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Thread: Cloth Survival in Open Storage

  1. #1

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    Cloth Survival in Open Storage

    Like a lot of areas, hangars around here are in short supply. I'm on two waiting lists, which are both estimated at being on the order of 3-4 years long. But I want a Cub. What cloth covering maintenance headaches am I opening myself up for with a simple tarmac tie down storage option? And are there any suggested mitigation actions?

    Thanks,
    Alan

  2. #2
    55-PA18A's Avatar
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    Cloth?

    Where is "here"? Makes a difference.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by 55-PA18A View Post
    Cloth?

    Where is "here"? Makes a difference.
    Very good point, and thanks for pointing that out. North Georgia mountains, so no salt air, but somewhat high summer temps and humidity. I’m setting aside the chances of thunderstorms since that would affect aluminum planes as well as tube and cloth aircraft.

    Alan

  4. #4
    Crash, Jr.'s Avatar
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    It's a stupid thing to correct someone for but we call it "fabric" covering not cloth.

    Fabric covered planes stored outside are not that big a deal. Just make sure the cub you buy has a fabric covering that is still in good shape without any open cuts, tears, holes, or places where the paint has peeled off. Lots of cubs parked outside up here in Alaska. Sure it will shorten the overall life of the covering but we are still talking many, many years of covering life.

    My J3 was recovered in 1993 and then rejuvenated and repainted some time in the early 2000's and while the paint job sucks the fabric is still tight and well protected. Never been in a hangar, probably not ever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash, Jr. View Post
    It's a stupid thing to correct someone for but we call it "fabric" covering not cloth.

    Fabric covered planes stored outside are not that big a deal. Just make sure the cub you buy has a fabric covering that is still in good shape without any open cuts, tears, holes, or places where the paint has peeled off. Lots of cubs parked outside up here in Alaska. Sure it will shorten the overall life of the covering but we are still talking many, many years of covering life.

    My J3 was recovered in 1993 and then rejuvenated and repainted some time in the early 2000's and while the paint job sucks the fabric is still tight and well protected. Never been in a hangar, probably not ever.
    Terminology is important. Thanks for reminding me. Sloppy talk usually leads to sloppy thinking. And I appreciate your personal experience with fabric covered aircraft.

    Alan

  6. #6
    JimParker256's Avatar
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    The difference between sitting outdoors in Alaska versus sitting outdoors in the South is the number of thunderstorms that are likely to pound your aircraft with hail. Here in the greater Dallas area, thunderstorms are a near-daily occurrence during half the year. We have 4-5 storms each year that shower golf-ball sized hail (and bigger!) down on us.

    The news report recently showed an area covered with hailstones the size of baseballs. Even the golf ball sized hailstones can break auto windshields, and can put dents in steel roofs - to the extent that homeowners insurance here contains a "cosmetic damage exclusion" clause (they won't repair / replace your roof just because it looks like a golf ball).

    Aluminum aircraft that don't have padded covers suffer damage every time one of those passes. A fabric-covered airplane stored outside on a tie-down would likely resemble swiss cheese after such a storm. Even with brand new fabric covering, I would NOT tie down outside.
    Jim Parker
    2007 Rans S-6ES

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    Up to about quarter size hail, fabric will fare better than aluminum. Beyond that, it’s anybody’s guess. I’ve had airplanes parked outside in the mid Hudson valley (NY) and never had an issue with hail on fabric while most aluminum airplanes kept outside had visible hail marks.


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    Quote Originally Posted by JimParker256 View Post
    The difference between sitting outdoors in Alaska versus sitting outdoors in the South is the number of thunderstorms that are likely to pound your aircraft with hail. Here in the greater Dallas area, thunderstorms are a near-daily occurrence during half the year. We have 4-5 storms each year that shower golf-ball sized hail (and bigger!) down on us.
    I understand hail. The original question was aimed at whether, at age 70, I should wait 3-4-5 years to get a hangar before I look for an airplane. I didn’t want to phrase it that way, but essentially that is the real question. Anyone have another suggestion for a Cub-sized flying itch that doesn’t involve building a plane?

    Alan

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    Crash, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Just buy a plane and worry about the hangar later. You'll end up meeting people out flying and make connections that can lead you to a hangar faster than sitting on a waiting list.
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    You may find that owning an airplane moves you up on the hangar list too—sometimes a hangar comes up as available but if the person on the list can’t fill it with an airplane, it goes to the next person that can.

    I heard tales of a lengthy list at my home airport but I kept the airport manager informed of my purchase process so he knew it was happening and only had to wait a week. I also wanted a year-round hangar and some tenants here only hangar during the winter, so spots were opening up as it was spring when my airplane came home.

    My airport also has private hangars available but the airport manager has no visibility to availability of those hangars, so finding out who owns what, where is helpful.

    Good luck! I brought my Cub home with about half a plan and it worked out. I distinctly remember landing and sitting on the tire outside the terminal and thinking, “Now what??”

    —Amy
    Proud owner of a collection of airplane pieces (sometimes in one big piece) known as the Oklahoma Kid.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AV8R_1951 View Post
    North Georgia mountains, so no salt air, but somewhat high summer temps and humidity.

    Alan;

    I owned a Cessna 140 when I lived in North Georgia. With 8.00 X 6 tires I went pretty much anywhere I wanted to go 90% of the time anyway. In 17 years of ownership ( tied down outside at Jefferson and then later Monticello) I never had any Hail damage. I'd say get something metal, fly the heck out of it, and then get the cub when you get the hangar.

    If you're looking for a cub, contact Walt Clark in Youth, Georgia. He lives on a private field between Loganville and Social Circle. He'll help you out and is a wealth of cub information. Alternately or if you're looking for something metal, you could contact Jim Moore. Last I heard he still had a shop on Monticello. He's "good people" and will do you right. He'll help you find something and then help you maintain for a reasonable price - if you're "good people" too. I used to spend all my spare time at Jim's shop and I have trusted him with my life many times and wouldn't hesitate to do so again. He's good to know no matter what you're planning in aviation in Georgia.

    Best of luck with the search. Please keep the list up to date. And for the record, I entirely agree with and support your idea that time is something no one can afford to waste, but older folks even more so. I'm working that same premise myself these days. Go get something man! Get out there and fly something. Make it perfect later - just get to flying.

  12. #12

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    Thanks for the local contacts. I live in Winder. One of the attractions of Cubs is the community feel.

    Alan

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    Alan;

    Glad to help. And if community is your thing - make sure to get with Jim. Where ever he's working there's always "hangar bums". You know, those guys who live at the airport when they're not at work. I know because I used to be one. What a party!! I miss it - and the guys. Heck my wife even liked it when I brought her. My buddy John taught her how to crush a soda can and have it wind up perfectly round. She still talks about that sometimes. But the community is there with those guys no matter what you fly. We had all manner of planes and everybody helped everybody and we all laughed and joked like brothers.

    Best of luck with it.
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  14. #14
    phdigger123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amy View Post
    You may find that owning an airplane moves you up on the hangar list too—sometimes a hangar comes up as available but if the person on the list can’t fill it with an airplane, it goes to the next person that can.

    I heard tales of a lengthy list at my home airport but I kept the airport manager informed of my purchase process so he knew it was happening and only had to wait a week. I also wanted a year-round hangar and some tenants here only hangar during the winter, so spots were opening up as it was spring when my airplane came home.

    My airport also has private hangars available but the airport manager has no visibility to availability of those hangars, so finding out who owns what, where is helpful.

    Good luck! I brought my Cub home with about half a plan and it worked out. I distinctly remember landing and sitting on the tire outside the terminal and thinking, “Now what??”

    —Amy
    I am on the same airport as Amy. The official municipal list is long. Start hanging out at the airport and meeting people. Find out if there is a group of folks that meet for coffee. Join local groups. Network. Most likely you will get hangar space much quicker than just waiting on a list. Or build your own combination man cave/she shed hangar.

    Mike

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