View Full Version : Experimental Cub: Floorboards - alum or wood?

04-02-2004, 04:05 PM
The Bearhawk Patrol is using aluminum floorboards. Apparently they are holding up well. Which floorboards would you go with, plywood or aluminum if you had the choice? The aluminum saves a bit of weight.

Related to aluminum floors and sides... What is everyone using for "sound deadening spray" on aluminum panels. Piper drawings make reference to sound deadening spray.



04-02-2004, 04:37 PM
I have seen carbon fiber honeycomb that is unbelievably strong and unbelievably light. I spoke to the Graphite Store (http://www.GRAPHITESTORE.com) and they said that they have it available in a variety of thickness. Also we use carbon fiber panels on the interior of our race cars and I think it would work great for interior panels, headliner, etc.

D. Davis
04-02-2004, 04:59 PM
I rebuilt my cub with aluminum floorboards. When I looked at the old
ones with warbled out holes I thought I was a good solution. Lately I am
thinking of replacing the floor with composite. I will try the baggage
floor first and weigh the difference.

04-02-2004, 07:41 PM
I'm not convinced that aluminum floorboards are a panacea. Mine (0.063") are about 5# heavier than the wood they replaced and they seem to transfer the aircraft vibration to my feet much worse than the wood. On the plus side, they are much prettier than the old plywood, and I don't have the carpet on top (~2#).

A friend's PA-12 has the diamond plate style aluminum floorboards, they are much heavier but I don't notice the vibration at all.

04-02-2004, 07:44 PM
Honeycomb is the way to go, but it is alot more work. You have to install inserts at all the screw and bolt holes. Also the edge should be sealed at the door if not the entire way around the panels edge. And the cost is substantial as opposed to the wood floor.

If the choice comes to aluminum VS wood I would go wood for the ease, cost and the sound suppression. If you have ever been in a cub with a aluminum interior you know that sound.


04-02-2004, 11:53 PM

04-02-2004, 11:57 PM
Cargon Fiber ---- waaayyyyy lliiiight!!!

04-03-2004, 12:16 AM
My plane is certified, and I used aluminum. If experimental, I'd have used composites. Call the boys at Certified Aircraft Composites www.cacalaska.com who have some cool stuff that's not quite legal (yet) for the rest of us. If you go with wood, treat it with Nelsonite before you varnish it. It'll last forever. Nelsonite is a clear penetrating sealer. Even if you scratch the varnish, the wood will last forever. Ever wonder how pool cues stay so pretty for so long? Nelsonite.

04-03-2004, 01:53 AM
So when you guys say composites, are you referring to glass/foam sandwich? Anyone else have tips on fabrication?


04-03-2004, 03:54 AM
Northland has the nicest Birch 10 ply floor boards going if you decide to go with wood. CAS plastics has some great honey comb products that some guys got F.A.'d before the change in the FAA. I might try this on my next project. You do need to sleeve all the bolt holes though as mentioned before. Crash