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  • Oratex fabric covering

    Does anyone have any history with Oratex fabric covering? I'm thinking of using it on the L-2 wings. I really don't need fourth-hand opinions gleaned at the coffee shop, just facts. I will have it done by a professional shop since I know nothing about the application process. Oratex sounds too good to be true. Is it?

    Bob Picard
    Bob Picard
    N48923 L-2B Skis/Wheels
    N6346M Stinson 108-3 Floats/Skis/Wheels
    Anchor Point, Alaska TF#254

  • #2
    I haven't worked with the process but did check it out while making covering decisions for CF-CLR. I have spent time each year at their exhibit at OSH.

    As with all of the available processes, the finished result is heavily dependent on the person doing the work and how much time he/she is willing to spend on the details.

    I think it may be an option if you're objective is purely utility, though it hasn't been around long enough for us to really know about durability.

    If you're concerned about appearance, you need to consider that all the joints remain visible, there is no blending opportunities that you have with other systems (no fill coats, UV coats, top coats to iron or fair to get a good finish). Think about that as it applies to joints, fitting fabric around fittings, inside corners, fin-to-fuselage joints etc. These are the things I noticed when looking at their display parts and airplanes (of course I have a problem in that I notice these things, whereas others are fortunate enough not to be concerned).

    So, I would certainly be interested in following your project if you decide to go that root (actually regardless of which system you choose). I think the Oratex concept has potential to extend the life of fabric aircraft because of the labour savings in returning the aircraft to serviceable condition.
    Scott
    CF-CLR Blog: http://c-fclr.blogspot.ca/

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    • #3
      I have worked with a sample only. I think it is a good process, and would not hesitate to use it on the right project. It is not the process you want if originality is your goal. If I were going to build up a modern day Taylorcraft trainer of sorts I would give it serious consideration. I think in applications where weight is a major consideration it has a distinct advantage.

      If you are paying someone to do the work the cost may be about the same. If you are doing the work yourself conventional covering systems will be more cost effective. I think the cost for learning the process might be a little higher than most would be willing to pay, but do not know for sure.
      Last edited by 3Dreaming; 04-14-2019, 12:54.

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      • #4
        Found this link from the Supercub.org forum:

        http://www.wingsforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=218&t=23987

        The guy is up the coast from you at Kenai.

        I just glanced at it so I don't know how informative it is.
        Last edited by woodmw; 04-14-2019, 16:08. Reason: Added last line.

        Mike Wood
        Montgomery, TX
        '46 BC12D
        N44085 #9885

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        • #5
          Its nothing more than a supersized version of Monocoat. I thought about this process 25 years ago and thought it might work in the right application where someone just needed a utility type finish. Its going to take someone with ALOT of experience to get a show quality finish out of it.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Ragwing nut View Post
            Its nothing more than a supersized version of Monocoat. I thought about this process 25 years ago and thought it might work in the right application where someone just needed a utility type finish. Its going to take someone with ALOT of experience to get a show quality finish out of it.
            It is more like aircraft fabric than Monocoat.

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            • #7
              Solartex. Or the prepainted Coverite.

              Mike Wood
              Montgomery, TX
              '46 BC12D
              N44085 #9885

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              • #8
                In Alaska, with the cold winters, I would stick with Polyfiber, just because it is proven and is easy to repair if you use polytone.
                N29787
                '41 BC12-65

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by astjp2 View Post
                  In Alaska, with the cold winters, I would stick with Polyfiber, just because it is proven and is easy to repair if you use polytone.
                  While Oratex has not been around as long as Poly Fiber, it has been placed in some pretty extreme environments. BTW, Oratex is also very easy to repair.

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                  • #10
                    Well Tom, you are more than welcome to be the guinnea pig, personally, I canít afford to experiment on a customers airplane
                    N29787
                    '41 BC12-65

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                    • #11
                      I probably will if and when I find the right airplane. When I do I will post here. I spent quite a bit of time researching it for my son's glider project. He decided to go with poly Fiber on the glider primarily because of cost. A 16 year old has lots of time and not so much money. The Oratex cost quite a bit more for materials, but it takes 1/3 the labor.

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                      • #12
                        I will be talking to them at the Great Alaska Aviation Gathering in Anchorage early next month. I hope to get some answers to some basic questions like "if rib stitching is required, how do you do it in a material you can't see through when the needle comes up from the backside?" I will probably start with something like having the ailerons for my Stinson done in it and see if I like the results. I have seen an all black Super Cub in Anchorage and from not too far a distance it looked stunning. I was later told that it was Oratex covered. If I see it again, I will definitely look it over more closely. My goal is the ultimate substantial weight saving, since the larger fuel tanks I'm installing will eat up some of my useful load when filled.
                        Bob Picard
                        N48923 L-2B Skis/Wheels
                        N6346M Stinson 108-3 Floats/Skis/Wheels
                        Anchor Point, Alaska TF#254

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 3Dreaming View Post

                          While Oratex has not been around as long as Poly Fiber, it has been placed in some pretty extreme environments. BTW, Oratex is also very easy to repair.
                          I think you are thinking of something else. Oratex is a recent product (so much so that their "representatives" at Oshkosh two years ago could not string two coherent English sentences together.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Robert Lees View Post

                            I think you are thinking of something else. Oratex is a recent product (so much so that their "representatives" at Oshkosh two years ago could not string two coherent English sentences together.
                            Oh, then it's an American company.
                            Last edited by drude; 04-15-2019, 15:29. Reason: grammar

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Robert Lees View Post

                              I think you are thinking of something else. Oratex is a recent product (so much so that their "representatives" at Oshkosh two years ago could not string two coherent English sentences together.
                              "While Oratex has not been around as long as Poly Fiber"

                              Yep, I think the translation of the German thoughts in his head to English words gets a little discombobulated.

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