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Effect of leaving Jabiru outdoors?

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Effect of leaving Jabiru outdoors?

Postby jsaint » Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:59 am

Hey, fellow Jabbies. No longer able to hangar, my 2007 Jabiru will be tied outdoors permanently. Does anyone have suggestions for UV protection, skin protection, wax or sealant, or whatever else I should worry about (product recommendations, how often, etc). I do have a blanket to cover the entire panel, but it's the skin and UV I'm more concerned with. I will fly it too often to bother with the difficulty of dealing with canvas covers by myselrf. Some have told me not to worry, others have said it will kill the nonmetal surface. Thoughts?
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Re: Effect of leaving Jabiru outdoors?

Postby Steevo » Thu Sep 27, 2018 2:44 pm

There is no issues in general but I would put covers on it.

Composite material is pretty hardy (after all, composite boats spend nearly all their life outside and wet).

But the sun will damage the paint over time and once the paintwork goes you will be through to the gel coat. Still not a big issue in it’s own right but getting a new paint job is expensive (even more expensive that painting a brand new aircraft as all the old paint has to be taken off first due to weight. Not like a car when you can rub it flat and then spray over the old stuff). Polish will help and there is UV resistant polish around. The paint itself will have some resistance to UV but over time, it will start to tarnish. It depends how long you think you will have the Jab.

If you don’t mind a tatty looking aircraft then not a problem, but I would assume that one day you will want to sell it and if it is really tatty, that could knock thousands off the sale price.

The 5 minutes it takes to put the covers on/off is worth it in my opinion. Mind you, good covers are not cheap.

Mine was stored outside for a couple of years but with full outdoor covers from Sky4Covers. Paint work still looks very good. It’s been inside for the rest of it’s life.
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Re: Effect of leaving Jabiru outdoors?

Postby MikeL » Sun Sep 30, 2018 9:50 am

My Jab has been kept in all three situations; tie down, hangar & trailer since 2005 & still looks pretty good.
For a tie down I recommend a full set of covers -Vertigo Covers made mine and they are excellent.
I used six tie down pegs -two for each of the wings-spar tops, the nose-wheel pivoting legs & the ventral fin. This arrangement arose through experience because the Jabiru will "fly" in high winds, even though it is tied down. After one heavy snowfall I went to the airfield to find its nose pointing skyward because the tail plane had six inches of snow on it, hence the nose wheel ties. The rope ties were all 10mm Terylene, the type you get on yachts, which has a huge breaking strain & a long life. The pegs were 12mm stainless threaded rods with 1.5" eye-ring tops, welded on.
I kept bubble-wrap between the cowl & the engine to minimise condensation, which generally worked well.
ACF spray kept much of the metal work clean & good quality resin polish did the same for the airframe. I found the cable ends needed a lot of greasing, particularly because my Jab is on the South coast, exposed to high winds & a salty environment.The exposed flap hinge bolts & U/C bolts were also vulnerable. The usual brake discs were replaced with Stainless ones, again keeping the environment in mind.
I found that it took twenty minutes to take the covers off & forty minutes to put them on again. Even longer if the wind was getting up & it was the sort of fun you don't need!
Keeping the Jab in a trailer proved to be a good compromise in that you had peace of mind knowing that it would be there in the morning, well protected, but as with all things aeronautical it had its own demands. Rigging & de-rigging being the main one.
By way of a not very subtle sales pitch, I have one for sale on the classified "accessories" section of this website, including a wing removal trolley.
On the whole, keeping your Jab outdoors is not a big deal, preparation seems to be key.
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Re: Effect of leaving Jabiru outdoors?

Postby Steevo » Sun Sep 30, 2018 12:10 pm

My covers were in 5 pieces. It never used to take me anywhere near 40 minutes to put them on. I also had tie downs all around and also experienced the tail going down when only the wings were tied.

My covers used to take just a few minutes to take off and bundle in to the back of the car (unfolded). Putting them back on took me a while the first few times as I had to work out what goes where and which way around. After I got a procedure in place, I could have the covers out the car and fully on in 10-15 minutes. It was a little awkward if it was windy as the covers would lift while you are trying to do up the clips but eventually I got to a point that if I did up a few strategic clips as they were going on, the wind didn’t cause too much of a problem. It certainly wasn’t any more hassle than it takes me now to get it out the hangar, especially if other aircraft have to be moved and doors opened etc.

I think the main point here is that if you do have to store it outside and you want to keep it in reasonable condition, you will need to have some kind of cover for protection.
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