Common Questions about Oratex600® and Oratex6000®

General Questions

Is the fabric proven?

Oratex is currently being used on over 300 flying airplanes, with many more under construction, and the oldest being over ten years and still looking very good. Oratex has been tested extensively in Alaska and has been found to hold up extremely well to the most rugged conditions imaginable.

Is Oratex more expensive than other covering systems?

If you factor in the cost of painting (which is not required with Oratex) the price is about the same as the legacy systems. If you include the cost of a compressor, spray gun and respirator (none of which are necessary with our system) or if you factor in the time you will save, then the cost of covering with Oratex will be significantly less. [Click Here for a more detailed cost comparison.]

Is the fabric certified?

Oratex is certified in Europe and Canada and FAA STCs are now available for many aircraft, including Pipers, some Aeroncas, Stinsons, as well as all Maules and Huskys. We also have field approval for Cessna 120/140s.

What is the difference between Oratex600 and Oratex6000?

Oratex600 is for use on airplanes with a gross weight up to 600 kilograms (1323) pounds. Oratex 6000 is for use on airplanes with a gross weight up to 6000 kilograms (13,228 pounds).

Is Oratex safe to use?

Very safe. So safe that no special safety precautions are necessary. You don't even need gloves. Oratex is so safe you can even cover parts in your living room.

How long will it take to cover my airplane.

Using tradition methods such as Poly-Fiber or Ceconite, the amateur builder will normally take 300-500 hours to cover and paint an airplane the size of a Super Cub. With Oratex, 130 hours is a reasonable estimate (based on actual customer feedback). Smaller airplanes can be completed in about 100 hours.

What colors are available?

Both Oratex600 and Oratex6000 are available in White, Cub Yellow, Fokker Red, Corsair Blue, Olive Drab and Silver. In addition, Oratex600 is also available in Natural White and Antique. [Click Here to view color swatches.]

What if I want to use a different color or want a super shiny finish?

One of the big advantages of Oratex is that it doesn't need to be painted. However, if you have special needs we offer paint that is specially formulated to work with the Oratex covering system.

Is Oratex difficult to repair?

Oratex is very easy to repair, even in the field. A patch can easily be glued over a tear, and dents can be removed using a heat gun. [Click Here for a dent removal demonstration.]

How wide is the fabric?

Oratex comes in two widths: 90 centimeter and 180 centimeter (35.43 and 70.87 inches, respectively).

Application Questions

What types of coatings and how many coats are required.

No coatings (or paint) are required. The fabric comes ready to use. Just glue it down, shrink it, and fly!

Can I cover my own airplane?

Yes, experimental builders are allowed to cover their airplanes, and covering an airplane with Oratex is much easier than with traditional methods.

How can I learn how to do it?

Start by viewing our [Application Instructions]. If you have additional questions please [Contact Us].

Is rib stitching required?

That just depends on the requirements as set forth by the designer of your aircraft. If the plans call for rib stitching, then you must rib stitch. If the plans call for rivets, you will use rivets.

What tools are required?

In addition to normal shop tools (such as measuring, marking and cutting equipment) the primary tools you will need are a good quality digital iron, a good quality digital heat gun, and a good quality digital thermometer. [Click Here for tool suggestions.]

Technical Questions

How long will the Oratex covering last?

We guarantee our product for 10 years. As of 2013 the longest flying aircraft with Oratex is 10½ years. We expect that as time passes Oratex will prove to last at least as long as all of the more traditional systems. It is likely that it will prove to last longer.

Does Oratex have UV protection?

Yes, both Oratex600 and Oratex6000 are fully UV protected without any additional coating. It's engineered into the fabric.

How much does the fabric weigh?

Depending upon the color, Oratex600 weighs about 3 ounces per square yard. Oratex6000 weighs about 4 ounces per square yard. Remember, this is the total weight as no painting is required. [Click Here for exact weight information.]

How strong is Oratex fabric?

Oratex is significantly stronger than other fabrics. [Click Here to view complete technical specifications.]

How strong is the Oratex Hotmelt Glue?

Our glue can withstand over 100 pounds per square inch of force.

Is Oratex fire resistant?

Our fabric does not support combustion. [Click Here for a burn demonstration.]

Whether you are investigating your covering options and need more information, or have already purchased Oratex and have application questions, we are always ready and eager to help.


Some have complained on these forums that Oratex does not have the high-gloss finish that can be achieved with the expensive polyurethane paints. That's true, but it is still a beautiful finish. I had Bodacious at Oshkosh last year (2012) and thousands of people looked at her closely. Not a single person, as far as I know, disparaged the appearance. Hundreds told me that the fabric was beautiful.

--John Steere, Bodacious Project

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Independent Weight Comparison

Bearhawk design engineer Bob Barrows made three test panels, one with Oratex 6000, one with 2.7 ounce Ceconite with very light coatings and one panel with normal coatings. The Oratex panel weighed 12 grams, the panel with light coatings weighed 20 grams and the panel with normal coatings weighed 30 grams. On an LSA weight savings are critical, so they were very pleased with the weight savings.

[Click Here for exact weight information.]

Cost Comparison

Consider money saved on tools and long term maintenance, add in the value of your time and especially your health, and Oratex wins.

[Click Here for complete cost comparison.]

Canadian Approval!

Effective November 2015 Transport Canada has issued Letters of Acceptance for our European STCs. Affected certified aircraft can now legally be covered with Oratex!

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