Aircraft tape is a versatile product that all pilots should keep on hand. Also known as speed tape, it’s a type of durable and heavy-duty tape that’s designed for use on airplanes, helicopters and other aircraft. It looks like duct tape, but that doesn’t mean it’s the same. While duct tape is strong as well, aircraft tape offers a superior level of strength. If you’re thinking about using it, you might be wondering what benefits aircraft tape offers.
#1) UV Resistant
You don’t have to worry about the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays degrading aircraft tape. UV light, of course, is higher in the sky as opposed to on the ground. The good news is that aircraft tape is UV resistant. It will resist the sun’s UV rays while continuing to support the part or parts with which it’s used. Other types of tape, such as duct tape, offer little or no protection against UV light.
#2) Made of Aluminum
The superior strength of aircraft tape can be attributed to its aluminum construction. It’s typically made of aluminum. Aircraft tape consists of high-quality aluminum with an adhesive on one side. Duct tape, in comparison, is typically made of a plastic-like material known as polythene, followed by a separate later of a fabric material and then the adhesive.
#3) Protects Pre-Cured Sealant
You can use aircraft tape in conjunction with sealant. Most sealants take time to cure. Even air-cured sealants may take 24 hours or longer. Until a sealant has cured, it won’t offer a strong “hold.” A simple solution is to use aircraft tape. After applying the sealant to a damaged part, you can place a piece of aircraft tape over it. The aircraft tape will temporarily protect the sealant. Once the sealant has cured, you can then remove the aircraft tape.
#4) Expands and Contracts
Aircraft tape will expand and contract. It will expand when exposed to heat. Aircraft tape will contract, in comparison, as the temperature to which it’s exposed begins to drop. This process of thermal expansion and contracts allows aircraft tape to withstand the harsh environments of flight.
#5) Authorized for Certain Aircraft Repairs
Given its name, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that aircraft tape has been authorized for certain types of aircraft repairs. Minor repairs to noncritical parts of an airplane can often be made with aircraft tape. Engineering teams allow pilots and other individuals to make these minor repairs using aircraft tape.