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Microlite; a P.I.A to use and what you can expect........

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Old 07-18-2015, 08:44 AM
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rustyrivet
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Default Microlite; a P.I.A to use and what you can expect........




[HR][/HR]I put this topic in this forum because I believe that Coverite Microlite is a covering which folks might choose for their small electric planes. And no doubt, it's light! Guys, I'm not new to this hobby. I started with Monokote, have used Ultracote, and have silked and doped planes with both tissue and Sig Koverall....so this ain't my first rodeo finishing planes. But I'm using COVERITE MicroLite for the first time on a mini-Telemaster I've built, and what a royal pain in the arse.......or to quote Doug Hefernan, what a be-otcsh!


DETRACTORS;

1) MicroLite measures exactly 1/1000" on my Mitutoyo caliper. A hair from my head measures slightly thicker then that! Thus, it's not as forgiving and can TEAR while you apply it. I experienced three tears on the fuse and wing, which never happens to me with monokote.

2) Being so thin, this stuff is EXTREMELY difficult to separate the outer clear film exterior from the adhesive side. You MUST stick masking tape on both sides in the effort to separate it. (as their instructions advise) Pulling it apart this way can often take up 8-10 tries. This is VERY tedious and time consuming over the span of a long project.

3) This covering sticks to it self easily. The problem is compounded if you are using it in a hot garage in the summer like I am so that the adhesive is that much tackier. You must be VERY careful and tack it to your work table (with little tabs of masking tape) as you pull off the clear covering. Even then it will often find ways to CURL onto itself. I had to scrap an entire 3' wing half sheet of the stuff which stuck to itself.


ADVANTAGES;

1) It's extremely light (.6 ounce of 1 ounce per square yard) . For a small electric plane when weight is a concern, is the ONLY reason I'd use it again.

2) It stretches and tightens nicely and easily, with your iron and heat gun. Wrinkles and ripples are easy to work clear during the process.

3) It seems to conform to curves nicely. (though this mini-telemaster doesn't have a long carved and shaped Sig Kadet style cowl to really put this to the test.)

4) It's surprisingly strong and puncture resistant for something that is thinner then a hair. Once it's on, it's on and it looks good and stays tight.


Here's a photo of the 95% completed Mini-Telemaster. I still have the ailerons and stab to cover in white..


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