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Polyfiber and Primer

scottly

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Last night I helped an old friend remove the covering from a Skybolt that was buiilt in 1984. I don't know if the fabric was the original, but I do know this: It was Stitts 2.7(?) Polyfiber. I don't know what kind of paint was used, but it did have clearcoat over the color.


Here are my observations: I was using a razor knife to cut this stuff. Unless I used the knife, I could not poke holes in it and had an EXTREMELY difficult time tearing it. Guys, this stuff is impressively tough. I've never seen a fabric that I couldn't snip with a blade then tear with my hands. When I cover my plane, this is the stuff I'm using...it's a no-brainer for me.




Now, one other observation.....this airplane had damage from rust. Not from the inside out, but from the outside in (had not penetrated yet). This airframe looked like it had been coated with automotive primer, red in color. There were many areas where the primer had worn through and the metal was rusting. One such place was the tail....the trim tabs were held on by sheet metal screws, stainless. In some, the metal had corroded enough around the holes for the screws to fall out.


In some places, I saw linseed oil coming out of some areas of tubing that had been drilled. So, they protected the inside but it appears they skimped on the primer on the outside....not smart.


other areas of rust were leading edges of the tail pieces, and it appears maybe the fabric vibrated through the primer.




it was a fun experience, and gave me some ideas as to how I am going to handle my fabric and metal protection.
 

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