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How to Apply Wing Finishing Tape on Fabric Covered Aircraft

Updated: Apr 20, 2018

Proper maintenance and care of your aircraft is an essential component of ownership. At Eko-Tech USA, Inc., we offer the aircraft finishing system needed to ensure a long-lasting life for your prized airplanes.

One of the most important aspects of the aircraft finishing process is the proper application of wing finishing tapes. We’re going to give you a step-by-step tutorial of the process as well as some helpful tips along the way.

View the tutorial video or follow our written instructions to ensure proper installation of wing finishing tape on your fabric covered aircraft.

Installing Wing finishing tapes on Fabric Covered Aircraft with Stewart Systems

To start, you'll want to ensure that you have the proper tools. We recommend having pinking shears, EkoBond waterborne glue and wing finishing tape. Also, you must ensure that the surface is ready to have taping applied and is wiped clean of dust and debris.

Step One: Mark Before Setting

Using a straight-edge, measure and mark along the ribbing where the wing finishing tape will lay. Tape usually measures 2” in width, so we recommend finding a straight edge to accommodate. This is an important step as crooked taping will be easily niticeable. Marking the ribbing with a pencil allows you to see the markings along the surface and ensures proper width and straightness.

To finish, use the straightedge and draw a line through the length of the section. Keep in mind that this is just a reference for your tape and glue but is a crucial step to ensure that the area will be straight.

Step Two: Pre-cut the Tape and Glue Top Edges in Place

A tendency in this process is to do one strip at a time moving along the different sections of the aircraft. We recommend a little different approach. First, pre-cut your tapes, leaving some wiggle room at the edge.

Next, place the start of your tape right at the edge across the top of the wing. This provides a standard starting point for each strip. Using a 2” brush, gently paint a 2-3 inch section underneath the tape. Lay the tape against the surface and use the brush to paint over top of the tape. Use a cloth to wipe away the excess paint. Be sure that no wet or shiny areas are going to show through the ribbing. Proceed along each strip only securing the first 2-3 inches of the top of each strip and then allow the glue to dry. This will give a more firm strip to work with and allows you to maintain a straight line.

Step Three: Glue the Remaining Sections

Using the same application methods as before, proceed down each strip only covering about 4-5 inches at a time. Apply the Stewart Systems EkoBond waterborne glue on the surface and then lay the taping on top. Use the brush to paint over the section and then wipe away the excess glue. Once you get to the bottom of the section, pull the strip tight and use a piece of masking tape to secure the wing finishing tape underneath the wing. Then mark the wing finishing tape with a pencil and use pinking shears to cut off the excess tape.

Installing wing finishing tape onto fabric covered aircraft is a relatively easy process, but it is an essential component in the aircraft fabrication process. At Eko-Tech USA, Inc., we provide the Stewart Systems aircraft finishing system you need to properly care for your airplane.

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