Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
By Bill McCarthy
Oratex has a mat finish and will mask many surface imperfections whereas the high gloss finish of paint jobs can make an aircraft look like a crinkly crisp packet.
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By ChampChump
Rod2 wrote:
Aeronca Alan wrote:That's my fear about Oratex Nick - an Aeronca in what looks a bit like sailcloth may look horrible. But it seems to require less expertise (your other point) and fuss than the traditional alternatives. I could probably do an Oratex job in my hangar (no painting) but couldn't possibly do Ceconite or Poly Fiber in there.

But as we're agreed on the probable end result, Oratex seems a no-goer for our aircraft.

I have seen both an Auster and a Cessna 120 covered in Oratex and it certainly doesn't look like sailcloth, it looks like a fabric covered aircraft without 20kg of paint tipped on it. Lars in Alaska has Aeronca's covered in it and he has shared photographs of them and they look sweet

It would be interesting to see them close up. The Oratex a/c I've seen look good, but I just can't imagine the same on an Aeronca or an Auster. I might be converted.

That said, a decent job is a decent job, whichever system is used, of course, and if it was a choice of tatty aeroplane, or Oratex-covered aeroplane, I wonder if I'd be so picky, aesthetically. If a third option was the more traditional covering, taking much longer and costing more, for the sake of the hypothethesis, I'm pretty sure I'd hang on for Ceconite. All being well, it's not a choice I have to make, so I can waffle on uselessly, unenvious of those who are making decisions.
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By rf3flyer
Misc, I don't know how much the group is planning to renew, I presume it's WF, but here is one observation about the fabric plus dope/paint method not yet mentioned.

Any old paint or dope not removed before recovering has the potential to cause cracks in the finish some years down the line. My own machine was recovered in 2001, dope on Ceconite. Ostensibly it was stripped to the wood but I now know it wasn't and I'm getting little cracks showing up due to the underlying old stuff being, at least a little, incompatible with the new. Irritating!
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By Miscellaneous
Thanks rf3. :thumleft:

I found an issue when doing a 50hr, investigation established a little woodwork is required. Decision was to remove the wing, repair and recover, not before time you may think? :wink:

Long story short; AS is doing the job for us having, IMO, felt some pity for the corner we found ourselves in. :lol:

Anyway wing removed today, I ain't half getting to know this aeroplane, engine in Nov, wing today…..

The Group is presently leaning towards Oratex, just a couple of things to clarify. Thanks to the contributors to this thread the info was useful to have and pass on. :thumleft:

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By rf3flyer
Miscellaneous wrote:I found an issue when doing a 50hr, investigation established a little woodwork is required...wing removed today...

You this year, me last year, but once you find something you just can't ignore it. Mine was at the root, yours at the left aileron, I presume.

I will be interested to see it when it's done, especially if you do use Oratex, and to hear of your experience with the stuff. Were I doing mine now I'd be very tempted for the weight saving alone.

On the US Fournier forum Bob Grimstead has a current thread about recovering his RF4 fuselage with Oratex.
By Shoestring Flyer
Just read this on TLAC site re Oratex approval. Unsure if this applies to your aircraft or not but thought prudent to point out just in case.

'Both the BMAA and the LAA have approved the product for use on permit aircraft, current stipulations are that the aircraft cannot have a wing loading exceeding 10.1 lbs per square foot and a VNE exceeding 160 mph, this is the current MkII fabric.'
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By Miscellaneous
Thanks, shoestring. Interestingly when I spoke to TLAC I was given 170mph and 11.6 lbs/squarefoot for UL600.

It may have changed, the website is a little old. Worth checking though. :thumleft:
By Shoestring Flyer
I would put in a call to the LAA to ask the question before parting with any cash.
I have just looked on the LAA list of existing MODS and can't see where anyone has recovered a Jodel wing in Oratex before in the UK although having said that the LAA site is not always that up to date.
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By Miscellaneous
Updating with relevant info possibly of interest to some.

LAA advise a MOD application is necessary for our Jodel.

Oratex UL 600 Mk 3 can be used with aircraft with a max wing loading of 11.6 lbs/ft² and a Vne of 170 mph (148 kts).

Oratex 6000 is ok up to 18.4 lbs/ft² and 199 mph (173kts)

In the interest of getting flying ASAP we may have to opt not to use Oratex this time.