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Gentlemen (and Ladies)

I'm seeking informed response as to what is the most successful and long-lasting, clear gap-seal tape for use on painted fabric aileron and empennage surfaces. Advice on your experience (good/bad) and supply source with a good/best Australian procurable seal stripping would be very much appreciated. Tks in anticipation. Riley.

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Riley I too am interested in gap tape. What I have discovered is the width of your gap is an issue; the stuff used for sailplanes won’t bridge the 20+ mm gap on my fabric wing.

 

I currently have bookbinders tape across the space between each panel (applied from underneath).

It’s wide and sticky enough and flexible, but collects an unsightly strip of crud.

Edited by Old Koreelah
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I used a 3m product ( can't remember the name or code though) and bought it in a crash and paint supplies outlet and is 50mm wide. It is clear and is used for stone protection along the bottom car sill. On a 7m roll from memory. I used it for leading edge of the stab for stone protection. It is very flexible and will work for a gap seal. Ken

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First of all you might like to research "gap seals" there are quite a few different types - not all are sticky tapes.

 

Of the sticky tape variety - the best (most flexibly, longest lasting and the least likely to leave difficult to remove residue ) that I have come across, is sold by Premium Gap Seal Tape. It comes in a selection of widths any colour you like as long as its white.

 

Bunnings sell a very similar product in about 50 mm width but have not tried it (yet).

 

I have had good success using "Mylar" strips on my ailerons - very effective, durable and almost invisible.

 

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A mate if mine has what appeared to be Mylar strips painted the same as the plane that are glued on the wing ahead of the ailerons and on the tail-plane ahead of the elevators, they simply rub on the moving control surfaces, upper only, factory fitted and after 7 years and 500 hrs look like new!

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A mate if mine has what appeared to be Mylar strips painted the same as the plane that are glued on the wing ahead of the ailerons and on the tail-plane ahead of the elevators, they simply rub on the moving control surfaces, upper only, factory fitted and after 7 years and 500 hrs look like new!

 

In my "home" install I have Mylar on Mylar - that is the flexible seal "rubs" on another Mylar strip.

 

Ideally the gap to be sealed is on the underside, as high pressure air "leaks" up to the low pressure on he upper wing surface. Compromises in this objective must be made according to the design of your control surfaces, sometimes the seal can only be on the upper side.

 

Again in my install - my aileron hinge is offset on the upper side, so I have my aileron seals on the upper side BUT they are actually fixed on the lower side of a handy "ledge" so the higher pressure air presses works to improve the sealing effect. The flexibly seal is glued to the non moving wing ledge, the "wear" strip to the aileron ledge. After 3 years, all working as I would have hoped, with no sign of abrasion or loss of efficacy.

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The Jabiru kit came with a big roll of wide white reinforced "aileron " tape. You can get the same stuff it a hardware shop. it has a cloth weave showing through a plastic surface.

Some years ago, I was doing an annual on a grob single seater glider and I couldn't find the proper tape ( German stuff we had bought from Harry Schneider)

so I used this instead... BIG MISTAKE!

Over a year, the tape I had used gradually shrank and it eventually stopped full control deflection. The stick still moved fully cos the pushrods flexed.

The pilots didn't notice since they were first solo types. Gosh I was pleased to be the one who noticed the problem.

On the Jabiru, that tape is on the underside while on the glider it was on the top... big difference to UV exposure.

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Thanks for the info Gents. Looks like Mylar is the most suitable. Can anybody point me in the right direction for a supply source in OZ that sells the strips and relevant safety and transfer tape by the meter rather than 33meter rolls? Tks Riley

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Thanks for the info Gents. Looks like Mylar is the most suitable. Can anybody point me in the right direction for a supply source in OZ that sells the strips and relevant safety and transfer tape by the meter rather than 33meter rolls? Tks Riley

I initially tried to get my Mylar from overseas and got caught up in the need to demonstrate that my aircraft manufacturer (its a kit) officially accepts the fitting of such devices. So I ended up finding an Australian print house that uses Mylar film in its systems. They not supplied but cut it into strips of the requited width(s). I used a 3M double sided tape to affix the Mylar strips.

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I initially tried to get my Mylar from overseas and got caught up in the need to demonstrate that my aircraft manufacturer (its a kit) officially accepts the fitting of such devices. So I ended up finding an Australian print house that uses Mylar film in its systems. They not supplied but cut it into strips of the requited width(s). I used a 3M double sided tape to affix the Mylar strips.

Thanks SD. I'll ultimately resort to that if I can't get the curved 'real thing' cheers

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