Comparing Costs

More and more second and third-time builders are now choosing Oratex® because they recognize that Oratex is very cost competitive when everything is considered. How competitive? A Team Mini-MAX can be completely covered for between $3309 (using every trick to save as much as possible) to $5168, a Fly Baby from $5000 to $6390 and a Super Cub from $8000 to $9700. The actual cost will depend upon various customer choices.

Many builders, after covering one airplane with the legacy systems have sworn, "never again!" But now having heard about and seen Oratex, they are coming back to build their next airplane. Instead of dreading the covering work, they know that they will be having a lot of fun as they move quickly from one finished component to the next, finishing the entire cover job in around 100 hours on many types of airplanes.

Many of our customers are already experienced at covering airplanes. They understand the true cost of a cover job and know that the cost of the fabric is just a fraction of the total cost. Just as companies in Europe are using Oratex on their production airplanes instead of sticking with the traditional materials, more and more experienced builders in the USA are now choosing Oratex because it is cost competitive and it goes on so much more quickly. All without the exposure to hazardous chemicals!

Consider All of the Costs

If you are new to aircraft covering, it's tempting to look at just the cost of raw fabric and think that you can cover your airplane for a few hundred dollars. Unfortunately that's just not the case. To avoid unpleasant surprises, you must consider ALL of the expenses.

When you get a quote for materials for a covering job in Superflite, Polyfiber, Ceconite, Air-Tech-Coatings, Randolph Butyrate dope, etc. make sure it includes the cost of the topcoat. Depending upon the type and color of paint that you choose, a reasonable cost for just the topcoat paint for a Super Cub sized airplane might be somewhere around $1,500 to $3,000 if you don't get fancy. On the upper end of fancy show planes, the sky's the limit. And don't forget that you will need a large compressor, spray gun (and accessories), respirator and/or positive pressure ventilation helmet, Tyvek suit, masking tape and paper, etc. And, you'll also need to set up a spray booth.

With Oratex, there is no spraying, so none of this is necessary.

How do you want to spend your time?

Covering an airplane with Oratex will save a lot of time. Based on actual customer feedback, figure about 130 hours to completely cover a Super Cub in Oratex. To cover and paint that same airplane with the legacy systems will likely take 300-500 hours, or even longer. So be sure to factor in that you will save hundreds of hours when you choose Oratex. Many builders who have previously covered airplanes with legacy systems are now using Oratex simply because it is so much faster, and so much more fun to apply.

Long Term Benefits

Oratex is tougher than other fabrics, so you will save money over the long term. We fly Oratex in rugged Alaskan conditions, and we can say with complete confidence that our fabric won't chip or crack. It won't ringworm and there's no risk of it peeling or osmotic blistering. Oratex is much more rugged and upkeep is correspondingly low. And if you should ever damage your fabric, it can be repaired far more easily than the legacy systems.

Weight Considerations

Too many builders make up for a lack of painting skill by applying more and more paint. It is not at all unusual for an amateur painted airplane to weigh 30 or 40 pounds more than expected. That extra weight not only cuts into your useful load, it also takes fuel to lift it and haul it around. Over hundreds or thousands of hours, that extra weight continues to add to the cost of the legacy covering systems. Oratex is the lightest covering system on the market.

So when considering the real cost of covering your airplane, be sure to take all these things into consideration. Then join the growing number of long time professionals and first time builders who are choosing Oratex, because they realize that when everything is considered, Oratex is not only a superior fabric that is stronger, tougher and lighter, it's also a really good deal!