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Thread: Grade A cotton?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Ridge Spring
    Posts
    1

    Default Grade A cotton?

    Hi there,

    I am considering purchasing a 1953 PA-22-135. The current owner states the aircraft was last recovered in the late 80s with COTTON AND DOPE!He states that the owner at the time was a purest. The aircraft looks great and apparently the covering still tests fine at each annual.

    Was grade A cotton even available into the late 80s? What are the chances that an old-timer chose not to get an STC and the covering is actually an illegal Ceconite?

    Either way, i would be looking to recover the airplane sometime in my ownership-though i would like to get 5 years of flying before taking out of service for a recover.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Lebanon, Mo.
    Posts
    165

    Default

    Alexl, I am not an expert on covering but I think you can still get cotton for recovering. If the present cover will test good now I would fly the airplane and keep your eyes open for deterioration in the years to come.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mason, Ohio
    Posts
    304

    Default

    Alexl,

    You should be able to look either at the inside of the wings or the inside of the aft fuselage and determine if you have either cotton or ceconite (Dacron). If you have FAA approved ceconite or poly fiber, there are FAA approval stamps printed periodically on the fabric. You should be able to see those stamps on the inside of large areas of fabric such as the inside of the fuselage. I do not know if those stamps are on cotton or linen. You should be able to tell just by looking at the fabric whether it's ceconite or cotton. Grade A cotton was available in the 80s and I believe there are still places you can purchase it. If you have cotton it is imperative that you keep the airplane hangared. You do not want the fabric exposed to sunlight for long periods of time. The STC for using either Ceconite or Poly Fiber comes with the purchase of the installation manual. The manual costs $10 to $15 dollars so its not a big investment.

    Tom Anderson

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