Oratex fabric

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Includes: Highlander, Escapade, Summit and SuperSTOL.

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Re: Oratex fabric

Postby Jim Bair » Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:38 pm

I have covered the tail surfaces and part of the fuselage. Getting ready to do the wings soon, and with left overs from that do the ailerons and flaps. I have been pleased with the results for my application. My previous fabric experience was with more conventional systems and this is almost nothing like those. There are advantages and disadvantages. If you are building a show plane and want a smooth, glossy, heavy finish in different colors, then go with a standard fabric, with fill coat, silver coat, and glossy top coat. That wasn't what I wanted. I'm building a bush plane. It will get muddy, it will be spending some nights out camping and run the risk of getting hailed on, and I anticipate it may get torn in the brush and need repaired. This is my first orated application and so far it looks like exactly what I was looking for. It looks to be very light weight (as in MUCH lighter than conventional, but not sure how much) and very strong and very repairable. As in imagine gluing some duct tape on and press on. Or if dented, apply a bit of heat and the dent comes out. Good as new. The stuff is amazing. It actually looks better than I anticipated and if I would have had the luxury of helping someone else do one first Nd getting some experience with it, it would look much better. My project is a family one and my daughter did quite a bit of the work and in one spot we have a bit of glue showing. I'm not going to lose any sleep over it. It will look fine from 50' away. Like I said, I'm not building a show plane, I'm building a bush plane. I always like camo planes, but went with yellow and will trim it with some vinyl graphics. They aren't as permanent as paint, easy, and repairable. One thing I liked about it was that I worked in my garage and house during the winter to save trips to the airport and heating the hangar, and it lends itself very well to that. And when your iron it on, you're done! No building a paint booth or taking big parts to a pro shop. Bottom line... I wouldn't do my show Christen Eagle with it, but for a bush type plane I think it's awesome.
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Re: Oratex fabric

Postby R Rinker » Fri Jun 13, 2014 4:51 pm

So, what do you figure the cost was for you?? Is that on a Highlander or Super Stol. I would guess they use the same amount of fabric...I would definitely go with it, but for me the cost is excessive.
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Re: Oratex fabric

Postby kenryan » Fri Jun 13, 2014 5:36 pm

Jim--as someone with experience using older covering systems, what would your estimate be for time saved using Oratex?
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Re: Oratex fabric

Postby Tralika » Sat Jun 14, 2014 12:30 pm

R Rinker wrote:So, what do you figure the cost was for you?? Is that on a Highlander or Super Stol. I would guess they use the same amount of fabric...I would definitely go with it, but for me the cost is excessive.


About a month ago I asked Lars from Betteraircraftfabric how much it would cost to cover my Highlander. He said the exact figure would depend on a few factors such as if I ordered the pre-cut tapes or cut my own and how much trim color I wanted to use. He said to figure on about $8,000.
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Re: Oratex fabric

Postby R Rinker » Sat Jun 14, 2014 1:52 pm

Definitely a deal breaker for me. Too bad because I think it is the development in technology we need but is priced out of range for us in North America. Europe has bureaucratically manipulated aviation away from all but the elite and it's no big deal for most of them. We still have enough freedom that we (I) can fly! The patent protection they have to lock up the technology will probably isolate this technology. Maybe someone will come up with a tent & tarp material close enough to the same thing that we can open source it...be nice...
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Re: Oratex fabric

Postby kenryan » Sat Jun 14, 2014 2:55 pm

For me, the cost is well worth it. I hope to save a couple hundred hours of labor, eliminate the need to paint (including purchasing equipment that I don't have and pretending to have painting skills that I don't have) AND, maybe best of all, make the airplane 20 pounds lighter. Add to that a tougher product that is very easy to repair and suddenly the cost doesn't seem so bad.
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Re: Oratex fabric

Postby Jim Bair » Sat Jun 14, 2014 10:38 pm

Excellent summary of the situation. I know it sounds expensive, and I felt the same way, but there is a price to be paid when painting, too. I have seen many cases of less than desired results and doing it over. The price of hiring it done by a pro isn't exactly free. Building a paint booth and buying equipment, etc. Oratex lender itself well to my situation of building at home and hauling the finished product to the airport. We each have different situations and thus, different solutions. There isn't a single right answer that fits all of us. Jim
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Re: Oratex fabric

Postby sonex293 » Mon Jun 01, 2015 11:52 am

Found this on the US Oratex distributor's website...

http://www.betteraircraftfabric.com/suc ... ouard.html

Image
Image

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Re: Oratex fabric

Postby Swoopjack » Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:28 am

So Lars says to figure on about $8000 for a Highlander. With conventional fabric, and paint, what do you suppose the cost is. All the time spent sanding and painting has to count for something. But just dollar-for-dollar what is the price difference between oratex finished, and conventional fabric all painted and finished.
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Re: Oratex fabric

Postby bluemax » Wed Jun 03, 2015 4:31 pm

I wish I could make Oratex work for me, as I'm sure it would save a good bit of time. I will probably not go with it though, when it's time to cover. $8000 is simply a deal breaker. I don't like the fact that it appears to have a "woven" texture. It is NOT shiny. And maybe my biggest complaint of all (besides the high cost) is that it has a translucency to it. Some guys like that....I do not. One aircraft that I noticed does NOT have translucent fabric is Bob Breeden's black Super Cub, or Glacier Cub. Then I read the fine print..... it was painted black (with something called Oracolor) over the Oratex fabric. Besides that, you're going to have to paint the cowl and numerous other parts anyway..... they might not be a perfect color match to your Oratex fabric.

I have painted two aircraft using PPG Delfleet, and it has delivered a beautiful, shiny finish that was relatively easy to spray. Just be sure to use a fresh forced air system.
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