Mike Patey has created a landslide of questions about double covering as he is using the process on “Scrappy” the 500+ horsepower Super Cub (sort of…) STOL drag aircraft. Double cover offers many advantages over the standard covering technique. Probably the most important is strength. Two layers of fabric are certainly stronger than one. It also tends to be a little more rigid which will help the coatings to last longer as they are flexing less.
Another huge advantage is a significant labor savings. It is far quicker to apply a second layer of fabric than to apply hundreds of yards of finish tape. Another advantage that will attract many people is the appearance. Without finish tapes, the fabric looks very sleek and modern.
From a legal standpoint on a certified aircraft, there is no issue as long as certified 102 fabric is used for the initial covering. The second layer of fabric that replaces the finish tapes from a legal standpoint IS the finish tape. There is no maximum width of a finish tape, only a minimum width. On an experimental aircraft, to save weight, two layers of 104 is acceptable and will be stronger than one layer of 102. Join John Hanson as he double covers a Smith Cub wing and see if it’s for you! If have questions, please email or call us, or if you would like to speak directly to John we can connect you. Be sure to watch part 2 also!
EkoPoxy primer is a waterborne, two-part catalyzed epoxy primer that is very easy to use, sands easily, has excellent corrosion protection and is very solvent resistant. We recommend using EkoPoxy on all firewall forward metal and composite components. It can be used anywhere except on fabric. It is ideal for the exterior of metal and composite aircraft where durability is a high priority, although EkoPrime can also be used in that application. This video explains the correct mixing procedure and application technique.
EkoFill is the primer that we use for fabric. It has many critical functions including UV protection of the fabric and fire suppression. It is a required component of the fabric covering system. This video explains why we use it an how to apply it.
Fabric covering on aircraft requires heat tautening of the polyester fabric. If fabric is not exposed to enough heat, under-tautening can be an issue, but if it is exposed to heat in excess of 375° F, the fabric will be permanently damaged and will need to be removed and replaced. This is why using a high-quality iron, and not a clothes iron, is extremely important. This video describes what irons we recommend as well as how to properly use them.
EkoPrime is an excellent single part primer that can be used on bare metal, fiberglass and composite surfaces, as well as over EkoFill on fabric if desired. It is very easy to use and sands very easily.
Removing Ekobond from an iron is very simple with our glue eraser. The eraser is also used to remove unwanted Ekobond from any surface such as the airframe, you fingers, or fabric. Be sure to include an eraser with your order!
This video discusses our three primers, what they can be used for and what they cannot, as well as the specific advantages and disadvantages of each. There are separate videos for each one as well that discuss the proper application of each product.
In this video, Marty Feehan describes the process for fabric covering a plywood panel. We often get questions about how to cover wood airplanes since it is not specifically discussed in any detail in the manual. Covering a skeleton airframe with open bays is really no different if it’s wood or metal. Wood airplanes often have areas fully sheeted with plywood, and that does have somewhat of a unique technique, so we created a video to elaborate on that. Enjoy! Please email us if you have any questions.
Check out what Andy Humphrey has to say about what sets Stewart Systems apart from other coating systems in the industry. “If it’s non-hazardous, it can’t be as good, right?” WRONG. You can literally drink our paint thinner! (Water)
The Stewart Systems team took a trip to Utah to take a peek at one of the most awesome airplane builds. Listen to Mike Patey discuss the thought process and ideas behind the build and the special engine that drives this amazing machine!
Are you an IA, A&P or airplane owner that works with fabric airplanes? For many people there seems to be a great mystery to inspecting fabric for airworthiness and/or repairing it. For that reason we have produced this video to help aircraft owners and maintenance technicians to be proficient at inspection and repair of fabric covering. Regardless of what system is used on the aircraft, this video will cover how to determine if it’s airworthy, what types of failures to look for and how to repair them.
We also give a brief history of fabric covering, and an overview of the different systems currently available and how to identify them. One of the amazing things about Stewart Systems is that it is FAA approved to repair ALL certified fabric systems. Regardless of what system was used on your aircraft, even if you don’t know what system it is, you can legally repair it with Stewart Systems.