FABRIC REPAIRS: YOU MUST KNOW WHAT'S INSTALLED
Before you repair fabric or touch up damaged paint, you must know what fabric covering system is installed on your airplane. If the logbooks are no help, you can easily determine what you have. Grade A cotton is no longer available and your airplane probably has one of the newer polyester fabric systems: Ceconite and Randolph dope, Stits Poly fiber, or either system topcoated with polyurethane paints.These systems are NOT interchangeable. All have their own procedure manual that among other things explains repairs. We offer these manuals. Once you identify what system your airplane has installed, ask us for the appropriate manual, it is essential to have in your bookshelf.
HOW TO IDENTIFY YOUR AIRPLANES COVERING SYSTEM
1. CECONITE FABRIC WITH NITRATE/BUTYRATE DOPE:
The color of the inside of the fabric (best viewed in the inside of the fuselage) is green or blue and will be stamped Ceconite in bold letters. The paint is not wet-look, high gloss, but rather satin. When the paint is rubbed with lacquer thinner or MEK, it comes off easily. A fabric sample burns readily.
2. STITS POLY-FIBER WITH POLY-TONE PAINT:
The color of the inside of the fabric (inside the fuselage) is pinkish gray and will be stamped with square stamps that say either Stits or Poly-Fiber. The paint is not wet-look, high gloss, but rather has a satin finish. when the paint is rubbed with toulene or MEK, it comes off easily. A fabric sample does not burn-it self extinguishes.
3. EITHER STITS POLY-FIBER OR CECONITE FABRIC W/POLYURETHANE PAINT:
The color of the inside of the fuselage will be as in 1 or 2 above, or possibly have a dark gray color. The paint will be wet-look, high gloss and will not be affected when rubbed with MEK, toluene, or any solvent. TOUCH-UP PAINT Aircraft paint is not interchangeable. If you need to touch up your topcoat paint, make sure you can identify what it is. Once you know the system, ask us for a color card for that system, then hold the card up to your airplane and find the closest matching color. Never buy paint by name only, your paint will change color on your airplane over time. After 5 years or so, there is little chance of getting a perfect match by name or brand.
Get a Color Card and hold it next to your paint. Touch up with closest color.
Call Poly Fiber at 1-800-362-3490 for technical help.
Please note, Aircraft Spruce's personnel are not certified aircraft mechanics and can only provide general support and ideas, which should not be relied upon or implemented in lieu of consulting an A&P or other qualified technician. Aircraft Spruce assumes no responsibility or liability for any issue or problem which may arise from any repair, modification or other work done from this knowledge base. Any product eligibility information provided here is based on general application guides and we recommend always referring to your specific aircraft parts manual, the parts manufacturer or consulting with a qualified mechanic.