Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
By letpmar
I am about to build my first covered aircraft (KFA Explorer) so need to get up to speed and sort the right kit out. Can anyone recommend the right iron to buy and where to get it. And before you start, no I will not be taking in ironing

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By neilmurg
The guy in Planesavers used an iron designed for ski wax, he was recovering a DC 3 tailplane [edit]maybe it was the elevator[/edit] [edit2]I liked it 'cos it didn't have a pointy end[/edit2]
Last edited by neilmurg on Sat Sep 07, 2019 9:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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By Rob L
letpmar wrote:It’s a Polyester fabric produced in SA. It comes as part of the kit

Well ask the SA covering supplier what iron to use. Ironing temperatures are quite crucial according to the process used.

Is this an LAA-approved covering method?
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By Rob L
patowalker wrote:Google PX1365GB

Patowalker, that is a useful iron for shrinking very small areas (and even for modelling stuff) but is not useful for shrinking full-sized aircraft fabric.
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By letpmar
I have sorted a temperature probe already. We are going the LAA approval with these builds but the material is bog standard. The factory seem to think almost any iron will do. Someone out there must know an all round iron to do the job
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By Sooty25
Just done a small repair, about 18" square with ceconite and used a standard domestic iron (non steam). Critical thing is temperature and stability of, and that coped fine for a small job. Infra-Red temperature probes are cheap and reliable now for checking plate temperature.

Still not 100% sure mates wife knew why we borrowed her iron though! I'm not telling her :D
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By Chris Martyr
letpmar wrote: The factory seem to think almost any iron will do.

+1,, :thumright:

20yrs ago , when I started the fabric work on my aeroplane , that was exactly the advice I got from my Inspector. With the temp. set to 'Wool' .

The fabric I used was Dacron-Polyester from ACS&S and it worked a treat .

No need to buy an 'aviation quality' iron , or one in daft arty-farty colours which you fill with water and keeps making irritating peeping noises , just the most basic one you can find .

The pointed end is actually very useful , for getting into corners and for smoothing down any doggy-eared bits of the edging tape .
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By Sooty25
@letpmar how have you found the build generally? I looked into an Explorer a few years ago when they were SA Planes. Has support been good? Any chance of some build pictures before you cover it?
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By letpmar
We have imported the first two into the country and are well into the build. The body’s are done and covered.
We are the U.K. agents and hope to have LAA clearance before the end of the year. Feel free to pop down to a Firs Farm and take a look. The support is excellent

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By Sooty25
@letpmar I may just have a trip to Southampton soon, if I do I'll be in touch.

When I was talking to SA Planes they sent me a picture and contact details for a chap already building one in the UK. I think he was using a modified BMW R80 motorbike engine. Might be worth asking about that one.

Any info on UK prices yet?
By letpmar
There is one being built but I don’t think it’s the same spec as what we will get cleared by the LAA. We are using Rotax 912ULS. I don’t even know if it’s an explorer or a Safari. If you give me an email I can send you a full UK price list. They are very competitive

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By tnowak
When I recovered my fuselage (Ceconite) I used a normal domestic iron but marked off the two temperature settings on the dial.
I used a thermocouple probe that came with my digital voltmeter to set/calibrate the temperature.