Covering with Fabric

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Postby JPXman » Fri Apr 15, 2005 12:38 pm

when you add the doubler be sure to bend the edges of the doubler up for extra strength. just riveting on a flat piece won't do much for ya. make the piece like a really wide U-channel with about 1/8" on the edge bent up. do it in your vice.
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Postby Shannon » Sat Apr 16, 2005 9:25 am

Covering your wings with fabric calls for yet more considerations. According to one long time Lazair pilot with first-hand fabric experience you must attach the fabric to the D-cells differently than how you would Tedlar or Mylar. There are some indications that fabric attached to the trailing edges of the D-cell (top and bottom) can fail unexpectedly. I was told that the fabric must wrap over the entire D-cell, overlap at the front, and be seamed with tape.

Here's the warning I was given:

"CAUTION---CAUTION. It is NOT a good idea to attach fabric that way. I know Two people who tried it and FAILED. Did I ever tell you about a guy who flew his Lazair back to the field with five panels blown off. He had to come in at almost full throttle but he got it down with no damage. Will that was one of them who tried gluing the fabric to the top of the D-cell. The other one was from North Carolina, He was not so lucky. He tried to land in a field and bent the plane bad. Neither pilot were injured."

Though I don't know for sure I suspect this Maroon and White Lazair is the one heavily damaged in the above warning.
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Postby Shannon » Sat Apr 16, 2005 10:11 am

Yep.... you guessed it. More to think about. Like anything related to Lazair covering, set-up, maintenance, and operations you get differing opinions and ideas on nearly every issue. Fabric covering is no exception. Who's right ? Who's wrong ? Who knows, Who cares ? It is definitely up to you, me, whomever to make our own personal decisions on what best, safe, and proper. Basically, you decide.

Some advise that top and bottom rib capstrips must be utilized as a "safety precaution" to provide a "rip-stop" should covering failure occur. Others insist that "their" particular covering system eliminates the need for rib capstrips and they elect not to have them. Others still suggest rib-stitching of the ribs is required. Who's right, you decide.

Another thing to think about are the placement of "inspection ports" in the fabric. They are installed so you can access and view vital componets in key areas with the removal of a small cover. Probably a good idea.
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Postby Shannon » Sat Apr 16, 2005 7:28 pm

Wingtip covered in 2.7oz Poly-Fiber 10 years ago. Still good as new.
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Postby ozzie » Sun Apr 17, 2005 2:43 am

original lazairs were covered in fabric it was made as a one piece "sock" sewn along the trailing edge and then pulled on glued onto the ribs and each end and then painted. i'd do the ribstich thing as we had heaps of problems with the fabric lifting off the ribs. we ended up solving the whole fabric hassel with a mylar kit then just the top surface painted for looks.

BTW just waiting for carby rebuild kits to arrrive from usa then hopefully if that was the prob i will fly my lazair next weekend (no promises tho)
BLUE SKIES AND FULL TANKS
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Postby Shannon » Mon Apr 18, 2005 8:48 am

Great, a bit of history and the opinion to do some rib-stitching. Dale Kramer was asked what he thought about fabric covering and here's what he said in brief.

Archived from an Old Lazair Newsletter:
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Postby Shannon » Mon Apr 18, 2005 9:06 am

A fabric covered Lazair can look quite nice when decorated with stripes and designs. One idea is to use stick-on vinyl graphics rather than painted patterns, stripes, ect.. for decoration.
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Postby Shannon » Thu Apr 21, 2005 8:35 pm

One important aspect of fabric covering is the weight issue. The exact final weight with "fabric" has been quite controversial for a good while now. Some report huge weight gains (as much as 15lbs) while others report only a modest gain (Coatings&Paint) with their particular covering. A little later (when I get the chance) I'll weigh an aileron covered in 1.7oz Poly-fiber (sealed with Poly Brush, UV coated with Poly-Spray, and painted with Auto paint) and see how it stacks up against a plain old Tedlar covered aileron. Should be interesting.

Anyone with a fabric covered plane please feel free to chime with your opinion on total weight added or anything else you care to share.

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Postby jb88ci » Mon May 02, 2005 9:50 am

pictures to date....i foam brushed on 2 very thinned cross coats of exterior latex primer. I then sprayed 1 cross coat of primer followed by a cross coat of gloss latex.

It's still a little thin, i can see through it when i hold the panels up to a bright light.

Today i wet sanded with 400 grit and picked up some high gloss interior/exterior. I'll spray on 2 cross coats to start and see what develops. Spraying with HVLP from a turbine still put it on very light.
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Postby Guest » Mon May 02, 2005 12:10 pm

Any advice for a fabric job about 10 years old that I purchased but hasn't been flown in 5 years..?
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