Tech Questions - Ultralight & Very Light Aircraft


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I am concerned about weight on my ultralight. What process should I use?

Get a copy of the Poly-Fiber manual and read Appendix A. It tells you exactly how to cover your ultralight. Poly-Fiber has a lightweight fabric that should be used on an ultralight. (Go to the Products tab, select Fabrics, Padding, Tapes and Thread, and then select Fabrics to see the current Fabric Product Data Sheet with fabric specifications http://www.conaircraft.com/products/polyfiber/fabrics_padding_threads_tapes/fabrics.php. The total weight, including coatings, on an average ultralight will be about 20-23 pounds.

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What about protection from the UV rays of the sun?

That is a good question. If your ultralight will be outside for long periods of time the sun will definitely reduce the life of the fabric. You must protect it from the sun. The best way to do this is to use a silver pigment (Poly-Spray) to cover the fabric. This will provide maximum protection. Many ultralight people will leave the silver coats off and use a UV blocker in their color coats. This is somewhat effective but not as much as silver.

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What about saving weight by not putting on the silver coats?

You can do this by adding a UV blocker to Poly-Tone color coats. This will provide a certain amount of protection at less weight.

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How about using clear Aerothane to protect the fabric on my ultralight?

Clear Aerothane will provide a certain amount of protection from the UV rays of the sun. It is often used on all types of ultralight fabric. One word of caution: If you use Aerothane be sure to use a fresh air breathing source while spraying.

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What are the steps to cover an ultralight?

First of all, use 1.7 ounce fabric. Attach the fabric using Poly-Tak cement. Tighten the fabric as directed in the manual. You can then brush or spray on one coat of Poly-Brush to the fabric. Then spray on 2 coats of Poly-Tone with a UV blocker added. This is the very minimum you should do to fabric on an ultralight.

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