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Old 11-19-2019, 07:53 AM
AV8ER AV8ER is offline
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: KORL - Orlando, FL
Posts: 56
Default Remove old protective flap plastic

Hello, I would like to remove the old protective plastic that is stuck on my flaps and looking for advise on the best method to do so. On the right flap it has sun faded and begun to disintegrate so peeling it off is not going to work. I have a pneumatic eraser wheel but worried it will apply a bit more pressure on the skin than it can handle. Ideas?

- Tim
RV-10 bought not built (Thanks Carl!)
"How's it feel to be the fastest plane in the sky? You were spanking two Cirrus planes, a Mooney, and another plane. I took screen shots" - Quote from the best wife in the world.

Last edited by AV8ER : 03-03-2020 at 10:56 PM. Reason: picture link correction
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Old 11-19-2019, 08:12 AM
Zazoos Zazoos is offline
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Gladewater
Posts: 99

I had a similiar problem. See discussion here:

The solution for me was:
JASCO Paint and Epoxy Remover. I let it sit on there for about 12 hours and then scrape with a piece of plexiglass. Doesn't even take much scraping to get it off. However, some areas did require multiple coats, but the film had set for 20 years.
Trent Flemming
Gladewater, TX
RV6 - N86TF -- Phase One
SunDog Powered Parachute
X-Air LSA Sold
Dues Paid 11/2019
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Old 03-03-2020, 10:54 PM
AV8ER AV8ER is offline
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: KORL - Orlando, FL
Posts: 56

After trying Goof Off and a few others I finally found something that worked. Used an acetone rag to soften the glue/remaining hard plastic, scrapped off what would come off with the plastic scraper, then hit the softened glue with an eraser wheel. Worked great. Just make sure if you end up doing this that you do not just buy an eraser wheel and put it into an normal die grinder. The wheels are only rated for 4,000 rpm and most normal die grinders are 18,000+. No fun buying a one trick pony tool but without it there is no way I would have gotten this off. I had one of these slow rpm die grinders from Finish Master back in the day but the one I used on this project came from Aircraft Tool Supply (ATS). Short of buying the specific eraser wheel tool I have not been able to find a slow RPM die grinder.

Acetone rag sitting ahead of work area to soften the material to be removed.

Plastic scraper to take off any large flakes that would come off without a bunch of pressure.

Eraser wheel tool to remove softened glue. It was possible to use only the wheel with no acetone but it required alot more pressure on the skins and I was worried about denting/bending the skin. The acetone solved this by making it easier to remove.

New plastic protector on. This required a 10' piece and had a little left over.
- Tim
RV-10 bought not built (Thanks Carl!)
"How's it feel to be the fastest plane in the sky? You were spanking two Cirrus planes, a Mooney, and another plane. I took screen shots" - Quote from the best wife in the world.
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Old 03-04-2020, 08:27 PM
songbird songbird is offline
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Rosharon,TX
Posts: 15

Vans advised me to use a heat gun. Worked very well. Peeled off quickly
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Old 03-04-2020, 09:54 PM
flyboy1064 flyboy1064 is offline
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Pelham, Alabama
Posts: 24

Yep, leave all that chemical **** and abrasive equipment alone ! Heat gun and plastic scrapper will get it off just fine. Ask me how I know. : )
John Sutton
RV-4 / 160 HP
1946 8A Luscombe
'19 Dues Paid
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Old 03-05-2020, 09:06 AM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
VAF Moderator / Line Boy
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dayton, NV
Posts: 12,101

The heat guns approach works great if the tape is still more or less intact. I let the Val’s tape get so bad that he outer lawyer was cracked, and it really gets to be a mess then - it doesn't just peel off. On the plus side, the adhesive was almost crystallized, so I was able to scrape it off - it was just tedious. Took about four hours of work to get both flaps clean (I just did this a couple of weeks ago).

This was the second time I’ve had to remove the tape off the fifteen-year-old airplane, and I said that “enough was enough!” SO I did what I have done on our two other RV’s, and went with stainless steel. Looks great, lasts forever. McMaster has it in 3” width and a 3 yard roll. Unfortunately, if you measure the flaps on an -8, the three yards won’t quite cover, so I ordered two rolls. Then I discovered that the rolls are actually about three yards plus six inches - so one roll covered it!

Paul F. Dye
Editor at Large - KITPLANES Magazine
RV-8 - N188PD - "Valkyrie"
RV-6 (By Marriage) - N164MS - "Mikey"
RV-3B - N13PL - "Tsamsiyu"
A&P, EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor
Dayton Valley Airpark (A34)
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Old 03-05-2020, 09:10 AM
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bkervaski bkervaski is offline
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Posts: 1,480

Just a tip once you get it removed, re-apply it on the underside of the wing overhang instead of on the flap, keeps the sun off of it, should last a lot longer that way. Not my idea, Jonathan @ Evoke / PlaneSchemers ...
RV-14A #140376
N196 (Flying)
2019 Bronze Lindy
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