Oratex FAQ’s


Is the fabric proven?


Oratex is currently being used on over 500 flying airplanes, with many more under construction, and the oldest being over 12 years and still looking very good. Oratex has been tested extensively globally and has been found to hold up extremely well to the most rugged conditions imaginable, even in Alaska.



Is Oratex more expensive than other covering systems?


If you factor in the cost of painting (which is not required with Oratex) the price is about the same as the legacy systems. If you include the cost of a compressor, spray gun and respirator (none of which are necessary with our system) or if you factor in the time you will save, then the cost of covering with Oratex will be significantly less.



Is the fabric approved?


Oratex is approved in the UK (LAA and BMAA), Europe (with EASA STC’s), the USA and Canada with FAA STC’s now available for many aircraft, including Pipers, some Aeroncas, Stinsons, as well as all Maules and Huskys. We also have field approval for Cessna 120/140s. Oratex is used on all of our Sherwood aircraft.



What is the difference between Oratex UL600 and Oratex 6000?


Oratex UL600 was designed for use on airplanes with a gross weight up to 600 kilograms (but is subject to national approvals). Oratex 6000 is for use on airplanes with a gross weight up to 6000 kilograms (subject to national approvals).

You can compare the differences on our technical specification page.



Is Oratex safe to use?


Very safe. So safe that no special safety precautions are necessary. You don’t even need gloves. Oratex is so safe you can even cover parts in your living room.



How long will it take to cover my airplane?


Using traditional methods such as Poly-Fiber or Ceconite, the amateur builder will normally take 300-500 hours to cover and paint an airplane the size of a Super Cub. With Oratex, 130 hours is a reasonable estimate (based on actual customer feedback). Smaller airplanes can be completed in about 100 hours.



What colours are available?


Both Oratex UL600 and Oratex 6000 are available in White, Cub Yellow, Fokker Red, Corsair Blue, Olive Drab and Silver. In addition, Oratex 600 is also available in Natural White and Antique.



What if I want to use a different colour or want a wet look finish?


One of the big advantages of Oratex is that it doesn’t need to be painted. However, if you have any special requirements we offer paint that is specially formulated to work with the Oratex covering system.



Is Oratex difficult to repair?


Oratex is very easy to repair, even in the field. A patch can easily be glued over a tear, and dents can be removed using a heat gun.



How wide is the fabric?


Oratex comes in two widths: 900 mm and 1800 mm (35.43 and 70.87 inches, respectively).




Application Questions



What types of coatings and how many coats are required?


No coatings (or paint) are required. The fabric comes ready to use. Just glue it down, shrink it, and fly!



Can I cover my own airplane?


Yes, permit aircraft builders are allowed to cover their airplanes, and covering an airplane with Oratex is much easier than with traditional methods.



How can I learn how to do it?


Start by viewing our [Application Instructions]. If you have additional questions please [Contact Us]. You can also book to come on a 1 day training course with us.



Is rib stitching required?


That just depends on the requirements as set forth by the designer of your aircraft. If the plans call for rib stitching, then you must rib stitch. If the plans call for rivets, you will use rivets.



What tools are required?


In addition to normal shop tools (such as measuring, marking and cutting equipment) the primary tools you will need are a good quality digital iron, a good quality digital heat gun, and a good quality digital thermometer.




Technical Questions



How long will the Oratex covering last?


Oratex products have a 10 year warrantee. As of 2021 the longest flying aircraft with Oratex is 18 years. We expect that as time passes, Oratex will prove to last at least as long as all of the old heritage systems. It is likely that it will prove to last longer.



Does Oratex have UV protection?


Yes, both Oratex UL600 and Oratex 6000 are fully UV protected without any additional coating. It’s engineered into the fabric.



How much does the fabric weigh?


Depending upon the colour, Oratex UL600 weighs about 92 – 122 g/m2. Oratex 6000 weighs about 140 – 160 g/m2. Remember, this is the total weight as no painting is required.



How strong is Oratex fabric?


Oratex is significantly stronger than other fabrics.



How strong is the Oratex Hotmelt Glue?


Our glue can withstand over 100 pounds per square inch of force.



Is Oratex fire resistant?


Our fabric does not support combustion.