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Old Oct 21, 2004, 07:50 AM
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Weight penalty of packaging tape

I have done some searching and can't seem to find even an approximate weight penalty for 2" packaginge tape. I am going to use some as decoration on a Blucore VTO and I want to make sure I limit the amount I use to an acceptable weight gain.

I have some 3M 373 on hand and I tried weighing a 12" piece unsuccessfully. I know there are different mil thicknesses and different materials used by different vendors. Any info on any brand would help.

ToddO
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Old Oct 21, 2004, 08:42 AM
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Marlborough, Massachussetts, United States
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I think the most common size of tape used to cover planes is 2 mil.

Ball up a length of tape that is similar to the amount you expect to use on your plane and weigh it. If your scale does not register anything, then the tape is probably not heavy enough to have any impact on your plane's performance.

I completely covered a Tipsy park flyer with colored packing tape and it gained in the area of 1/2 ounce of weight, which had no impact on its flight characteristics.
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Old Oct 21, 2004, 01:13 PM
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Thanks for the help Brian. I'm not sure of the amount of my remaining tape might be needed for the covering, so I was hesitant to waste a balled up length to accurately determine the weight. This plane will be in the ~11oz AUW range and I'm already going to be on the heavy side by using salvaged equipment. It may not make much of a difference in performance, but I'm paranoid about adding even more weight for decoration. One half ounce is probably even pushing more than I would want to add. Decisions, decisions...that keeps it fun. ToddO
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Old Oct 21, 2004, 01:35 PM
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Marlborough, Massachussetts, United States
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If you can find foam safe spray paint, that would almost certainly be lighter. Testor's is one brand I've seen referenced a few times on the forums. Sharpie brand magic markers are another popular way to add color to foam airplanes without adding weight.
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Old Oct 21, 2004, 05:23 PM
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Ft Walton Beach, FL
Joined Jan 2003
122 Posts
I recently built a 20"x20" PBF and stripped the skin off of both sides of the bluecor. The skin by itself weighed about 10 grams (1/3oz). I then covered both sides entirely with colored packing tape (2 mil) and gained 20 grams. So the tape to cover the top and bottom of 20" square is roughly 20 grams (2/3oz). Since I stripped the skin off first, I only gained 1/3oz. Hope that helps.

If you are only adding accents and wont be using much tape, you will hardly notice the difference...
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Old Oct 21, 2004, 06:41 PM
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For small area accents, tape is the way to go. It's quick and sharp looking with a diminimous weight incease. I recently tried the Testors enamel paint on Depron and was unhappy with the results. The little cans produce a weak, foggy spray and the coverage is not good, requiring several coats. Some like the Testors paint, but not me. Someone mentioned using stencil spray paint from a packaging store. There's got to be something better than the Testors paint.
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Old Oct 21, 2004, 08:52 PM
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Toronto, ON Canada
Joined Jul 2002
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I got curious, so I did some math.

(1) Roll of Colored packing tape from Fast-pact, less and empty center peice : 132g

Length of tape: 165 feet

That's 0.8 grams per foot of tape.
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Old Oct 21, 2004, 10:09 PM
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USA, tn, Cordova
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I use packing tape on all my foamies, sorta like a lazy man's 'glass job. On the wings for strength and protection from the grass on landings, and on the fuse for strength. I just cartwheeled my Formosa in, and it cracked on the fuse where I stopped taping.
I Don't fly a foamy without it. If it adds weight, it's not enough to worry about!
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Old Oct 22, 2004, 12:59 AM
ewo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battfly
I use packing tape on all my foamies, sorta like a lazy man's 'glass job. On the wings for strength and protection from the grass on landings, and on the fuse for strength. I just cartwheeled my Formosa in, and it cracked on the fuse where I stopped taping.
I Don't fly a foamy without it. If it adds weight, it's not enough to worry about!
Absolutly correct
I cover almost all my planes entirley with tape

I love it

ewo
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Old Oct 22, 2004, 02:55 AM
In EPP I Trust...
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Issaquah, Washington, United States
Joined Jan 2004
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Keep in mind that most tape (strapping tape or clear packing tape) doesn't adhere very well to foam on its own. In most cases, you'll need to use some kind of spray adhesive like 3M 77 or 78, and this stuff is heavier than you'd think.

On my EPP planes/gliders, I typically have fully-taped fuselages (front to back) and partially taped wings (leading & trailing edges, root joint, wingtips, and center spar).

On lighter weight EPS/styrofoam planes like the Graupner Tipsy, I've used reinforcing tape only sparingly (motor mount, canopy, nose, leading edge near root). But I also use magnetic wing hold downs in place of the suicidal nylon bolt, so rather than building in strength for a tradeoff in weight, I build light with a plane that will "break apart" in a controlled way when it crashes.
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Old Oct 22, 2004, 03:33 AM
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Seattle
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I know this sound dumb but......... TAPE IT UP AND FLY IT!

Bret
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Old Oct 22, 2004, 07:49 AM
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You guys are amazing! Thanks for all the fantastic help. I think I'm going to stick with the tape deco for this plane (I already have small quantities of yel & blu), but I'll control how crazy I get based on the ~0.8g/ft calculation by Helicool. Next plane, I may have to try some sharpies or paint. ToddO
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Old Oct 22, 2004, 10:14 AM
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Bay Area, Ca
Joined Jul 2004
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Quote:
In most cases, you'll need to use some kind of spray adhesive like 3M 77 or 78, and this stuff is heavier than you'd think.
I thought this too until I started reading the 3M MSDS and it appears the standard application weighs .5g / sqft. So, glue on a 4 sqft wing is only 2 grams, a lot less than I thought originally. Even if you spray twice the standard amount, still not much.
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Old Oct 22, 2004, 03:23 PM
Flyboy
Annapolis, Md
Joined Oct 2004
735 Posts
Battfly, I completely taped my second Mini-Piper and not only is it now crash resistant but I think it actually flys better because in the slick skin and not the rough foam, less drag . I'll tape them all in the future.
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Old Oct 22, 2004, 06:35 PM
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USA, tn, Cordova
Joined Oct 2001
238 Posts
Hey Bill,
I agree! I covered my Terry in monocoat ( or some low temp covering) and I swear it's faster. Also, it's stronger and has survived a few cartwheels on landing. Seems to be a frequent landing style for me....
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