Cotton-Covered Aircraft and Fiberglass Coverings

Cotton-Covered Aircraft

You may encounter a cotton fabric-covered aircraft. In addition to other airworthiness criterion, the condition of the fabric under the finished surface is paramount as the cotton can deteriorate even while the aircraft is stored in a hangar. Inspection, in accordance with the manufacturer maintenance manual or AC 43.13-1, should be diligent. If the cotton covering is found to be airworthy, repairs to the fabric can be made under those specifications. This includes sewn-in and doped-in patches, as well as sewn-in and doped-in panel repairs. Due to the very limited number of airworthy aircraft that may still be covered with cotton, this site does not cover specific information on re-covering with cotton or cotton fabric maintenance and repair procedures. Refer to AC 43.13-1, Chapter 2, Fabric Covering, which thoroughly addresses these issues.

Fiberglass Coverings

References to fiberglass surfaces in aircraft covering STCs, AC 43.13-1, and other maintenance literature address techniques for finishing and maintaining this kind of surface. However, this is typically limited to fiberglass ray domes and fiberglass reinforced plywood surfaces and parts that are still in service. Use of dope-based processes on fiberglass is well established. Repair and apply coatings and finishes on fiberglass in accordance with manufacturer data, STC instructions, or AC 43.13-1 acceptable practices.