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Step by Step Pro-Pex Runway

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Old 04-12-2007, 02:59 PM
  #1
daveopam
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Default Step by Step Pro-Pex Runway

Our Geotex runway is 8 years old this July. It could easily go 10 years or more but we are having some erosion problems. We are going to replace it this year. Geotex was made by Phillips Petroleum. They no longer make this product. I have a sample of the Pro-Pex product. It looks and feels like the same stuff.
If there is any interest I would like to make this post a step by step with cost and pictures of our project. I would also answer any question along the way. If all goes as planed we would start next month. We are going out this weekend with a transit to decide where the ditches and terraces need to be.
What we have now is a 43'x500' runway. Joining it are three 12'x100' taxi ways with a 12'x200' ramp. W are only replacing the runway. The taxi and ramp area are fine. I will post a pic from Google Earth when I get home. My work computer will not handle the Google Earth web site.
So let me know if this is something you guys would like to see and hear about.

David
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Old 04-12-2007, 09:12 PM
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Default RE: Step by Step Pro-Pex Runway

Two sat. pics of the runway.

David
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Old 04-12-2007, 09:23 PM
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Default RE: Step by Step Pro-Pex Runway

I'd be interested in hearing more, thanks!
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Old 04-12-2007, 09:54 PM
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Default RE: Step by Step Pro-Pex Runway

I am definitely interested in your project. Material supplier, cost and installation details would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Will
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Old 04-12-2007, 10:05 PM
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Default RE: Step by Step Pro-Pex Runway

I'm all EARS [sm=thumbs_up.gif]

Thanks
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Old 04-13-2007, 08:20 AM
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Default RE: Step by Step Pro-Pex Runway

I'm in.
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Old 04-13-2007, 11:03 AM
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Default RE: Step by Step Pro-Pex Runway

Good to hear there is some interest. Let me say from the start we are at the begining of the re-do of our runway. We hope to be done in a month. We have some dirt work to do and we have to remove our old runway. So there will not be updates everyday but I will post pics and reports as we go. Please ask anything you want as it goes along.
So after an internet search and the sending of some emails I got three responses. Two of these guys sent me a sample of their product. The first is from US Fabrics in Cincinnati Ohio. His product is the pic that says US230 on it. It comes in the correct size we need of 15'x300' rolls. This is the same size as what we originally used. So 5 rolls would complete our 43'x500' runway. He gave me a quote of $3,450.00 shipped to Elk City. This is not much higher than we paid 8 years ago.
The second quote came from Contech Construction Products in North Little Rock Arkansas. I was refered to them by Chris Lewis who answered my email and sent the sample from ProPex. Chris said that Contech was my regional supplier. Pm or email me if you want his #'s. Then per Chris's instruction I contacted Jim Bower at Contech. Again I will give his #'s through PM or email. Jim is very helpfull and professional. The ProPex also comes in the 15'x300' rolls we need. After looking at the sample the Propex looks exactly like the Geotex we used. If you look at the pictures you can tell it is tighter wooven then the US product. I think both companies make several grades but I am comparing the samples I got. After speaking with Jim on the phone he was able to FAX me a quote. Five rolls of his product shipped to Elk City is $3078.85. I great buy I thought. This is what we are going to go with. The only other money we will need is for the staples. We can reuse the 12" spikes we put every 2' around the outside edge. The staples would take to long to clean. I estimate this project will take about 5,000 staples. We used almost 7,000 the first time but that counted the taxi way and ramp. The staples are called turf spikes. These are 6" long with a 2" crown. I have found several sources and the price varies a bunch. Anywhere from $110 to $56 a thousand.

Thats where we are as of today. I have a transit borrowed and we are going to shoot the site this weeked.
Also note above I am not a great writer or speller. So ask if I am not being clear.

Pics are of the samples and our current runway.
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Old 04-13-2007, 11:50 AM
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Default RE: Step by Step Pro-Pex Runway

How does this surface (or at least your old GeoTex) compare to flying off very short grass fields... and how durable? Will it withstand prop-strikes, etc?

Thanks,
Jason
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Old 04-13-2007, 04:29 PM
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Default RE: Step by Step Pro-Pex Runway

Jason a prop will cut it. We patch it once a year. The only reason we do is so the grass does not grow through the cut. I like it better than grass for a few reasons. For starters the planes stay clean. You don't realize how much dirt you are picking up from grass until you fly off this stuff. It is also smoother. On a sunny day it is stretched as tight as a drum. Any plane under 10lbs or so just glides across it. We are having to fix the erosion for the big planes. You can see them bounce a little when they roll across the low areas. We are afraid of a big plane hitting a low spot on a fast landing and snapping the gear off. Our fly in every Sept is the highlight of our year. We want to attract as many big birds as possible.

David
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Old 04-13-2007, 04:31 PM
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Default RE: Step by Step Pro-Pex Runway

I should also say a prop strike will save the prop most of the time. The dirt under stays softer than sun baked western Oklahoma dirt. Unless you hit pretty hard you can clean the prop and go on.

David
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Old 04-13-2007, 05:12 PM
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Default RE: Step by Step Pro-Pex Runway

Housing is creeping in on our field this looks like a great alternative when were forced to move. Keep us posted.
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Old 04-13-2007, 07:21 PM
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Default RE: Step by Step Pro-Pex Runway

Do you ever have to dodge race cars while flying?
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Old 04-14-2007, 08:55 AM
  #13
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Default RE: Step by Step Pro-Pex Runway

A previous club I belonged to put this stuff down too. I liked it a lot. It was like flying off of cushioned linoleum. The field marshall patched holes as they happened. It wasnt a daily thing. Definately the way to go if you dont have turbines. The club web site shows a little about how we did it. http://www.gamarc.org/ Look under flying field info.
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Old 04-14-2007, 09:34 AM
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Default RE: Step by Step Pro-Pex Runway

Kris, we have two locked gates between us and the stock cars. This matterial will not stand up to a full scale drag race.

David
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Old 04-15-2007, 07:32 AM
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Default RE: Step by Step Pro-Pex Runway

How does this stuff hold up to UV. Since we have tons of sun here in El Paso I'm wondering if that would be a issue and shorten the life. Thanks
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Old 04-15-2007, 08:03 AM
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Default RE: Step by Step Pro-Pex Runway

There are several peto-mat (what we call it) runways in Texas. Some around 10 years old. We were told this is the stuff the highway dept has put down just before asphalt goes on a road. Dont know about that, but it appears pretty durable, except for prop strikes. But those are easily repaired and the runway can be used while you wait for the patch to cure. I think our club spent way too much effort on surface prep. We almost did it to road standards. Lots of fill and rolling and watering. But the end result is a long term runway. Last year we had some 140 mph straight line winds blow through that took out two of our shelters and the runway stayed down.
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Old 04-15-2007, 08:46 AM
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Default RE: Step by Step Pro-Pex Runway

Thanks for the info. I'm looking forward to your progress.
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Old 04-15-2007, 10:03 AM
  #18
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Default RE: Step by Step Pro-Pex Runway

Mike I am going to post the original product info we used below. There is a UV rating on this spec sheet. The two highlighted ones are what we used. The taxi way and ramps is 70% UV. The runway is 90% UV. I can not say for sure the Propex is the same as the Phillips. However the guy at Propex thinks it is and the matterial feels the same.

David
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Old 04-17-2007, 09:38 AM
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Default RE: Step by Step Pro-Pex Runway

Small update. We took out a transit this weekend and shot the grade. Not much dirt work to do. Will post a few pics when the dirt work starts.

David
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Old 04-27-2007, 09:12 PM
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Default RE: Step by Step Pro-Pex Runway

Well guys the tear out has started. Our runway was held down by two different items. First was a 12" spike every 30" around the outside edge only. Then a 6" turf staple every 2" on every edge and seam. We started by pulling up all the 12" spikes. You can see a pile in one of the pics. Then two four wheelers did a good job of pulling the matterial up. We pulled a few feet up to start. Then rolled a 2x4 up in the end. Made a whole in the fabric and then strapped the 2x4 to the rack on the four wheeler. This pulled it up staples and all. I am really suprised at how well this matterial has lasted. It could go a lot longer. I think 12-15 years would be a safe guess. There were a few suprises in the dirt. For one 25% of it was covered in mold. The other was how ruff it was under there. If you notice in the pics there are some raised footprints in the dirt. I wonder if these are 8 years old from the original laying of the stuff. Or from the last rainstorm when we walked on it. Dosen't matter I guess. The stretch of the Geotex showed none of them. Were it not for the erosion on one end we would not be doing this.
I am going to order the new Propex on Tuesday. I will post the final amount when I talk to the supplier again. I am also going to try and buy the staples from him. We can reuse the spikes but the staples are not worth trying to save.

Later David
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Old 04-27-2007, 09:15 PM
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Default RE: Step by Step Pro-Pex Runway

I forget to turn the pixels down on my camera. I can only put on a few at a time.

David
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Old 04-27-2007, 10:04 PM
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Default RE: Step by Step Pro-Pex Runway

We did the same thing after many problems. We lost a few members over it. They wanted to keep it dirt because of cost and quit when i forced the issue. I didn't want to fly on dirt nor did anyone else. We did ours 30 feet by 400. Now the biggest complaint is that it is too narrow so we are adding 15 feet. The members all like it a lot and the club has doubled in size since we did it. Pretty cool stuff. Its awesome to fly off of!
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Old 04-28-2007, 09:03 AM
  #23
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Default RE: Step by Step Pro-Pex Runway

That's for sure Flyboy. We flew from a dirt field for a few months. The extra wear and tear on the planes was huge. Not to mention the clean up of mud after each flight. Our first field was grass. It is 100 times better than dirt. We would not mind having a grass field. I just know in a small club like ours there would be days I would be mowing instead of flying.

David
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Old 05-02-2007, 07:17 PM
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Default RE: Step by Step Pro-Pex Runway

David, Great posts. It just so happens that we are looking for a new flying site, and had planned on using a similar material that is used in agriculture sometimes reffered to as "Mole Mat" used to discourage critters from burrowing. One private runway is using tihs material over a compacted dirt and rolled layer of sand with good results. Very narrow at 17', by same width grass adjacent. Will be eagerly watching. Thanks, Cliff.
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Old 05-03-2007, 09:28 AM
  #25
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Default RE: Step by Step Pro-Pex Runway

I got the final price quote this AM. The total is $3393.85. This is for 5 rolls of the 15'x300' Propex and 6,000 turf staples. This will build our 45'x500' runway back like it was. We are on hold right now. The City of Elk City is going to fix the dirt work for us. Our old runway had a 6"slope across the 45' part. We are going to haul dirt in and have the slope taken out. We feel this may be part of our erosion problem. This plus two extra drainage ditches will hopefuly fix the erosion.

Cliff, If you guys dont want or need a big runway. I would make it shorter before I would make it narrower. We could get by with 45'x300' easily. This would only need 3 rolls instead of 5.

I will post pictures as the work progresses. Once the dirt work is done we should be able to get the Propex down in a week of evenings. I am going to try and keep track of how many guys work on it at one time and how long the whole laydown takes.

David
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