The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #54366 Message #842607
Posted By: JohnInKansas
06-Dec-02 - 04:53 PM
Thread Name: Parody Urged:Fixing planes w/ DUCT TAPE!
Subject: RE: Parody Urged:Fixing planes w/ DUCT TAPE!
That twin tailed Beech airplane was popular with bush pilots because it was all "rag covered." If you punched a hole in it, you could use an old shirt (or better, a piece of mother-in-law's parachute) for a temporary repair. The "approved" repair was to "glue" the patch on. If you had a bit of acetone, you could make your own "glue" (actually a lacquer) by knocking a bit of "plexiglass" off of an unused window and dissolving it in the acetone.
Duct tape was never an "approved" patch, because the Duct tape "sticky" caused the adjacent lacquer to break up, but it was probably widely used.
The plane was still in demand in the early '60s, but the last factory build was around 1960 - '62 or so - because it became impossible to find "rebuildable" engines to make any more.
That airplane had a steel tube "frame," but many others used more wood than metal - glued together largely with chicken blood. It was fairly early in the 2d WW era when they learned (or when it was commercialized) to "freeze dry" the blood and "reconstitute" it by adding water. The fringe benefit is that the smell of the airplane shops improved greatly.
The "speed tape" used by AA is actually an accepted temporary repair, subject to some pretty strict limitations on when and where it can be used. AA was certainly not charged just because they used it, but because they used it in an "unapproved manner." This tape bears little resemblance to the common "Duct Tape" since it consists essentially of a sheet of aluminum (up to 0.03 inches or so thick) with an adhesive.
Surprisingly perhaps, one of the few places that many more recent building codes prohibit the use of Duct/Duck Tape is -- on Ducts. The problem is that when the adhesive used on the cheaper tapes "cures" it pulls loose or falls off. Caulking is now the preferred/approved method for sealing air ducts in the building trades in at least some locations.
It is likely that the "Duct Tape Cure" for warts works because virtually all high-tack adhesives contain at least a small amount of free mercury. It's what "maintains the tackiness." A very good poison if properly applied - and the higher content in "rough tapes" is a reason why something like Duct Tape should only be used as a temporary expedient for First Aid purposes, and with a gauze between the tape and any open wound.