Light Iron-on Covering - RC Groups
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Dec 11, 2001, 03:54 AM
Registered User

Light Iron-on Covering

What is the lightest iron on covering and if possible the brand name in Europe.

I'm looking to use the lightest possible for my E3D :-)


Paul Gleeson
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Dec 11, 2001, 03:59 AM
Our Daddy and Heli Junkie
Fred Bronk's Avatar
Oracover Lite is very light, easy to use and looks good.
Dec 11, 2001, 07:56 AM
Lipoly Killer
Frank Hurd's Avatar

Nelson Lite

I've been using Nelson Lite Film, which is made in England, for my Radical R/C Edge 540 and it's super! .6 oz/square yard. Don't know what's it's called in England. Appears to be lighter than Oracover Lite, more like Saran Wrap with adhesive!
Dec 11, 2001, 08:33 AM
Registered User
Where did you get this "Nelson Lite" film from?

How does 0.6oz compare to oracover lite?

Dec 11, 2001, 11:31 AM
Registered User
Neil Stainton's Avatar
From a Google search I found with:

Oz/sq ft covering
0.07 light modelspan
0.07 Airspan
0.07 Airspan
0.09 LiteSpan Low
0.11 Supercoat, Sig
0.11 Indy RC film, Indy RC
0.11 Micafilm
0.12 Supercoat, Sig
0.12 Mylar Laminating Film High
0.13 AeroSpan Transparent Low
0.13 Solarfilm, ? Low
0.13 Supercoat, Sig
0.14 Fibafilm, ?
0.14 S. Monokote, Top Flite
0.14 Black Baron, Coverite
0.14 Oracover lite
0.17 Fabrikote, Top Flite red
0.17 Fibrefilm
0.18 Skysail
0.18 Silkspan cover
0.19 Transparent Monokote High
0.19 S. Monokote, Top Flite
0.19 Supercoat, Sig
0.20 Econokote Low
0.20 Graupner synth silk cover
0.20 S. Monokote, Top Flite

Which makes Solarfilm a bit lighter than Oracover Lite, which isn't believable. Maybe the above weight is for a transparent Solarfilm colour.

From I found "Derick Hardman (Mr Solarfilm) has some new covering out called 'So Lite' it's 2 for a 50"x13" roll 17microns and 20g/m2. It's adhesive backed so no messing with the Balsaloc and lighter than 'Lite Span' There are scale colours ie buff, dark green, yellow"

20gsm = 0.6oz/sq yd = 0.07oz/sq ft. I guess this is the Nelson Lite stuff.

Dec 11, 2001, 02:15 PM
Registered User
Paul, Coverite has a new product called CoverLite. It weighs 1 oz. per square yard (approximately .11oz./sq.ft.), or 32 - 35 gms. / square metre. Coverite claims it is airtight, waterproof, and resistant to diesel and glow fuels. It is heat sealed to a model after coating with Coverlite adhesive or Balsarite, then tightened by applying heat. They state in the instructions that it is very strong due to a network of interwoven polyester fibres. I am applying it for the first time to a model, so I do not have any experience with it in the field.
Dec 11, 2001, 02:26 PM
Registered User

Please keep me (us) informed on how you find Coverite goes.

Is it available in Europe?

Dec 11, 2001, 02:32 PM
Balsa Builder
Paul Susbauer's Avatar

Nelson LiteFILM

Nelson LiteFILM is available directly from Nelson Hobby Specialties. I have all my planes covered in the LiteFILM currently. Its great stuff, its easy to work with, its low temp so you can put it straight over foam.

Call them toll free at 877-263-5766 or

the litefilm isn't on their website, but they have it, and have been selling it like hotcakes.

Dec 11, 2001, 03:36 PM
Registered User
Paul, you could check the Web site at
Dec 11, 2001, 04:33 PM
Senior Member
cbosch_us's Avatar
Coverite's new Coverlite IS LiteSpan under a new name for Coverite's marketing. The same is true with Coverite's Micafilm, it is Fibafilm with only a different name - the products are identical. I've used all four products and personally verified this.

The newest lite material is So-Lite which is about 2/3rds the weight of Oracover Lite. I recently covered a Mini-Laser 3D with So-LIte and it is definately lighter than Oracover Lite. So-Lite is very flexible and the adhesive is moderately tacky. If two adhesive sides get pressed together, you cannot get them apart without tearing the film. Consequently, care is needed during assembly. I doublt this film adds much, of any strength to a structure since it is very flexible. But, it is very light and the iron-on adhesive is very good. The adhesive is activated at a very low temperature of 100C, which is nice, since I don't get as many burns as with the higher temperature materials.

In contrast, one of the lightest materials is mylar, or RA Microlite. which is very thin, iron on adhesive bonded to it. It is 3-5 microns thick and primarily intended for very light and/or indoor aircraft. It requires 200 degree C (400F) iron temperature - very HOT.

Covering weights vary by color somewhat. But, in general, I've found the following ordering of weights from my experiance an preferences:

1) Mylar (no adhesive), RA Microlite
2) Airspan (no adhesive)
3) So-Lite
4) Micafilm or Fibafilm (no adhesive), Oracover Lite
5) Monocote, Oracover, Coverite

Until So-Lite came out, Oracover Lite was the lightest transparent iron-on material available. (RA Microlite is much lighter, but not available in transparents.)

The E3D is a pretty good sized plan, and my feelings suggest using Oracover Lite. Hovever, if the structure is very strong, So-Lite could save a bit of weight. Both Micafilm or Fibafilm are good candidates too, if you don't mind using BalsoLoc or Balsarite adhesives. Mica and Fiba are extremely strong - probably stronger and more tear resistant than the heavier films.

Not familiar with the Nelson products.

Good luck,
Dec 11, 2001, 05:10 PM
Senior Member
cbosch_us's Avatar
Attached is my spreadsheet of covering weights. Hope you find it useful. I did not checking, and apparently So-Lite is even lighter than Airspan - but not by much. You will note that some of these materials are listed more than once since I've found data from multiple sources that differ somewhat.

Dec 11, 2001, 06:54 PM
Registered User
Neil Stainton's Avatar
Colin that's a great spreadsheet, but not very readable on my monitor. Could you attach the .xls file please? That way people could download it, print it out, etc.


Dec 11, 2001, 11:18 PM
Registered User
You can open the spreadsheet in Photoshop, blow it up and print it. Probably in any other graphics program you may have.

Dec 12, 2001, 03:04 AM
Balsa Builder
Paul Susbauer's Avatar
Rod-- As has already been said since your last response, LiteFILM is lighter than Coverlite, is available in 11 colors, not nine. LiteFILM is also a plastic look, not a tissue look. Although thin, I am amazed at the strength that it does give. It seems to be fairly puncture resistant, I know as I sometimes fly at a field (field behind my house) with tall grass that has a tendency to poke holes in my covering. That and I did all the testing for Nelson, to make sure we knew all the characteristics of the covering before we sold it.

--Paul -- Paul's Electric Page - Free Plans
Dec 12, 2001, 10:38 AM
Registered User

Re: Light Iron-on Covering

Originally posted by pgleesonuk
What is the lightest iron on covering and if possible the brand name in Europe.
I can vouch for So-Lite, also known as Solarfilm Lite. However, it may be a little TOO light for your E3D. It's great for tiny rubber band conversions, though.

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