Cheap ultralight wing coverings

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Dewey Vicknair

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Aug 25, 2019
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For me-- and most of us here-- yes you do. R/C can be fun, but sitting on the ground with VR goggles strapped to my head seems to me like the difference between masturbation and sex with a real person.
Maybe we should do everything "virtually". It would surely be safer. FPV is NOT flying. It would seem to me that wearing FPV goggles and pretending to fly is a lot closer to having one's head up their a**. But I'm not as "edgy" as ChopperGirl, so I'm probably wrong.
 
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Dewey Vicknair

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Aug 25, 2019
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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". : - )
So ChopperGirl, remote FPV "flying" is the future of aviation? FPV with a "drone" is no more flying than playing Pole Position is Formula 1 racing. It's pretending to fly. There is no risk, that's true, but there is also no reward, at least for anyone who has actually flown. It's interesting that according to you, anyone that disagrees has their head up their ass. It makes one wonder why you're on a homebuilt aircraft forum in the first place.
 

proppastie

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Don't pick on Choppergirl. She fits in with all the other Grumpy Old Men.
 

bmcj

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Does Oratex make their own fabric, or is there a mill somewhere that can provide a generic uncertified supply?
 

proppastie

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Does Oratex make their own fabric, or is there a mill somewhere that can provide a generic uncertified supply?
pretty sure they make it....probably sell lots more for models than to us. I have seen pictures of their factory....Perhaps they buy the fabric and coat it. I did not see weaving pictures only mixing pictures. I tried to find it from someone else and was not successful looking under coated fabrics.
 

Insect

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Nov 5, 2019
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Back to the topic. Tedlar is available in 0.001" now. I would just avoid speaking to the one vendor about anything aviation related, 'you are building a plant greenhouse for plants' Tedlar sale has been restricted in past. Add Polyester 'floor covering tape',combined with double sided tape, would pretty much make a modern Lazair approach to coverings, and Lazair was regarded quite well for keeping people safe. I would externally tape over each rib with that polyester tape as well, just to keep a cell approach so any catastrophe would not exceed one rib cell. I've used tedlar at work, it is amazingly strong, beyond mylar. Thats my comment for cheap UL coverings.

 

Grimace

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It's not what you are asking for, but may be worth considering - I am looking at Oratex. It's like $40/yard, but if it keeps a homebuilder from having to buy a spray gun, compressor, etc., and takes a multi-step process to a single step, it may be worth it for something intended for one-off construction. Caveat- My wings aren't going to be fabric covered, so I'm just talking about a few yards of fabric for the fuselage. But even so, specifying something like Oratex could significantly cut the cost to the homebuilder who otherwise would need to set up a spray booth.
 
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BrianW

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Altus SW Oklahoma
Back to the topic. Tedlar is available in 0.001" now. I would just avoid speaking to the one vendor about anything aviation related, 'you are building a plant greenhouse for plants' Tedlar sale has been restricted in past. Add Polyester 'floor covering tape',combined with double sided tape, would pretty much make a modern Lazair approach to coverings, and Lazair was regarded quite well for keeping people safe. I would externally tape over each rib with that polyester tape as well, just to keep a cell approach so any catastrophe would not exceed one rib cell. I've used tedlar at work, it is amazingly strong, beyond mylar. That's my comment for cheap UL coverings.
If it's good enough for the Goodyear Blimp (actually Tedlar/polyester/polyurethane internal finish coat) - It's good enough for wing covers....
 

Insect

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He seems to be enjoying it :) It works for short term, but UV resistance of 'rubber adhesive' tapes is very low. Somehow, even though the film itself blocks most UV, they still turn yellow and jump off, like an old box left to sit near light.
 

mcrae0104

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So ChopperGirl, remote FPV "flying" is the future of aviation?
Dewey, I see you have twelve posts here on HBA.com. It took many people several thousand posts to reach the same conclusion.

Welcome.
 

Doran Jaffas

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Maybe we should do everything "virtually". It would surely be safer. FPV is NOT flying. It would seem to me that wearing FPV goggles and pretending to fly is a lot closer to having one's head up their a**. But I'm not as "edgy" as ChopperGirl, so I'm probably wrong.
[/QUOT
Bear in mind.. EVERYONE READING THIS. Start messing with unproven coverings because of price point or not and you are flirting with tragedy. The covering is the least expensive part of the aircraft and one of if not THE MOST IMPORTANT part of the flying machine. Imagine you're flying and the unthinkable begins to happen. You saved a few bucks but unless you have a BRS system installed..the outcome at best is in question..also the BRS you installed probably was as much as the proven fabric or other covering.. installed.
The BRS has other benefits and I am a huge fan of them but let's not put ourselves into a position where using them is necessary just to save a few dollars elsewhere on the airplane.
If you can't afford or are unwilling to afford to build without skimping on the important structural parts of the build then you should seriously reconsider postponing your build until you find yourself in better financial times.
 

reo12

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Jan 15, 2021
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What about the ripstop stuff for tents, kitesurf, and others light things??
I was wandering on the internet and found that guy making ultralight foldable kayak with composite dyneema fabric: CubenMaker - Making outdoor gear with lightweight Cuben Fiber fabric
The thing looks light and strong but, not helping in this thread, quite expensive (but not more than oratex?) : Dyneema Composite Fabric Sample Pack
I found some Tedlar on alibaba (if you look for PVF. It's used in solar panels). Since everything is manufactered there, it should be possible to find the stuff we need.
There are many types of Tedlar. Only one has all of the factors needed for using as wing cover. It must be treated so that tape will stick to it. It needs to be bi-directionally shrinkable. I'm looking for some to recover 2 Falcons.
 
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reo12

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Jan 15, 2021
Messages
61
Back to the topic. Tedlar is available in 0.001" now. I would just avoid speaking to the one vendor about anything aviation related, 'you are building a plant greenhouse for plants' Tedlar sale has been restricted in past. Add Polyester 'floor covering tape',combined with double sided tape, would pretty much make a modern Lazair approach to coverings, and Lazair was regarded quite well for keeping people safe. I would externally tape over each rib with that polyester tape as well, just to keep a cell approach so any catastrophe would not exceed one rib cell. I've used tedlar at work, it is amazingly strong, beyond mylar. Thats my comment for cheap UL coverings.

The Tedlar used for wing cover on Falcon's and Lazair's was .002 (2mil) thick. This is etched on both sides so that tapes will bond to it. This grade shrinks bi-directionally. There is tape made of Tedlar also. It has similar shrink properties as the film. The original double sided foam tape that was used on the ribs was a 3M product with an acrylic adhesive. It was the best material available at the time. I'm wondering if the newer VBH tape would have better performance. I need the tapes and Tedlar to cover at least 2 planes.
 
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