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Thread: My Oratex experience

  1. #1

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    My Oratex experience

    I am almost done building a Super Stol XL (about the same size and gross wt as Super Cub)

    And I have covered it with Oratex and documented my experiences (good and bad) with lots of pictures on the Wings Forum.
    http://www.wingsforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=218&t=23987

    I thought some of you might be interested.

    I have covered the entire plane, ready to fly, for less than $5,000, using Oratex 6000.

    The Bigest benefit I can see (other than weight savings), is that if you need to make a repair, it is possible to remove the fabric and then put it back on - not easy, but possible. I have done it. Dont ask why.

    The ability to “reuse” the fabric makes the initial cost a MUCH greater value to me.
    The fact that I dont have to paint it is even better.
    Last edited by bda; 02-24-2019 at 11:52 AM.
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  2. #2

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    Please clarify the $5,000- does that price include all the material and supplies?
    Because, if it does, that’s a very good price!
    Thanks!
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  3. #3

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    Yes, that includes glue, fabric, tapes, etc...

    If you go through the whole thread it details it - page 8 and 9 I think.
    I used the factory blemished fabric to save 20%, and I used different than normal covering practices to save wasted fabric.

    The quality of Oratex glue allows for different attachment methods.
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  4. #4
    Olibuilt's Avatar
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    Thanks for clarification. Because last time I heard it was around 8500 $USD$ (around a million Canadian dollars now days...)

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    I got a quote to do my fuselage and tailfeathers only (wings are done in Stewart’s) and they quoted $3750 using the 20% reduced flawed fabric. Included tapes and everything.
    Last edited by Dan Gervae; 02-24-2019 at 05:53 PM.
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gervae View Post
    I got a quote to do my fuselage and tailfeathers only (wings are done in Stewart’s) and they quoted $3750 using the 20% reduced flawed fabric. Included tapes and everything.
    Dan,
    that is why I posted this.
    the QUOTE for my plane was 9,700

    They quote for the number of yards of fabric you would use of conventional fabric, sometimes it is possible to do it with less - if you are creative.
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  7. #7

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    I spent 8700 which included 700 to prime the wings using the blemished fabric on a ex cub

  8. #8

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    bda: have you covered a complete aircraft before, using legacy methods, complete with finish paint? If not, let me tell you, you saved a LOT of time and money! I compare using Oratex to using wood paneling:hang it up and you're done. Traditional coverings, like first hanging drywall, THEN having to tape it, THEN sand and texture it, THEN you paint it multiple coats. A crude analogy but illustrative I believe. So you saved all that time and labor, plus the need for a paint booth etc., AND it's lighter?!! So what if it's more money, it's worth it.
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  9. #9

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    Ya, I dont paint, thats the main reason I chose Oratex.

    Being 25# lighter is a BIG Bonus Too!

  10. #10
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    I'm wondering how blemished the blemished fabric is. Is it significant? Could you please include a couple pics? Thanks.
    Gordon

    N4328M KTDO
    My SPOT: tinyurl.com/N4328M (case sensitive)

  11. #11

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    Gordon
    Every batch is different I hear, mine had 3 large (1”) lumpy spots that were marked by the factory on the edge. There were other very small ones that were almost not noticeable.
    have spoken with others that had similar to that , and some that were worse and were not happy.
    Very happy with mine.
    if you paint it wont matter.
    I was careful to cut out the big ones mostly when I cut my pieces.
    Lots of pictures if you follow the link, page 10 or 11 I think.
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  12. #12

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    I'm looking at Oratex 6000 and Hipec, mainly as non-toxics, for a project. I've read everything available on Oratex but not as familiar with Hipec. Observations appreciated.

  13. #13

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    Hipec, That is a name I have not heard in years, they have been quiet, there was a thread here many years back,

    I can not get the link to work to this Sept 2005 post, 25709-Hipec-covering-system

  14. #14
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Hipec https://www.hipecaircraftcoatings.com/
    No rib stitching????? Is this what killed Steve Whitman when the fabric peeled off his wings?
    N1PA

  15. #15
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    Hipec https://www.hipecaircraftcoatings.com/
    No rib stitching????? Is this what killed Steve Whitman when the fabric peeled off his wings?
    But he put it on the same way he had always done cotton, no base dope


    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"

  16. #16
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    The "no rib stitching" part gives me the shivers. Long ago at Sun-N-Fun I was watching a Stearman "look-a-like" airplane with a one piece top wing doing an aerobatic show when I noticed a piece of fabric flapping at the top forward left corner of the upper wing. In about the time it takes to perform a loop the fabric lifted progressively across the entire span of the leading edge peeling back towards the trailing edge. All of the fabric on the top wing stood straight up like a wall at the trailing edge. The pilot kept pulling the nose up trying to maintain altitude while he flew away from the airport where he bailed out leaving the plane to crash and burn. I do not have any idea of what fabric system he used but whatever it was came off like ripping open an envelope.
    N1PA

  17. #17

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    If I am correct O&O was covered with Polyfiber. I do not know if the failure was due to solar degradation or some issue during covering.

    I had not seem Glenn's post before writing.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olibuilt View Post
    Thanks for clarification. Because last time I heard it was around 8500 $USD$ (around a million Canadian dollars now days...)

    Your red cub isn’t covered with oratex? Your red is similar to oratex red


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  19. #19
    Olibuilt's Avatar
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    No. Superflite fabric and some bulldozer flexible paint.


  20. #20

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    I just finished covering the interior with the Oratex - Yes I know I should have done that first.
    Changed my mind, I have not been impressed with reg fabric on the interior of bagage area before - but this is different.

    This Oratex is so tough and virtually no weight, it makes the perfect bagage / interior finish material.
    They really should market it that way.

    Turned out really nice, at least for an amatuer
    I posted pics at the above link.

  21. #21

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    Hipec is single part moisture cure silver urethane paint, which is, I swear, identical to Trailer-Cote silver paint. I did a biplane with it in 1990, haven't been back. The tapes take forever to dry. Can't push the pinked edges down and move on, they'll curl before cure, which might be an hour, or more. Fortunately I had some semi symmetrical shape on the bottom so lots of tension saved the day. Don't know how you'd do it on a flat bottom. The glue is miserable stringy brown industrial glue, just use the Stits glue. So I don't know if Hipec sells anything useful, but I haven't checked in lately.
    What killed Steve Whitman was that he persisted in using nitrate to attach fabric to the wings, even as he went up in power and speed. Stits glue would have held better on dacron.
    What's a go-around?

  22. #22

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    I had to patch a hole yesterday on the interior fabric, about 2” x 2” with puckered fabric.

    So I cut the wrinkles lengthwise, slid a tongue depressor in from one end to support the other end pieces while ironing the tape over.

    Start to finish about an hour total, color matched, no painting.
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  23. #23

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    Oratex worked well for me. I built my Carbon Cub in a city-owned hangar where paint spraying was strictly verboten.
    The lack of nasty solvents was a definite plus too.
    DSC_0711.jpg
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  24. #24

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    I'm building a Backcountry super cub and was thinking about using Oratex, when covering fuselage did you just glue on one side and then the other or did you make an envelope and then glue it on.
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  25. #25
    gntw's Avatar
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    My son and I just did a pa-12 with all the mods. New airframe last one built from Dakota airframes.used oratec took 12 days to do whole aircraft. 2 days to do last wing . Don’t know how to post pictures but came out excellent.if u want pictures or info private message.leaving tomorrow for anchorage tomorrow then to Valdez
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    Quote Originally Posted by 96chevtruck View Post
    I'm building a Backcountry super cub and was thinking about using Oratex, when covering fuselage did you just glue on one side and then the other or did you make an envelope and then glue it on.
    On the Carbon Cub I used three blankets. Two sides from the bottom longeron and bonding to the top stringer (you wouldn't normally end at a stringer but the CF stringers on the Carbon Cub can take a bit of tension).
    The third blanket was on the belly and overlapping the sides about 2".

  27. #27
    gntw's Avatar
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    On the 12 we used. 2 sheets glued to top stringer and lower longeron.airframe has welded stringers . Has full metal belly.worked good.

  28. #28
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Albery View Post
    On the Carbon Cub I used three blankets. Two sides from the bottom longeron and bonding to the top stringer (you wouldn't normally end at a stringer but the CF stringers on the Carbon Cub can take a bit of tension).
    The third blanket was on the belly and overlapping the sides about 2".
    Actually you ALWAYS use the stringer. The method you did is the normal way planes are covered.


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  29. #29

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    96 chevy
    I used 2 sheets and went top stringer to bottom Stringer.

    the Oratex glue is good enough to do things a little different.

    This way saves about 16’ length of fabric- or $800

    I used 1 piece for each wing as well

  30. #30
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Albery View Post
    The third blanket was on the belly and overlapping the sides about 2".
    Nothing wrong with what you did. Normally the bottom is done first and then the sides to hide the overlapping seams underneath out of sight.
    N1PA
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  31. #31

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    The stuff seems to this outside observer to be winning you guys over, slowly yeah, but it seems to be happening. Enough anyway, along with the personal comments I've heard from others who have used it, to make me almost wish I could have an excuse to use it. But try as I can, my plane remains in one piece and in no need of a major repair/rebuild.

    I do need to sell my one time used outside air supplier respirator mask setup, as if and when I do recover anything it will be with Oratex, I'm sold enough to give it a shot.
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  32. #32

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    I will stick with polyfiber until the oratex gets about 50 years of abuse in the field, at least I will have a known product when working on customers aircraft...
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  33. #33

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    I hear you, one reason my plane is holding up so well is I used PolyFiber/Stits process, all I know, its served me well 5 planes now.and I'd do the same in your situation. But for a kitplane, for my old ass self, I m not looking that far down the road! Quick and dirty works for me, if it saves weight and the laborius time consuming coatings process, and doesn't blow off first flight, I'm in.
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  34. #34
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    The other thing about oratex is they want you to wax it. Many times. And from now on you are stuck rewaxing it for life. We got away from paint that needed waxing 30+ years ago. Did they count that in on their weight calculations??


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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    Nothing wrong with what you did. Normally the bottom is done first and then the sides to hide the overlapping seams underneath out of sight.
    The guys at Oratex recommend the bottom skin last. Reason being is you can heat the glue line and fold back the skin, cleanout or repair / inspect what you need to and re-apply the same skin back into place. The skin is thin enough it is hard to see the edge.
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  36. #36
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieN View Post
    The guys at Oratex recommend the bottom skin last. Reason being is you can heat the glue line and fold back the skin, cleanout or repair / inspect what you need to and re-apply the same skin back into place. ..
    "premature optimization is the root of all evil"(knuth?)....

    and besides that that's ugly, only seen one person do that in 30+ years... and did i mention its ugly too???

    you can always just pop an inspection panel/ring onto existing belly fabric if the need arises..

  37. #37
    skukum12's Avatar
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    Wax it once as year. Makes for easy bug, dirt, exhaust and stain removal. The wax gives a bit of luster to the Otx finish.

    Also you can add an inspection ring anytime during the planes lifetime. Clean the area, sper glue a plastic ring, cut hole, done. No doilly required.
    "Always looking up"
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  38. #38

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    I do like the easy inspection hole ability!!

    As I understand it from Lars, the bottom fabric last idea was for ease of repair etc. the tapes are really good at hiding the seam.
    but I put mine on the bottom stringer, hid the seam AND saved 16’ of fabric.

    Also the wax is for those that want the Oratex to be somewhat shiney, like painted fabric.

  39. #39

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    Not having to smell MEK sounds good to me. After two Pitts rebuilds and loss of many brain cells this sounds good to me. Oh did I mention sanding sanding and sanding

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