fabric cover

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cap41
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fabric cover

#1 Post by cap41 » Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:37 am

Hello, I have only ever flown pipers and cessnas. I am now considering a homebuilt/experimental AC. Most have some parts that are fabric covers. I have always kept my AC outside. I figure at a minimum i will store over winter as a protection method. Does anyone have experience with leaving one outside in the summer. How would they fair in rain, wind, hail, anything i can do to mitigate the effects of the weather?
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Re: fabric cover

#2 Post by Posthumane » Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:23 pm

While I don't have any personal experience with them, many of the ultralights and homebuilts I've seen in my area are stored outdoors. Modern fabric covers stand up quite well to moisture. To help mitigate the effects of UV damage and other weather you can make yourself some wing/fuselage covers.
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cap41
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Re: fabric cover

#3 Post by cap41 » Tue Jun 24, 2014 5:58 pm

I would plan on wing covers etc. My biggest concern is hail.
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Re: fabric cover

#4 Post by Pop n Fresh » Thu Jun 26, 2014 12:48 pm

Sun in a way is worse than hail. If you get hail damage you will see the hole.

If it's sun damage you will never be sure how crispy the fabric is without testing a sample.
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Re: fabric cover

#5 Post by fleet16b » Thu Jun 26, 2014 1:55 pm

Have recovered more tha 30 aircraft in my time and owning only fabric covered aircarft, I would not recommend that you store a fabric covered airplane outside winter or summer.
At the very least find a T- Hanger to put it in.
This will save you much money and heartache in the long run
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Re: fabric cover

#6 Post by AirFrame » Thu Jun 26, 2014 4:28 pm

fleet16b wrote:Have recovered more tha 30 aircraft in my time and owning only fabric covered aircarft, I would not recommend that you store a fabric covered airplane outside winter or summer.
At the very least find a T- Hanger to put it in.
This will save you much money and heartache in the long run
Ditto. Having grown up at a grass field with many aircraft tied down and of different construction methods, I can say that the fabric-covered ones that sit idle all the time are the ones that fare the worst.

There are fabric airplanes that are well maintained, flown regularly, and tied down outside. They do quite well, but the paint shows its age very quickly, and the airplane quickly starts to "look" ratty even when it's still in otherwise great shape.
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Re: fabric cover

#7 Post by cap41 » Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:30 pm

it would be flown 2-3 times a week.
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Re: fabric cover

#8 Post by fleet16b » Fri Jun 27, 2014 1:53 pm

cap41 wrote:it would be flown 2-3 times a week.
At the very least put it in a T-Hanger
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Re: fabric cover

#9 Post by cgzro » Fri Jun 27, 2014 2:36 pm

A well done fabric job can last 25 years when hangared, outside probably 1/2 that. Fabric is even more expensive than an engine to redo properly so a hanger is definitely a big plus. Unlike an engine which can be swapped out in a weekend with an overhauled unit...fabric work will require months of down time. So that loss of use has to be factored into the costs too.

I think that summer is harder on fabric than winter, if you had to choose when to hangar. Ie more UV due to longer days (UV is what hurts fabric and plastic the most).
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Re: fabric cover

#10 Post by Bede » Sun Jul 20, 2014 2:47 am

On the other hand, think of how much a hangar costs over 25 years. Someone told me once it's cheaper to redo the fabric every 10-15 years than to pay for a hangar.
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Re: fabric cover

#11 Post by Nicolaselizas » Sat Oct 17, 2015 12:17 am

My biggest concern is hail
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Re: fabric cover

#12 Post by redlaser » Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:42 pm

Putting your aircraft in a T hangar is not always a good idea, Bird crap is the main concern, Do as I do, get some good quality wing covers with a UV liner to protect from the sun, wind and rain, snow in the winter, and make sure they have a snug fit,
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