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Gear Leg Cover?

bob turner

Registered User
I like to think I am ok with fabric, but I am starting to have tape failures on Ceconite and Stitts-covered gear legs. Particularly bad on the 160 Super Cub, but even the J-3s seem to have failures underneath after a thousand hours or so.

Any suggestions? I haven’t tried the Stewart’s glue on the tapes yet, except for repairs.
 
Covered my gear on a 160 hp. It looked great for 100 hrs. Used heavy fabric and wide tapes. It’s un covered now.


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I like to think I am ok with fabric, but I am starting to have tape failures on Ceconite and Stitts-covered gear legs. Particularly bad on the 160 Super Cub, but even the J-3s seem to have failures underneath after a thousand hours or so.

Any suggestions? I haven’t tried the Stewart’s glue on the tapes yet, except for repairs.

I've used AirTech on several cubs/pawnees and have used their adhesive for other fabric repairs. I love their glue.
UA 55 Adhesive with RA4000 Reducer ( or Acetone )
www.airtechcoatings.com
 
I used Airtec. Use minimal paint and primer to keep the coating thin. So far, it is holding up quite well.

Bill
 
The Airtec cement appears to be related to Poly Tak or Super Seam cement - but better by a good amount? So don't put tapes down with Poly Brush; glue them with the Airtec cement?

Looks like they only sell it in quart sizes?
 
There's lots of prop blast working the gear fabric. Up here the gear cover may last a winter, or two, even with a couple of mid-span stitches through reinforcing patches. Ringworm followed by tapes delaminating.

Gary
 
Aluminum?
I tried this as a go-fast mod a few years ago.
Clam shell aluminum covers, similar to Husky. I added a bit of airfoil shape via formed ribs.
not sure I gained any speed over fabric covering. Couple advantages though; it’s removable, can be done without removing gear leg, required less time than fabric covering and has held up really well over 1000 hrs of operation.

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Just a thought..
 

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What’s the benefit, perceived or real, to keeping the gear legs covered?


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I used Airtec. Use minimal paint and primer to keep the coating thin. So far, it is holding up quite well.

Bill

It's a simple process. Glue fabric, shrink, primer, paint. I'm with Bill on the minimal paint & primer. Used less than recommended. My cub is going on
23 yrs. now and still looks great......only a few small cracks behind the horizontal stab. leading edges.
 
My fabric is now over a half century old. Gear legs are only ten years, and done in nitrate/butyrate. Tapes are slowly coming off underneath. Rest of the airplane shows well - still see my reflection in the acrylic enamel finish. Cracks here and there, but still pretty good.

But the Super Cub is the embarassment - the shop took the legs off and gave them to me. I really took care that all tapes were well glued, and yet, three years later they look horrible. I used to be good at this.
 
About 3 mph.

Bill
I was hoping for that on my -12, but unfortunately and surprisingly it just didn't happen for me. MAYBE 1 or 2 MPH. I used Oratex. It's holding up well physically, although I haven't been able remove the staining from the exhaust.
 
Just to be picky - - I DO agree with the idea of a faired trailing edge, but I don't think we care about the oscillating nature of Von Karman vortices in this case, because this isn't a vibration difficulty. We care about the turbulent low-pressure zone behind the tubes - i.e. drag.
 
Just to be picky - - I DO agree with the idea of a faired trailing edge, but I don't think we care about the oscillating nature of Von Karman vortices in this case, because this isn't a vibration difficulty. We care about the turbulent low-pressure zone behind the tubes - i.e. drag.

Reducing the differential of the low pressure zone reduces the turbulent low pressure zone, drag, and the vortices created downstream. Egg and chicken re conservation of energy. Similar...wing tips on modern commercial aircraft that improve fuel mileage via the effects of tip vortex reduction.

Gary
 
If it results in a cruise speed increase, it also means you have (slightly) increased range, better climb, and better glide. Fairing the TE is a given, covering the legs without fairing the TE is missing the boat. They had this figured out in the '20's, maybe the teens, when they didn't have any excess power to throw away.
 
I haven't tried that, but I have tried 101 fabric and 4" 101 tapes. I wonder if a layer of Barge cement would help? It seems to be compatible with Stitts.
 
I like to think I am ok with fabric, but I am starting to have tape failures on Ceconite and Stitts-covered gear legs. Particularly bad on the 160 Super Cub, but even the J-3s seem to have failures underneath after a thousand hours or so.

Any suggestions?

Just one word: cotton. There’s a great future in cotton; ‘nuff said.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMtLdE5Zq-8

The Ag-Cats my friend used to work on routinely blew the tapes off the tail. I gave him a couple of rolls of cotton tape to use and the loose tape problem went away.

HT
 

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Has anyone made or know where to obtain CAD/3d print files for fairings? One of the latest Trent Palmer videos he 3d printed fairings for the kitfox. Interesting idea and should be easy to do once you have the design.


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Has anyone made or know where to obtain CAD/3d print files for fairings? One of the latest Trent Palmer videos he 3d printed fairings for the kitfox. Interesting idea and should be easy to do once you have the design.


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I never learned how to do that computer stuff. Have always measured, laid out, cut and fit.
 
3D Printing is still coming hard and will be much of our future. It has more capabilities currently than most of us know.
That said, unless you farm out the printing, the table size to print a complete gear leg fairing is larger than anything I’ve seen available in the “personal” printer market.
I’m sure NASA and Boeing have one… and who knows, maybe send cut send…

Would be interesting to see what someone could do with Kydex, and then look at exterior durability and lifespan over a few thousand hours.

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It is possible to print in sections and melt/glue the sections together, or just fasten each 10-12” long section individually. The 3d metal printing is really fascinating and when the cost comes down it will open a new world of designs. Formerly solid metal pieces can be printed with honeycomb structures internally, things that wouldve required a 5 axis CNC, etc will be able to be printed. I think space X is printing lots of their rocket components.


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Just one word: cotton. There’s a great future in cotton; ‘nuff said.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMtLdE5Zq-8

The Ag-Cats my friend used to work on routinely blew the tapes off the tail. I gave him a couple of rolls of cotton tape to use and the loose tape problem went away.

HT

Twenty+ years ago our local fabric guy recovered a S2 Pitts in cotton. Thats what the customer wanted. Said it held up better doing Acro

Glenn
 
Worth a try! These things are kept inside.

On the 3D printing, I am a model steam locomotive nut, and anxiously await brass printing. We can do plastic, and then lost-wax brass, but still, somebody has to write the code.

For landing gear fairing, cheaper and easier to use balsa wood.
 
So, HT - should I try a pair with Grade A throughout, or just the tapes? Where can I buy fresh Grade A - drapery stores?
 
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