebuilding... but mostly... goodbye "not flying". : - )
 
Last edited:

BBerson

Light Plane Philosopher
HBA Supporter
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
13,559
Location
Port Townsend WA
There was a vinyl wrap covered LSA at Airventure. But it was bonded to a typical polyester fabric base with a primer fill coat.
 

Aerowerx

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2011
Messages
5,602
Location
Marion, Ohio
......For another, it sags in cold, and tightens in heat; I haven't observed that but I've been told that....
That is the opposite of every material I am familiar with. Polymers get soft with heat, so my guess would be it sags in heat and tightens with cold.
 

Taylor.S

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2020
Messages
53
One of my planes is covered in vinyl wrap. Maybe the first and only one ever?

I don't recommend boat vinyl, or Tyvek if you're going to be sitting in the plane or want to keep it around forever. I've tested both just ripping them by hand or pushing my finger into them to see what they will do and how they will react and fail. For one thing, with vinyl, if you push your finger into it or stretch it, it doesn't bounce back but remains permanently stretched and deformed. For another, it sags in cold, and tightens in heat; I haven't observed that but I've been told that.

Using them as a cheap covering for a hanger, however, now that's a different matter.

I just spent $1,500 today on some premium long range digital fpv quadcopter gear, and not on ultralight aircraft raw materials, if that tells you anything as to the direction I myself am heading in with my aviation career. There's been a dramatic. radical paradigm shift in aviation most everyone on here is blissfully unaware of because they got their **** up their *** and are too busy trying to argue their 2 cents of rubbish the loudest. Here it is in a nutshell: You don't have to be sitting in an airplane to enjoy flying any more.

Goodbye airplanes, goodbye ultralights, goodbye homebuilding... but mostly... goodbye "not flying". : - )
chill a little bit i fly fpv but there's nothing really like flying in person in my opinion.
 
Top