Blue River is not in any way related to Stewart Systems other than they pioneered the idea of a water based/waterborne aircraft covering system. They were never STC'd. There are actually still some Blue River covering jobs flying. I spoke to a guy this week who has a Christen Eagle covered with Blue River, but painted with a different topcoat. He is still flying it after 25 years and almost 2000 hours of hard aerobatics! I know of several aircraft covered with AFS in 90's that are still flying and looking great. No cracks. I have a piece of fabric that we bring to all the shows that was competed in 1998. You can wad it up in a ball all you want an it won't crack. Most aircraft covered with Stewart Systems are after 2006 when Doug and Dan Stewart purchased the system and completed the STC. You should have not problem finding a aircraft at least 10 years old in your area with our system. I have a piece of fabric here from an aircraft covered in 2007 that was removed from a wing tip after a ground loop. I can send you a sample of it if you would like to see it. Just email me. I can tell you that very seldom have I ever met a anyone who has covered an airplane with Stewart Systems and gone back to anything else. I was very excited to have the opportunity to acquire Stewart System because I recognized from using it that it is the future of aircraft covering. No question about it. We used to use the solvent systems too, until we discovered Stewart Systems. To be perfectly honest, even if the solvent systems were better, I would not use them. It's not worth dying for. But the fact is, Stewart Systems holds up BETTER than anything else out there. And it's less expensive. What more could you ask from a covering system?Local fellow here did his Super Cub with Stewart earlier this year. We're watching to see how it holds up. I think Stewart has been around for some time so there should be testimonials available as to its longevity. Many finishes tend to harden and become brittle with time, so Scrapper's informal flex check can't determine how long it will stay flexible.
My uncle used the Blue River waterborne process on his Champ in the early '90s. It was terrible stuff. In cool, damp weather the fabric would expand and sag. Tapes would come loose. We had a Citabria that had also been finished with Blue River and I had to strip the whole thing and recover it with Poly-Fiber. The Blue River tapes were peeling, the finish was peeling, everything cracking. The entire business soured some folks on waterborne finishes. Blue River no longer has the STC for that system; I think the FAA might have pulled it. I would hope that the Stewart is an entirely different and far superior product.
Thanks lots! We are looking forward to working with you! If you have any questions, this is my cell phone number in the signature. We take tech support very seriously!Andy, thank you.
Also, whoever it was I talked with at the booth was great. Really professional and really knew the product well.
Cost is significantly less if using the non-certified Dacron. Did you finish the stewarts, or only glue and shrink.....you still have to paint/finish it right?I did both fabric classes at Airventure with my lovely girlfriend (to get her sign off on each). I felt Stewarts was a little tougher for me to work, but it may have been the layout of the classes. I like the way both turned out, but our PolyFiber one was a little better (and we did that class first). Kelli liked the near odorless part of stewarts and the less PPE required. I most likely will go with Stewarts for my small project.
Personal Protective EquipmentCost is significantly less if using the non-certified Dacron. Did you finish the stewarts, or only glue and shrink.....you still have to paint/finish it right?
The big advantage of Polyfiber (IMO) is that it is reliable, particularly if you use poly-tone. Basically, you're spraying something that behaves a little bit like lacquer, which I've always found easy to shoot. The downsides are the MEK and a whole buncha coats of various materials...I've seen the Stewart process, but I will always be a fan of the Polyfiber process, not only because Ray Stits (the developer) was a close friend, but also because the Stits/Polyfiber process has never failed to satisfy. They (Polyfiber) also have a details application guide and they are always more than willing to offer advice.
Likely the only time I will cover with anything other than Polyfiber is to try out a small scale project with Oratex, since it is such a drastically different system.