Mid/late Seventies Super Decathlon Fabric/Paint

Bartman

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Mar 27, 2018
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678
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New Jersey, USA
#1
Just curious, there are a few Super D's in the classifieds with original fabric from the mid to late seventies. I'm pretty sure the fabric was ceconite but were they still using dope for a top coat by the mid seventies and later? If they were always hangared, how stable is the fabric/paint on those planes today? They look pretty good in photos.

This is what I get for surfing classifieds, a habit I had mostly given up when my plane went in the shop! :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:

https://www.trade-a-plane.com/searc...HLON+8KCAB&listing_id=2358310&s-type=aircraft

https://www.trade-a-plane.com/searc...HLON+8KCAB&listing_id=2361504&s-type=aircraft
 

Bob Turner

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Joined
Apr 4, 2018
Messages
430
#2
My Cub's last cover was mid-70s. Still looks good, although it was outside for roughly a decade total.

Look for hairline cracks along trailing edges and longerons/formers, and ringworm around rib stitch rivets. The dope can be rejuvenated, but the cracks are difficult to deal with.

Even new fabric cracks in the propwash. You will simply have to deal with fabric issues near the wing root and belly. Patches are the only way I know to fix those, but we have some success with good clear tape, or on the gear legs of Cubs, high quality duct tape.
 

Bob Turner

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Joined
Apr 4, 2018
Messages
430
#4
Those are low time engines. My guess is that the prices are a tad high, but not too bad. Do not judge fabric by those photos.

Mine is 1977, with Ceconite/dope in 1992, done by a pro. It is in better shape than a local 2003 factory Citabria. Engine is past its mid-life crisis, but still good with fine wire plugs in the bottom holes. Photos in a minute.
 

Bob Turner

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Joined
Apr 4, 2018
Messages
430
#5
Here are a couple photos. The Cub is 1972 cover, Stitts, with auto acrylic enamel applied in 1980. You can see how shiny. Stabilizers and gear legs are more recent, and Ceconite/Butyrate. The Dec is 1992 dope, polished to a pleasant shine, although a softer gloss than the diamond-like enamel. Shiny Paint 009.jpg 444W#3.jpg