How to cover airplane wings with fabric

Written by cindy paterson
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How to cover airplane wings with fabric
(Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Aircraft makers often use heavy-duty polyester fabric as the cover for aeroplane wings. For aircraft models that are experimental or that are newly manufactured, their wooden wings are covered with fabric in order to prevent damages and prepare it for flying. Covering aeroplane wings involves a step-by-step process. While the wings of the aeroplane may seem rather huge and fragile, there is a proper way for you to care and provide protection for them.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Heavy-duty scissors
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Dry towel
  • Two-pack varnish
  • Cement mix
  • Small brush
  • Plastic spreader
  • Air-drying adhesive coating

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  1. 1

    Measure the length and width of the aeroplane wing with the tape measure. Cut the fabric cover to size using the measurements.

  2. 2

    Sand the wings with fine-grit sandpaper to get rid of uneven surfaces. Use a dry towel to get rid of the sand before applying a coat of two-pack varnish to the entire aircraft wing.

  3. 3

    Use a new sheet of fine-grit sandpaper to re-sand the wing before applying two coats of air-drying adhesive coating onto the wing.

  4. 4

    Mix cement according to the manufacturer's instructions on the bag. Use a small brush to apply the cement on the wing of the aeroplane. Spread the cement evenly onto the aircraft wing, covering an 8-inch area. You need to apply the cement little by little (in this case, every 8 inches) to ensure that the cement does not dry before you put on the fabric.

  5. 5

    Place the fabric onto the wings of the plane and use the plastic spreader like a squeegee to push the cement through the fabric's weave. Install the fabric in sections to make it more manageable. Do this until you have covered all of the aircraft wing.

  6. 6

    Seal the fabric with one brushed coat of the air-drying adhesive coating and let it dry for at least 24 to 48 hours.

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