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Thread: Oratex Fabric

  1. #81
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    I believe that the Dacron has to be protected from UV. Thus the painting.
    N1PA

  2. #82

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    HI Everyone, I talked with Larry Vetterman last evening and he is getting ready to cover the wings on his javron cub. He cut 2 pieces of fabric 200" long for the top and bottom pieces of the wing. He will still need to cut some off for the wingtip bows and also some lengthwise as he won't need that much over lap. This should account for most if not all of the tapes. Glue weight is unknown and somewhat subjective. Total weight of these 2 pieces is 6.25 lbs, as weighed on a postage scale.
    I would also like to mention that he has about 40-45 hours TOTAL TIME in completely covering the fuselage and tailfeathers.

  3. #83
    Lars Gleitsmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    Darin told me he saved 8 lbs on that airplane over their normal Stargloss, Ranthane system. Almost $11K. They came within three pounds with a light Polyton finish on another one.
    Hi,
    I guess its overtime for me to say something here... Somehow that story from the Weight saving from Darin Hart is very different from what other customers of mine are telling me! The typical word I get from them is like : Jon Svendson (MudLake, AK): "I have completed a scientific test of the weight of your Oracover vs. finished Polyfiber (lightest legal fabric). Your stuff weighs 150 g/square metre, and Polyfiber 365 g."


    The weight savings are for sure, but how much weight is saved depends on what you compare it with: The weight of our materials is certain, its half an ounce for the 6000 per square foot! See it on our website ! The competing legacy fabrics have a vast Garden Variety of weight as they get manually spray-painted and thus the weight depends totally on the builder/painter. Even our strongest Oratex is much lighter than the lightest Ceconite. There are some out there that make a good living painting and covering airplanes, they see us as endangering that industry and thus have nothing good to say about us. If one compares the lightest thinnest Ceconite with the least amount of paint possible (thus sacrificing most of their Metal-powder UV-Proving!) with our 6000, then the weight savings are of course smaller than comparing the 6000 to the strongest Ceconite with the real STC-compliant amount of paint applied (which is a reasonable comparison!). Our 6000 is stronger than the heaviest Ceconite, for Ultralights we have the Oratex600. If you get to hold any Oratex in your hand You will see, the weight difference is huge!
    Seriously, cut of a square foot piece of used Ceconite next chance you have to do that, and WEIGHT THAT.
    So far I can say all our Private Customers are very happy, and we had many (also commercial) who bought not only once....
    Regards,
    Lars

  4. #84
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Gleitsmann View Post
    ...There are some out there that make a good living painting and covering airplanes, they see us as endangering that industry and thus have nothing good to say about us. ....
    Lars
    no, the finish quality(tape mismatch ugliness) is not good enough for me to put my reputation on turning out of my shop.... you get that figured out and then you "might" get my consideration...

    WHY? would someone pay MORE to have a poorer looking finished product????? crazy! unless you are selling the stuff!!

  5. #85
    nanook's Avatar
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    Lars, why not answer the never-ending question about when the FAA is going to certify Oratex? You are losing a huge segment of the market until you finish certification...What is the hold-up?

  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike mcs repair View Post
    no, the finish quality(tape mismatch ugliness) is not good enough for me to put my reputation on turning out of my shop.... you get that figured out and then you "might" get my consideration...

    WHY? would someone pay MORE to have a poorer looking finished product????? crazy! unless you are selling the stuff!!
    Why.. let me count the reasons..

    1- It looks better than most (opinion)
    2- Its half the weight (fact)
    3- Easier (because my wife did ours).
    4- At least as strong
    5- The smell and shop cleanup from over spray is eliminated!
    6- Continue using that ol' mask and we'll talk about the rest of the reasons in 20 years.
    7- This is the important one.. if you can find something to replace with lighter technology
    for instance leading edge or firewall.. it costs $500 to $1000 to save a pound.. you simply
    save the cost of the fabric in weight savings!


    Mike.. you may be basing 'finished product' on an early (poorly lighted) picture of gack-green fabric.
    From what I have seen the newer stuff all looks pretty good.. it doesn't shine like a new Dodge
    but it doesn't weigh like one either.
    (opinion)

    1.png
    The tapes match as well as anything else.

    Because Kris was willing to work with the fabric she got interested in flying and
    Soloed a couple months ago.. I blame that on Oratex.. now I gotta pay for double gas!

  7. #87
    Lars Gleitsmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nanook View Post
    Lars, why not answer the never-ending question about when the FAA is going to certify Oratex? You are losing a huge segment of the market until you finish certification...What is the hold-up?
    Well Nanook,
    How can I answer a question that I do not know the answer for? It has been Years now that we are trying to get the STC's and we have been ... lets say waiting.... THere was a guy with the FAA who would always say No but would not say why, and he did sign our PSCP but he would not sign a Testing plan (defeats the purpose doesn't it?) and he would not tell us what ASTM-testing he wanted. But on March 1st he got to send us a email that he is no longer our point of contact with the FAA ! And we liked it as it wasn't pretty... He is now working in a natural Gas plant. Now we have an experienced guy with the FAA that knows his **** and he say why and all... So now there is hope. Still goes very slow...What do you expect. NANOOK, do you know how long Ray Stitts needed to get his STC ? Or how long it took the Stewarts Brothers? Don't you think I am very aware about the Market Segment lost? Meanwhile the EASA and LBA etc STC' list is getting longer and longer, we are legal to cover Cubs in Europe...
    Many of my dear customers say its protectionism...

  8. #88
    nanook's Avatar
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    Well Lars thanks for the update on the current frustration level....so you wasted a bunch of time on an incompetent FAA employee....and this comes as a surprise? You have approval data from Europe, plenty of aircraft flying currently...go kick some FAA ass and get it done...

  9. #89
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    I agree with nanook Lars. You are not pushing the correct buttons. It is time to go upstairs. One single individual should not be able to stonewall you. Do you have a DER who can help you through the maze of regulations and procedure? I have not looked at the regulations for certifying a fabric process. Once you are able to prove that you do comply with all that the FAA has published on the matter, you should be home free. The European approvals should carry a lot of weight. The FAA has a branch in Europe. Have your people go to them.
    N1PA

  10. #90

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    this;or this;And by NO MEANS am i saying theres anything wrong with either, just glad theres always more choices.
    Last edited by tempdoug; 08-23-2014 at 04:48 PM.

  11. #91
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Gleitsmann View Post
    Hi,
    Somehow that story from the Weight saving from Darin Hart is very different from what other customers of mine are telling me!
    Legend has a pretty good handle on their system and technique. They are very weight conscious and they probably get the weight of the coats down less than the average person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Gleitsmann View Post

    There are some out there that make a good living painting and covering airplanes, they see us as endangering that industry and thus have nothing good to say about us.
    I don't see this. I make my living rebuilding and covering airplanes. I don't see my job going anywhere because of Oratex fabric. I think there is plenty of room for your products but I don't see everyone changing to it either. Like everything in aviation there is compromise with either. Weight is not the only consideration either. I think you can update us on the certification without getting snippy. This is how you guys got with me at New Holstein last year when I asked a lot of questions about the product. I was genuinely interested and curious till I got the attitude. I realize it is a German trait but ease up a bit. We all want light weight durable covering systems that won't kill us or cost an arm and a leg. No it is not for everyone and yes the FAA can be a PITA to get things certified but we are all on the same team.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  12. #92
    Olibuilt's Avatar
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    I've built an experimental cub. Oratex was on my list. I received a sample and it looked to be a good product. The cake icing look was the only downside for me
    until I saw the price... Cost me more then half price to do it with SuperFlight fabric and Endura paint process. Weight saving has a cost, price and look too. And I was not counting hours on the built....

    If the price go down, I would cover a plane with Oratex for sure.



    But I sure like the look of a nice shinny paint, even if it cost me a couple dozen hours more, and a couple pound.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Olibuilt; 08-24-2014 at 04:44 AM.

  13. #93
    Lars Gleitsmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike mcs repair View Post
    no, the finish quality(tape mismatch ugliness) is not good enough for me to put my reputation on turning out of my shop.... you get that figured out and then you "might" get my consideration...

    WHY? would someone pay MORE to have a poorer looking finished product????? crazy! unless you are selling the stuff!!
    Well Mike,
    Its a system that is designed to enable people to build Fabric planes without use of paint: Thus there are obviously physics involved, Glued on tapes will stick out and their edges will be visible. There is no question about that. Anybody who wants to paint will paint or pay the painting done by somebody else. The people that buy from us like it for the possibilities that it opens up to them; They are not the people interested in hiring done a paintjob, it seems in general. They want light, they want tough, they want ease of use and non-hazmat, etc etc. - Shiny and seam-less gloss are willingly sacrificed to get the other aspects of it. People pay what it costs because they want to build airplanes at home safely and because they are sick and tired of cracking and ringworming fabric. We as a company are glad to be able to provide them another choice that provides their needs and desires. They buy our tapes as they save time (and time is money to them), they could use paint instead of our tapes on the rib-stich, but nearly nobody does. They could make their own tapes out of leftover-oratex, to save money, but very few do that. Most buy our tapes. There are 180 planes flying with it in Europe. Every choice comes with drawbacks, we provide another choice, a unique option. And nobody buys the "cat in the sack", as we send out lots of samples and put people in contact with local customers.
    regards,
    Lars

  14. #94
    Lars Gleitsmann's Avatar
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    Oratex Prices for a Cub

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasperfield View Post
    Steve,

    Are you saying the Stargloss & Ranthane was $11,000, or was the Oratex system with cover & finish $11,000?

    I looked closely at that airplane, and it was well covered and finished. However, the tapes, for my preference, are too prominent and well defined.
    Hi,
    Looks like I should say something here about this.... Well its possible to spend 11K with us on a Cub, If Everything we have to offer is used, including our own paint-system (that is normally Not Needed !) About $6500,- of Oratex6000 will cover a Cub-Clone, plus $400,- on glue. One does not have to buy our tapes and our paint. Almost Any paint can be used with Oratex. Its easy to make tapes from the leftovers by applying the glue and letting it dry Before the tapes are cut. Pinking is not needed with Oratex and is just for the looks. But if someone wants to use all we have to offer and lots of it, we sure like that too.
    We had one fellow that asked a legacy paint company to match our FokkerRed color in ceconitish-paint and he said it was $940,- for a Gallon of that Red Paint... (not our paint!)...
    The Texas-build Oratex wings in the two photos had the Markings painted on with Enamel, for example.
    Regards,
    Lars
    wings 256.JPGwings 259.JPG

  15. #95
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    Really like your system Lars ( must be from my RC days ) hope you get certification soon ,i had i question with the drain gromet i see the std gromet in you pic do you have seaplane type gromet ?

  16. #96
    Lars Gleitsmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beaver18 View Post
    Really like your system Lars ( must be from my RC days ) hope you get certification soon ,i had i question with the drain gromet i see the std gromet in you pic do you have seaplane type gromet ?
    Sorry for the late response on this;
    It is extremely easy to use Oratex with those Good Seaplane Grommets / Drains / Vents. The normal ones from the usual suppliers work just fine, more here below:
    Regarding Inspection holes/panels:
    With our system you just use the clear plastic rings that are on the market for the legacy fabrics, see here attached !
    Smaller Rigid structures can also be glued to Oratex fabric with Superglue (Cyanacrylate). Superglue can also be used to adhere to concave structures, inspection rings, grommets, drains and vents...such as those on the trailing edge undersides.
    So you just get the clear re-enforcement rings for the round inspection covers of the legacy aircraft fabrics, level the surface you are planning to glue them on, wipe the are with Alcohol, Drop the ring onto the top-surface of the Oratex, take the THIN Cyanacrylate Superglue from the Hobbystore, and soak it under the well positioned ring from the inside diameter of the ring while it is laying on the surface, until all the surface of the ring appears clear, as the glue wicked underneath. Once that is achieved, stop feeding it glue and let it dry! - That is it, done! Be careful with the use of the "Free Radicals" sprays ("Zip Kicker") for Superglue, as many will cause the glue to turn white and that will make it look ugly. A "Doily" Overlay on top of the re-enforcement ring is unnecessary with Oratex, many do it just for the old-style looks. Use shrink tube on the steel arms of the inspection cover and tape its underside with good quality Tapes in order to prevent chafing and aluminum streaks due to airframe vibration as the plane is being flown. Used as is these covers will trail black as the aluminum rubs off under vibration: Its easy to avoid ! Cut the hole only after it is 100% for sure all dry; and there is No Need Whatsoever to leave any fabric on the inside diameter of the ring, its Not like with the legacy fabrics where that is needed to be in contact with the Doily Overlay in order to keep the ring on there! With ours, Cut ring into the edge of the ring and make a nice big and smooth-edged hole! Your wrist and mechanics will love that later when it comes to maintenance...
    Best Regards,
    Lars

  17. #97
    nanook's Avatar
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    Lars, where are you at on the certification process?

  18. #98
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    Just my own opinion of Oratex after spending around 40 hours with the stuff. So far I have covered the lower door and tail feathers of a Super Cub but have not yet put the tapes on around the curved areas of the rudder and elevator's, not looking forward to it either. Here is some back ground of my experience covering, I have done 3 airplanes in Air Tech and all three looked good when completed (again my opinion), I did not like how the Air Tech paint became brittle over time and decided my next plane would probably be Stits. That was until Doug Keller started using Oratex for a few different projects and I thought why not...


    Oratex, the good is it has no health risks that I can see. It will be easily repaired over the life of the fabric. It is lighter then traditional fabrics.


    I chose silver and straight edge tapes and think that maybe it is not a good choice for color, it seems very easy to mar or cause blemish that does not come out when the shrinking is done. It is very hard to roll out a piece of fabric and not get a crease in it. For it to still be visible after shrinking sucks One of the hardest things for me is to complete a part and not have it look like it is already a used part, maybe it is my own issue but I have tried pretty hard to keep everything as sterile as possible and still have blemishes. The tapes don't stick that well in my opinion unless you are super careful about speed at which you travel and over metal it is really difficult to get them to stick sometimes when you have compound curves. The wing were done by another person in Oratex for me and she had 120 hours time in the pair of them. I thought that sounded like a lot when I found out but now that I have almost completed the tail feathers I think that seems like a very reasonable amount and would not want to do them myself in Oratex for 120 hours of pay. I like to be good at what I do and with this material I feel like I am still learning and I have 40 hours of time and I still feel like I am being schooled and not super happy with the end result. The glue will show through if you paint it on with a bristle bush, I thought that once you got it hot enough to glue the tapes down it would feather out but it still shows through so being more careful about the texture of the glue would be smart. I only used glue over seams and rib stitched re-enforcement tapes before putting the tapes on. I relied on the glue of the tape to hold over properly cleaned fabric. If it is heated hot enough the tapes stick but then I will be looking over my work I find places that I thought were done and the edge has not adhered and I have to go over it again....


    Here is the thing I like about traditional fabrics like Ceconite, it is the speed at which you can put the fabric on, when you are done with the covering you still have the painting to do but that is when your work really starts to shine, nothing like shooting on paint to see your work pay off! If you have a dab of glue in a place you wished you did not, no big deal because it will be buried under the pretty paint, anyone with an iron can do it and the learning curve is much less. I still have the fuselage to do and I will probably pay the person who did the wings to do it because I just don't care to work anymore with the stuff.


    I really wanted to be a fan of Oratex, in fact I put $7100.00 of hard earned money, I figure I have a right to have an opinion of it. If it will hold up for 20 years, I am sure I will be happy with the covering but I am not a fan of the process, it seems much more tedious and slow as compared to traditional covering methods. I have covered lots of tail feathers over the years because they take a lot of the abuse when landing off airport and I know I could cover and paint almost as fast as it has taken me to do it in Oratex, maybe even faster.

  19. #99
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    That is a helpful and well done post. That is the type of stuff (post) that helps others. Thank you Greg.

    Bill
    Very Blessed.

  20. #100
    Roger Peterson's Avatar
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    Bill, I will have to disagree with you on your above comment. Granted it is a well done post and if I had read it before I started using Oratex, I probably would have never tried Oratex. However I got started before the above post was made and will cover my 2nd plane with orate in the fall. That post is one persons experience and one must read everything posted and take into account everyones experiences. Mine have been great, but I don't mine spending some time experimenting and trying to solve problems.

    I will only reply to one or two of the problems stated in the above post to illustrate how two different people can have entirely different results and that experimentation and technique can solve a lot of problems.
    First of all since it is a new product, we should assume that it will probably not act exactly like previous products that we have used. Before I started covering the plane, I made some test frames and made sure I worked out the heats and technique on the test frame before I moved to the part I was covering. It only takes a min or two to test the heat of your gun, or max heat you could use on a tape on the test frame before moving on the the plane. Saves a lot of problems.
    Second, I agree that Silver is probably the hardest color to use. A crease looks like it will never go away and if you only try to shrink the fabric with a iron, it probably will not. But here is where the little test frame is really great. Put a really bad crease in the fabric and then attach it to the test frame. Try a few different ways to get the crease out, both iron and heat gun. The heat gun will remove it completely. Now that you have figured out the max temp to use on the crease, you can move to the finished product without taking a chance to messing up the finished product. I also put a crease in the center of all my tapes so I can center them. Never had a problem getting that crease out.
    Next, the problem of brushing the adhesive and then seeing the brush marked through the fabric. This is a easy one. Quit brushing the adhesive on. Use what Lloyd Fry used on his plane and he also is using silver. Go to the paint section of your local hardware store and purchase some staining pads. You will find that the adhesive can be applied just as well as the factory applied theirs on the tapes.

    The same experimentation goes for putting on your tapes. Bend up a test frame using some scrap 4130 and try different methods on the tapes. There are a lot of different ways to put on tapes and make them stick so that you would have to destroy the fabric to remove them. Do what works best for you, but a few minutes of experimenting will save you a lot of grief. Remember you are building a experimental airplane, So EXPERIMENT

    I am far from a expert on covering. I have covered some 10 airplanes in Stits and Stewarts and the last one in Oratex. For me, Oratex wins and takes no more time than putting on the stirs or Stewarts fabric.
    To show how you can do a few different things with Oratex, I am including some pictures of the nose bowl and cowl that have been covered with Oratex, and I did it in less time than I could have painted it and cleaned up the gun.

    P1020762_copy.jpgP1020767_copy.jpg

    Hope I have not stepped to too many toes, but that what toes are for, stepping on.

    Roger
    Roger
    Based at O8XS. Sweeny Texas (Winter)
    Finlayson Lake, Ontario (Summer)
    I plan on living forever.......so far, so good !!!

  21. #101

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    My understanding was that toes were so Okies could count past ten?

  22. #102

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    I will Add to Greg's post. I have done a couple of aircraft with Oratex and have noticed that the tapes don't stick down to the fabric very well. We constantly have to keep ironing down the tapes after flights. We keep increasing the iron temp until we end up shrinking the tapes which looks bad. I don't think I can recommend it to anyone unless Oratex figures out how to get the tapes to stick better. Oratex tells me that the new tapes have better glue but the new ones peel off as well. The cost of Oratex is not competitive with Stits either. Yes, you don't have to take the time to paint, but if you want to do a good job with Oratex, it takes longer to apply than Stitts. These are my observations, please don't punish me for them.

  23. #103
    Mauleguy's Avatar
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    I think people have the right to hear the good and the bad about any product, I would say just the opposite of Roger possibly and I don't want to go down that road. If I had seen a post like mine it is true I may not have used the product possibly but maybe that would have been a good thing for all involved.

    There are levels of expectations of products for each user and what may be acceptable for one person may not be for another.

    I will say no more about the product on the internet, anyone that has interest in it and wants my personal experience can get a hold of me and we can talk. PM me and I will answer what I know and you can make your own decision.

  24. #104
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Fabric seems to be very fickle between types and processes. At least a nut and bolt will torque about the same, some manufactures are better than others, but really we just power past the rough threads of some.

    Fabric seems to be as much art as it is skill. Folks that have extensive experience with painting autos have had their hats handed to them by Stewarts systems, but folks with no experience have had little problems with it.

    Folks with Stitts have had issues with painting Stewarts, and now I see some trouble with Oratex.

    Guys doing their first plane seem to like it very well; (ignorance is bliss?), but some very knowledgable folks have specific concerns.

    From a guy with no dog in the fight, I really appreciate folks being honest about their experience, and for those that have not been happy being specific to their issues.

    Your willingness to state your issue and offer to talk in private is very much appreciated.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  25. #105
    little wing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1934A View Post
    My understanding was that toes were so Okies could count past ten?
    How very helpful and relevant to the conversation. Thank you so much. Maybe you could share some more of your original wisdom and quick wit. I just can't stop laughing. No really,,,please,,,do you have any more?

  26. #106
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Roger

    I posted that because a post like " this product is great" or "this product sucks" is not nearly as useful as a post where someone adds in the why. You have done an awesome and well appreciated post on your experiences with Oratex and I SINCERELY appreciate your efforts. But Greg has also posted his thoughts and we need those too. It is a lot easier to say positive things (not likely to offend anyone) than to post the negative stuff, but that full unbiased report is what is helpful. For me, I want the truth, even if it hurts a little, and I appreciate it when someone posts their opinions with supporting data, comments, feelings etc. Both good and bad. I believe Oratex has some good qualities, and perhaps some negative, just like most things, and I personally want the unbiased report. Thus my comment. Thank you Roger for all your reports, and how too's.

    Bill
    Very Blessed.

  27. #107

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    I am posting a response to the above comments on Oratex with Clint's permission. I covered my Javron Cub (which by the way was the first one finished) mainly because I can't be around chemicals like MEK or acetone anymore. So that means I am not an inexperienced fabric guy. I agree the Oratex is quite pricey compared to other processes, but my justification initially was the no chemical aspect. How much faster or slower is the Oratex compared to others is probably known only to the individual using it. I found it very easy to work with and anytime I had questions Lars answered them. I figured I saved @ 4-6 hours of work on each tail piece as an example comparing it to other techniques. It took me awhile to accept the what you see is what you get concept as there is no opportunity to cover mistakes with dope or paint.
    I did not have any problems with any tape coming up as I followed the directions and applied a good coating of glue on the fabric. I used the pinked tapes and I did find some areas where the pinked edges had not been ironed well enough to kick the glue off, but going back over those areas made them adhere well. The only thing that I don't care for is the glue turning a yellow color if it is applied outside the tape area. Yep, my tail feathers have areas like that as I was not aware of the importance of that concept when I started. Learn as you go thing. I will Probably use it again on my next project as I don't mind that it is somewhat translucent, and not shiney like other processes, and of course it is lighter than them also. I Have 98 hrs on the cub and so far it looks just like I installed it. I guess the bottom line here is the Chevy vs. Ford thing.
    The purpose of this post is not intended to promote nor demote any fabric process, but to simply state some facts about my experience with Oratex. If some folks are having problems with the process, my suggestion would be that a complete manual be published by the Oratex folks just like Ray Stitts did many years ago. It would take away many myths and unanswered questions about using it. Also hands on experience is priceless and Roger Peterson has gone way beyond the call of duty by holding his work sessions. So thank you for that Roger and keep up the good work.
    I hope to fly my new cub out to New Holstien this year and meet some of you or like they say in Texas "y'all. Larry Vetterman

  28. #108
    Mauleguy's Avatar
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    I said I was not going to post anything else about my issues but I am going back on that statement for one reason because I would like to save someone else a lot of frustration.

    It has come to my attention that one of the people that I talked to that has had good luck with the tapes not coming off did something I did not. I did follow the directions given to me by Lars.

    What I was told to do is put glue on under the tapes where you have a seam only, a bead of 1/4 " wide over top in order to lessen the appearance of the seam or over the top of re enforcement tape and rib stitch so that the tape will adhere.

    What I have found out in my research after the fact is that it sounds like the people (the post above also makes it sound like that is what was done) that are having no problems are the ones that are putting glue on the fabric under ALL surface tapes. I think from my own experience that this would most likely solve the problem. It does create a lot more work and the tapes will not look as smooth but if you are willing to give up some aesthetics and I would be to not have to deal with the problems I had I think the problem is solved. It is to late for me, all my tapes are on!

    I also agree that a book of all this tribal knowledge would make this system much better. I would like to see some of the problems people are having be address. I think I could be a user again if it worked as it is presented but for me it did not.

    Greg

  29. #109
    Roger Peterson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mauleguy View Post
    I said I was not going to post anything else about my issues but I am going back on that statement for one reason because I would like to save someone else a lot of frustration.

    It has come to my attention that one of the people that I talked to that has had good luck with the tapes not coming off did something I did not. I did follow the directions given to me by Lars.

    What I was told to do is put glue on under the tapes where you have a seam only, a bead of 1/4 " wide over top in order to lessen the appearance of the seam or over the top of re enforcement tape and rib stitch so that the tape will adhere.

    What I have found out in my research after the fact is that it sounds like the people (the post above also makes it sound like that is what was done) that are having no problems are the ones that are putting glue on the fabric under ALL surface tapes. I think from my own experience that this would most likely solve the problem. It does create a lot more work and the tapes will not look as smooth but if you are willing to give up some aesthetics and I would be to not have to deal with the problems I had I think the problem is solved. It is to late for me, all my tapes are on!

    I also agree that a book of all this tribal knowledge would make this system much better. I would like to see some of the problems people are having be address. I think I could be a user again if it worked as it is presented but for me it did not.

    Greg
    To apply the adhesive under the tapes, I took a short piece of tape and marked where it would reach on each side. Then took frog tape and taped the area about 1/16" inside those marks. Then rather than using a brush, use a staining pad to apply the glue. Doesn't take long and you will never see the adhesive marks under the tape. Even on 600 tape.
    Soon we should have enough information on these threads to make a fairly good manual. I think Lloyd is taking good enough notes to produce a good manual. Need to get his weekly updates on here.
    Roger
    Based at O8XS. Sweeny Texas (Winter)
    Finlayson Lake, Ontario (Summer)
    I plan on living forever.......so far, so good !!!

  30. #110

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    Hi All

    im a newbie to this forum, and a longtime user of Oratex, both 600 & 6000 and I stumbled on this thread, interesting stuff. I have covered 5 of my aircraft with it now, and have used Stits, Ceconite and even Irish linen before and I have to say, while its different, it's good.

    theres been no advances in covering for 30 odd years, OK Stuart has made some water based stuff but nobody has made a step change like this with a fully finished fabric going straight onto the aircraft. There's a lot of new stuff to get used to and skill sets to learn, but hey, that's true in everything, forums, iPads, gps's.....and its no different in covering with Oratex.

    from my perspective I'm not playing around with highly toxic solvent bases that accumulate in the body, no multiple layers of sealant paint and finish, once the aircraft is covered go fly!!! Other major benefits, weight saving, I just covered an aircraft and save over 18lbs compared to Stits ultralight covering??? And I used Oratex 6000 the heavy stuff. Performance, well amazing, at MTOW I see reduction in stall speeds, in cruise I see reduction in engine speed and the whole aircraft seems "tighter"

    tapes, I run up to around 280f when bonding on tapes, and yes I apply adhesive to the covering prior to taping up.

    to those folk who think they can cover with Stits/Ceconite quicker than with Oratex, you ain't doing it right, and of course you've got to put loads of crap on top, polute to world and add a load of weight to your aircraft.

    Oratex has way more USP's than any of the conventional covering systems, and it's cheaper in the long run.

    blue skies

  31. #111
    Lars Gleitsmann's Avatar
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    Hi to All,
    Well I guess its about overtime I say something here... ( I guess if I dont say something somebody will say or think I have been deported or worse)

    The EASA -manual I email'ed out to anybody (yes we also print it out and send it snail-mail to the 50% of customers who have no email and hate computers) had over 100 pages of instructions, and its new version (few days old) now has 144 pages.
    Its the European FAA approved official word about the product. I do editorialize around it a lot as I think it needs more detailed and practical advise, especially regarding USA airplane types and USA products such as primers etc.
    I have the instruction brief on the website as a quick general overview for those that just consider it, then we send out samples of everything for all those who want to try it. Between my editorializing and the FAQ's document and the EASA phonebook our instructions are growing constantly and enough never seems enough.
    There are more types of planes out there than types of cars have ever been produced. And that is not even accounting for the multitude of EXPERIMENTAL aircraft. So it is hard to have a manual to cover all possible aspects, but we are trying and I hope we will not wind up with a self-propelled manual that is so big and heavy that its paper version cannot be hand-carried around anymore.
    Beyond Manuals I am always (ALWAYS) available to (at least try) to help on the phone, if need be for many hours and Many Times (DOES ANYBODY DISPUTE THAT?).
    Troubleshooting is often hard when done remotely but in recent days it is fairly reasonable with Skype (works great with Australian and NZ Customers!) and with email'ed pictures. If a customer or his mechanic has no time to discuss problems with me I cannot help him, no matter how hard I try.
    The EASA Manual is sure as hell an European Manual and thus caters to the most likely European Standard Category planes in need of Fabric; The Jodel Robin. These get Oratex'ed both as rebuild jobs and as new Production ones. They are low wing 4 seaters, made completely out of plywood. The EASA Manual caters to them in great detail. That works great for Jodel and Falconar Avia Plansbuilders in NorthAmerica, but it is admittedly of relatively little help with a Super Cub.

    Until about 2012 Oratex used to offer no Finishing Tapes and the customers had to make their own by coating the backside of the leftovers with the normal glue and then cutting tapes (usually straight-edge!) after the glue dried into its trigger-ready intermediate clear stage. These homemade tapes work extremely well as they (of course) use the very same temperature as the rest of the glue for triggering. The big drawback is that they do have a shelf-life-before-use; They have to be used in a few month after the glue was (usually) rolled or sprayed on. As it takes time to make them and as their time constraint existed, there naturally was a customer demand for factory-issue-ready-to-use-no-shelf-life-&Frost-proof-before-use tapes.
    Frank Knapp and Roger Peterson used these first type tapes. Since then we have changed the glue formulation of them in order to improve them. Now the factory did succeed in producing tapes (last Wednesday) that have a thicker coating of the glue in order to make them easier to use on non-wooden Airframes that provide the adverse heat-sink-effect.

    I do talk to every customer about the options of the tapes and also the possibility to build an Oratex plane with painted instead of Taped seams. And I emphasize on individual testing of any method by the end customer before working on the actual airplane...
    The old and current tapes work easy on wooden planes but are somewhat tedious on metal airframes due to the heat-sink-effect. With it, it either requires more dwell time or higher temperatures to be used for the tapes to work properly. That was always explained. A great trick is the use of the normal glue under the tapes in a way that is narrow enough to not show left and right of the tapes but wide enough to cover the areas on top of the metal. With the glue as wide as the contact surface with the steel tube, the heat-sink-effect is seriously diminished and the tapes will work well even with the heatsink present etc. As the tapes themself so to speak do not require the normal oratex-glue underneath to adhere to a structure, the manuals emphasized on glue application as narrow enough so it would for sure not show glue on the surface at the edges. Glue application beyond the edge of the tape had been seen enough on planes and looks so bad, that in the manual all emphasis went into keeping that from being done. The glue application for the purpose of providing a barrier against the heat-sink for the tapes as such was not explained enough. The heat-sink-problem as such was explained in detail, especially on the phone as well, but the explanation of the positive heat-sink-barrier-effect of the manually applied Oratex glue was not in there! It for sure will be in the current editions. It was used by Roger and Frank and Larry and many others.

    This is a very lengthy post but it does tell the story behind the story. - And I can only hope it will be read & appreciated.

    Most companies never seem to post anything on forums (and they know why), but I believe in being accessible and available for my customers. I never hide behind a "handle".

    As all things in life, almost anything comes with drawbacks and advantages; A new Product such as Factory-issue finishing-tapes (yes:ready-to-use-no-shelf-life-&Frost-proof-before-use) might always need exploration and often experimentation.

    Off course Oratex is a radical departure from Dope&Fabric systems of any kind and that brings with it new challenges and new solutions. But at least we can enable people to build Cubs tougher&lighter and absolutely safely in attached Garages and Living rooms, even enable folks to build Pitts Specials in rental apartments. Some customers joked "With Oratex the Airworthyness Certificate comes without the Divorce papers".

    As said it's a lengthy and probably very German Post; (it might provide some aviation-entertainment for those that are Not Personally involved, too);
    Best Regards from Alaska!
    Last edited by Lars Gleitsmann; 06-06-2015 at 06:00 AM. Reason: Formatting was badly needed

  32. #112

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    Roger has prodded me, gently, being the man he is, to post my "notes". As I've stated elsewhere, I have zero building experience, zero fabric experience, and am not paid by nor endorsed by Oratex, so anything I post should be taken with 5 pounds of salt. I am posting, hoping that those with experience will correct me and share the better way of doing things. This stuff is absolutely basic and am sure that those with any experience will either laugh at how stupid I am or find it boring, or both. These comments are specific to Oratex 6000. It is thicker and I suspect tougher to work with than 600.

    The truth is, these are lessons I had to learn as the specifics of how to do things are not found on youtube and I had no manual to go with. The basic instruction to make a frame and practice is minimally helpful. If you want to practice before you start, get a non-serviceable rudder and do it completely from beginning to end. Once you've completed the finishing tape stage, disassemble it, at least down to one side in fabric. You'll need all the skills you've just learned, including the disassembly. Save the rudder with one side done so you can practice your rib sticking if you're doing any. I made the mistake of trying to take all the tail feathers through the same stage and one time. I wish I'd done one structure completely before doing the rest. Much to learn and made same mistake on all the pieces.

    These posts are just a few things I'll share now.

    I'll start simply. I didn't like the way the fabric pulled back from the rudder horn after shrinking. Those building may have solved that problem by building a shelf on the rudder horn to attach the fabric to prior to covering, or maybe you used less heat when shrinking and didn't have a problem. Not an option for me--I just had a problem to solve--it's experimental.

    Gap at Rudder horn
    rudder gap.jpg

    Rough prototype. Can be painted to match, or covered with fabric. Thinnest I had was .020 aluminum, maybe you could go thinner?

    rudder cover.jpg

    Marking the cutline for the inside of the tubing is a problem when the fabric is already adhered at the leading edge, and using a compass as I've seen on legacy fabrics wasn't going to work with this fabric. I started inside at one end and creased the fabric at the factory recommended 270 degree wrap around, maintaining approximately the same wraparound for the entire length of tubing. Check to make sure your meeting the 270 degree wraparound and adjust as needed. Cut line. Actually, this pic is from when I overlaid the two fabrics. You could probably use a compass here.

    cut line.jpg

    Tools I've found useful so far are seen in the photo below.

    Ruler used to ensure tape ends are square. Place across the width of the tape, with end parallel to sideline, cut across the width.

    Five inch hemostat (slightly curved needle nose pliers) is my wife's favorite when laying down fabric/tapes. Lars heats his tapes from the glue side which blows them away from the structure and keeps them from prematurely adhering. I alternated sometimes...just because...heating the material from either side and used the pliers to keep the fabric away from the tubing. Saves on finger burns.

    I'm not great with following straight lines when applying glue and used blue painter's tape (not Lars favorite) for ALL my glue lines on the fabric and when prepping for finishing tape. Remove the tape as you go and do not wait until you've finished the whole piece, say a whole rudder. The line will be crisper and not stringy if removed right away. Remember that both the fabric and tape can/will shrink in all directions, so make an allowance for shrinkage when you place your glue and don't expect the fabric/tape to lay down exactly where you thought when you bent it over.

    Hobby store "craft wood", can be bought in popsicle size and smaller and was used to remove excess glue. The procedure is to soak a rag in a one part vinegar, three part water mixture and lay it on the glue for 3-5 minutes. The end of the craft wood was used as a push tool/scraper to roll the glue off. The ends of the sticks are contoured. The fabric is amazingly tough and unless you are trying to take dry glue off without soaking first, you will not damage the fabric. The wood ends dull quickly, like razor blades when working with this fabric. Lars mentions that you cannot remove glue that has been activated by heat, but I'm not sure about that yet. It seemed to me that I had some heat treated glue I removed by re-heating it slightly and putting my vinegar rag on it, followed by scraping. I'll have to test that theory out to be sure.

    The staining pad is next. They had HDX brand at the box store, but I've used other brands. It worked much better for me than all brushes I tried. You get a much a smoother coat, less brush strokes, no bubbles, and no deposits of glue that harden into tiny mountains. The glue nibs seem especially problematic when your gluing the top side of fabric to be covered by more fabric. Throw your pad into a container of water as soon as you are no longer applying glue if you don't have time to rinse it out. I've rinsed mine repeatedly and set them out to dry. They were good to go the next day.

    The last item is the chalk. I show it to say stay away from it. It was hard to find something to mark the cut lines on the fabric, as most markers bleed through, so I tried chalk. Great stuff, or so I thought, washed off with water easily, but the next day I found the chalk had bled through to the other side and had to be washed off again. At least no permanent markings remain.

    tools.jpg

    I would appreciate any tips you more experienced Oratex guys have discovered, especially for the problematic areas like sharp radii on curved structures, the transition to vertical fin from the dorsal stringer, etc. I have a ways to go.

    Lloyd

  33. #113

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    Hi everyone,

    Not building a Supercub (yet!) but a friend pointed me to this thread as I had some experience with Oratex. My dad and I finished my Challenger II airplane last October that I chose to cover using the Oratex 600. My dad had built his own Challenger II two years previously and had covered his with poly-fiber so we had a pretty good comparison as our planes are nearly identical.

    The biggest thing he noticed is that at first it seems tedious in the beginning with having to buff the aluminum, apply glue to the tubing, let dry, apply glue to the fabric, let dry, iron on, let dry, iron again, let dry, and then shrink. But then you're done! No poly-tak, poly coat, sanding and painting. No fumes, etc... In the end he thought we finished covering my plane in about 2/3 of the manhours that it took to cover his. We did the small stuff on the kitchen table and the big pieces in the shop without having to build a paint booth, wear respirators etc...It was also very easy to draft my wife, my mom and my uncle at various times to help out without having to worry about exposure to any chemicals.

    Things we learned along the way:
    - Make a practice frame and figure out the gluing, ironing and heat gun steps.
    - Make / find / print a Celsius to Fahrenheit temperature chart. Most of the instructions reference temperature in Celsius (but not all!), some of the tools display Celsius and some display Fahrenheit. We got confused more than once on what temperature to set the iron at versus the heat gun while reading through a couple of different sets of instructions.
    - Get the latest set of instructions from Lars and use just that one set. We confused our selves a few times by reading through the older factory manual, some online instructions, magazine articles and the white paper that came with the stuff we ordered.
    - Put a curve in the practice frame and play with how to stretch the fabric around it without getting the small creases in the corner. Our practice frame was square (easy!) and the first curve on the elevator caused a fair bit of frustration.
    - Beat the practice frame fabric with a hammer, poke it with a screw driver and figure out how to patch it (you'll be surprised at how hard and often you can hit it without doing more than dimpling the fabric) and how easy it is to fix with the heat gun.
    - Use the foam style paint brushes for applying the glue. Super easy to wash out and no bristle marks in the glue - very even application. And they're really cheap.
    - Use the blue painters masking tape for laying out where glue gets applied to the fabric. Very easy to keep glue at the right width and not have it extend past the edge of the tape or the overlap.
    - Get a small "shoe" style type of iron for working in the corners. The big digital iron that Oratex sells is very good but it's hard to work in the corners and on smaller diameter tubing. Save the big iron for the big areas.
    - Purchase at least two of the felt blades for use in rubbing down the fabric where it meets the tubing.
    - Do at least one piece (aileron, elevator, or rudder) all the way to completion to make sure you are getting the results you want then move on to assembly line style construction where you paint glue on everything, then tack down fabric, then the second layer of glue, etc... It goes very quick this way
    - Work in a warm shop or outside in warm conditions when ironing fabric on to the aluminum.
    - Work in cool conditions when shrinking the fabric as you'll be shrinking on to a frame that is slightly smaller rather than slightly larger. We figured this out as we had some wrinkles show up when the winter temperatures got down to about 15 degrees versus us shrinking the fabric when it was 80 degrees outside. Wrinkles went away with a few minutes of working the heat gun.
    - Don't be shy about calling Lars for advice on how to use the iron or heat gun, or glue or tape. He is very helpful - even 8 months after the sale!


    We used the non-pinked edge tape for covering of seams and taping over the rivets on the wing ribs. The plane has about 44 hours on it now and no signs of anything curling up or frayed edges. We did have to go back and re-shrink some of the fabric after a few flights in below freezing weather.

    Last thing I'll say about the plane is we figure it saved me about 12 to 14 lbs in total weight. I have more options on my plane versus my dad's and mine came in at 447 lbs empty versus his at 465 lbs empty. It is more expensive out of the box but it's lighter, it goes together quicker and seems like it is much more durable. Definitely not as shiny as a poly-fiber or Ceconite style paint job (very matte style finish) and harder to work in things like a starburst design and it doesn't seem quite as drum tight as poly-fiber but my performance numbers are as good as, and in many cases better than my dad's airplane.

    I'm happy to answer any questions about my experience with the fabric and share any of the pictures I have of the assembly process.

    Send me a private message on here if you want to talk on the phone and I'll get back to you in a day or two.

    Tony

  34. #114

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    Hi I am a newbie to this very hard to navigate blab session. I just covered my team Airbike wings used Oratex 600 antique color. 40 hours prep and glued. NEVER done fabric before or ever seen it done. 40 hours to prep to finish.��. Been flying 20 hours now tight as a drum!! Y'all keep blabbing!! I am flying...... Oratex was simply the best product for my demanding needs.....and time schedule. Guys I did this on my hangar floor with very basic tools. THANKS Lars!!

  35. #115

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    First timer!!

    Team Airbike Wings: from wings prepped to finished product- 40 hours BY MYSELF!! Oratex 600 antique color. Have 20 hours flight time now since May 1,2015. First time doing fabric of any type..... It has surpassed my expectations...... It does what it is represented to do.

    My Thanks to Lars and Paul for their help!!

  36. #116

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    Lloyd,

    i see see you have blue masking tape in your tool kit. If I may suggest using the regular beige/tan masking tape. My experience was the blue left a heavy residue and tended to bunch the fabric.

  37. #117
    Mauleguy's Avatar
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    I think this thread has actually been productive, information about what made it so easy, that is what can be helpful for those of us struggling with Oratex. 95 Team Airbike have you had to lay up tapes on a transition that is convex horizontal/vertical (like on the vertical of a Super Cub) or run tapes around the perimeter of elevators.

    I used 3" tape around the elevator and rudder, that was a big mistake hard to get all the puckers out. I should have used 2" it would have made my job much easier. That has to be planned before you get the point of putting the tapes on and for me it was to late to go back to 2"

    I used 3" down the stringer on the back of the Cub and 2" up the vertical with a 4" round patch to transition the 2 different size seam tapes at the convex point and it worked, not easy and it does not look great but it worked.

    I agree with whoever said start with the rudder it has most of the problems to be solved before you try any other part. It will be a tear off I am pretty sure but you will be glad you did. Flat panels for testing teach very little, really nothing.



    Greg

  38. #118
    Aktahoe Aktahoe's Avatar
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    Lots of good reading here. Getting ready to make my own decision as to the direction of fabric. Been leaning toward Oratex. This sure does look nice...the Glacier Cub...yes it has 2 1/2 lbs of black paint over the olive green fabric but boy does it shine

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zBjABC...ature=youtu.be

    AKT

  39. #119
    Cub junkie's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=95 Team Airbike;631537]Hi I am a newbie to this very hard to navigate blab session.

    Hard to navigate blab session? I think it's a thread with opinions of experienced airplane people discussing their views. Maybe blab is a term they use on the Airbike teen chat forum.

  40. #120

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    Guys it was supposed say blog not blab!! I just don't see why some who have problems don't ask questions about how to better their process. Instead they say the product is no good. I am glad I used my own intelligence instead of taking anyone's advice on this site. Good or bad comments I read them and weighed my options. And totally glad I made the Oratex choice. And just so you folks know I am an A&P and did this airframe up airbike rebuild all by myself.

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