Mylar

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Postby Chappy » Tue Jun 29, 2004 12:24 am

Guys,

My intent was not to try to get everyone to use Mylar, but all I hear is 'Oh whoa is me, I can't cover and fly my Lazair because I can't get any Tedlar." Everyone seems to think Mylar is totally unsuitable for use on a Lazair because the factory switched to Tedlar. The fact is that many people had good luck with it. Also consider this: one of the first two Lazairs built by the factory was covered in Mylar, the second one covered in painted fabric. The fabric covered one's higher weight, higher cost, lower performance, and increased work to assemble and complexity persuaded Dale and Peter to go with the Mylar. The switch to Tedlar (at a pretty hefty premium) kept most of Mylar's advantages over fabric, while solving the only real problem encountered with Mylar - it's short life WHEN LEFT EXPOSED TO UV. For those of us Lazair owners that virtually always kept our planes hangared or trailered when not being flown, Mylar gave/gives us good life, and therefore, great value. I keep my Lazair protected from the weather for lots of reason in addition to protecting the Mylar. And because I always have to trailer to my flying sites, my trailer is my hanger.

I thought I made it very clear that if you don't/can't keep your Lazair out of the weather and sun, don't consider using Mylar. If you can, it may be a viable option for you to use as a covering system on your Lazair.

The picture below was taken just recently of my wings. I last recovered them in 1984 (!) for an outside display at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum that summer (after my daughter broke out an upper panel by hitting it with her fist as hard as she could). Even though I could walk on the wings without the panels breaking, I decided to recover. I just now went out to my trailer and slapped the stuffings out of the wings, and nothing popped.

Although I keep it trailered, it has spent many hours flying in the sun, and many weeks tied down and exposed to the weather over the years, much of it in the Florida summer sun. Pretty good for crap, I'd say.

Chappy
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Postby Chappy » Tue Jun 29, 2004 12:35 am

Isn't it rather amazing, that with all the old Lazairs out there and such a talanted and bright bunch of owners, that no one has been able to come up with a really superior covering method to Tedlar that retains the original look of the plane?

Chappy
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Postby JPXman » Tue Jun 29, 2004 4:58 pm

Come on chappy, that is obviously a picture of a tiny lazair model in a toy trailer that you have spent weeks polishing and cleaning :) Holy smokes does that look good!
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Postby ozzie » Wed Jun 30, 2004 4:18 am

hi all., my phone line has been out of action for a few days and i was surprised to see all this about mylar vs tedlar and fabric.so i will add this.
the first lazair into australia was a fabric covered kit. it was a pain the top surface kept lifting off the ribs tried injecting glue under the fabric ,did not work. ended up doing a crude rib stich job worked but looked like crap, then the boss pranged it and used mylar to recover and with the marginal pioneers noticed as soon as i was airborne a BIG difference in rate of climb and increase in cruise. this may not be as noticable with the rotaxes excess horsepower. better vision upwards with the mylar too less chance of climbing into someone. i have some excess mylar and tedlar and did a test with both and the mylar is easier to handle tightens up easier and the tape sticks better. the tedlar has to be worked longer and with more patience. the tedlar wrinkeled with temp differences. the milkey appearence of tedlar made it look second hand right from the start. the factory recommended recovering the mylar top surface once a year and both surfaces every second year. the factory also put in a rediculas safety factor. in oz we have a real sun and we have the skin cancer rate to prove it. most lazairs here are still flying on the original covering of mylar and they still pass the slap and bash test. the one that was left all the time in the sun and weather did fall apart but it still took 5 years of constant exposure. the only hassell of recovering is removing the tape and glue , now that i know the trick of using steam and citrasolve to remove this i would be happy to recover as needed, if indeed every year. the cost factor between mylar and tedlar is huge so you could probably do several mylar coverings to one of tedlar, and as every man and his dog has looked under every rock to find tedlar and have had no luck mylar is the go. i have dropped the name tedlar and mylar and use the term polymer when searching as 20 yrs of development has gone by. they print our money on it and the little test frame i made has been covered with a 10 dollar note all taped down and then shrunk looks great and is VERY strong. i also made a few tests with chip packets that have a silver foil covering inside and these with the foil exposed works well these have been sitting on the roof of the shed for six months. then we have aerolam a bit thick but works ok available in different colours. if i was going to use fabric i would use the type that adam and ruth used with the adhesive on the inside good reports on this fabric but the paint is expensive and heavy for my pioneers. so it is not included for me. the only hassle about buying polymer is what it is used for and they ask what it is for as soon as you ask for quanity so lie your ass off. mylar is easiest to obtain as it is used in a lot of different areas mainly for laminating to protect the surface of the item it is used on including protection from grafittie on signs ect anti grafittie paint has a liquid polymer in it. so for me mylar is first/ tedlar first place loser and fabric did not even made it to the starting line. i learnt a long time ago that there is always an alternative but if i can still obtain mylar then why bang my head on a brick wall namley the 3m mob ,OZZIE
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Postby ozzie » Wed Jun 30, 2004 5:40 am

p.s. steam clean your dream
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Postby Lazair_guest_please_registerbill » Tue Aug 17, 2004 2:01 pm

I bought a Lazair a few months ago and am trying to recover it with mylar because I have a huge amount of it from an old kit from the 70's (anyone ever heard of a "Birdman TL-1"). My biggest question is, What adhesive should I use for mylar? Tha mylar is in 2 foot wide strips so I plan to install false ribs on 23" centers and wrap the 2 foot bands around (front to back). Any comments? PS I've tried to log in but I'm pretty internet challenged. Bill
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Postby rayjb60 » Tue Aug 17, 2004 2:28 pm

This is just my opinion, but, don't you think it would be cheaper, and safer to use
full chord width mylar and just apply tape at the ribs and perimeter.

The weakest part of the film attach method is the glue on the tape, so having many more tape seams appears to be unwise.

Also, since the mylar tapes cost about $30- $40 per 100', any saving in mylar is quickly lost in tape costs.

I just bought the 3M VHB foam tape for the ribs, at $30 per 100' need 2 roles and still need the perimeter tapes. Your Foam tape cost will be $60 more

The 2" Wide tape is about $50 need 2 rolls you will need at least 1 more roll

The double sided at $30 each requires 2 rolls you will need at least one more.

Thats $120 more tape at least if not more, and a weaker, heavier wing.

Your going to need, foam tape at every rib, then double sided to join adjacent layers and then one sided on top of both adjacent panels...thats a lot of tape every two feet, plus of course the perimeter edges.

I personally would advise against doing such a thing for cost, labor and safety reasons.

Thats my 2 cents worth.

To answer your question, you will need 1" myler tape that is 2 sided and a wider ~2" myler that is one sided, plus the foam 2 sided tape that goes over each rib.
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Postby Guest » Tue Aug 17, 2004 4:27 pm

I agree with Ray. DON"T DO IT!!! Get some full width Tedlar from John Nagy and do it right. If you blow out a panel in flight, the cost savings just went out with it...not to mention the risk to your life.

My two cents worth.

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Postby ozzie » Wed Aug 18, 2004 12:13 am

tedlar at 350 a roll is a bargan, buy it. cheap insurance
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Postby Billm » Thu Aug 19, 2004 1:44 pm

OK now that it looks like we can get Tedlar (from John Nagy) I think that I can do it normally which is what I really wanted to do originally.
Thanks for the comments.
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