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Wing cleaning!!


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I too have splattered cow poo on my wing. I saw a recommendation somewhere for Dri-Pak liquid soap flakes. It’s meant to be pretty benign stuff. I bought a bottle in Tesco and have removed a small area of poo with it by diluting and rubbing gently with a sponge. It has done a good job, and I’m considering giving the whole wing a once over.

I’ve read conflicting reports on wing cleaning; from don’t touch at all, to immersion of the wing and lines in soapy water. Hopefully someone can enlighten us.

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I have a 26 that is in need of a good clean.

I am tempted to bung it in the bath with some warm water and leave it to soak for a while.

I would of course send it to Aerofix for a porosity check after any sort of clean.

SW :D

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I've used Woolite and warm (25C) water in a bath on a couple of old 'Skytex' wings. No discernible porosity changes (one annual test to another), 'crispiness' comes back, inflates easier, you'll be amazed at the amount of brown muck coming out of the wing and it looks/smells great afterwards...

I transported the wing downstairs after the washing (and rinsing) using a wheel barrow (the wing becomes incredibly heavy), hung it on the washing line by it's trailing edge (one peg per cell), re-rinsed it inside and out again, left to dry on a warm overcast day. Still flying the wing!

Richard

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I have a very experienced pilot friend who has used ...wait for it PETROL (oil free) :shock:

It cleans the wing beautifully and has left no damage to the wing (porosity checked). I had heard the horror stories about petrol melting wings before your eyes - myth apparently.

Apparently Petrol is widely regarded, in clued in circles, as one of the safest cleaning solvents (again oil free!).

He didn't dunk it in a vat of it, but rather put a bit on a rag and wiped away all the crap with spectacular results. (excellent for sticky goo from wing stickers too).

I have cleaned my wings previously with Woolite and an old bath tub in the garden and a pressure washer from a safe distance. Then I irrigated inside the cells with the wing pegged up on a line in the garden leading edge down. Left in the Sun to dry and voila.

Some swear by increasing the longevity of the wing by regualr cleaning - one guy in particular is Keith Pickersgill in South Africa (on PPG yahoo group).

However you MUST stretch your lines afterwards as the sheathed lines tend to shrink when wet. You need to apply a 20kg load to the line. I rigged up a 20kg kettlebell weight to the riser via a pully from a tree and stretched the lines.

Then sent it to Aerofix for a full MOT. (Passed 8)

:dive:

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Neutral PH is key so it seems.

I was leaning towards a soak cleaning as well, until I read that the newer fabrics are less tolerant to moisture then those who are less 'green'. Seems rather ironic that the green production practices forced upon manufacturers actually lessens the resilience of the product by using water based application of coatings over petroleum of old.

Those sand particles in the seams are hitchhikers forever for the most part, but taking caustic poo and/or salt of the filght surfaces makes sense. If anyone has ever left some bird poo on their car paint for too long, you know what I mean.

Some background:

http://www.ojovolador.com/eng/read/repo ... /index.htm

And stretch'em after:

http://www.ojovolador.com/eng/read/repo ... /index.htm

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At the bottom of the page you top link points to it says,

"To clean your glider, spread it out on a clean, dry surface, and use Savon de Marseille [or similar olive oil based natural soap] and a wet sponge. Do not use abrasives or solvents."

SW :D

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