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How to fold aircraft covers

Does anyone have any tips on doing this neatly? Despite numerous endeavours, I always seem to end up with the same large mass of scrunched up canvass, with randomly attached straps.

I remember an instructor once doing it so neatly it almost looked like fresh hotel linen… (well, almost)

Any ideas gratefully received

North Weald, United Kingdom

One’s arms aren’t long enough to get hold of any one edge of it, as a straight line.

So you have to hold two ends of one edge and – sort of – throw it away from you so the midpoint of the said edge is away from you. Then you grip the two ends in one hand and grab the midpoint with the other hand, and then it’s easy.

It is the same as folding bed sheets, which are similarly too long.

It is a horrid job to do when the cover it wet because you get yourself soaked – as I know only too well. And then the folded-up cover cannot be left inside the aircraft because it would outgas a huge amount of water vapour which will bugger up the avionics and make everything else stink. One can fly the plane with such a wet cover (rolled up) but then it has to come out after landing and either left outside somewhere or put back on the plane.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I was spoiled for years with a hanagerd low wing.
Now I’m permenantly based outside with a High wing.
It’s almost impossible to remove or refit the current cover alone in the wind unless of course you don’t care about much of it getting on the ground collecting grit and dried grass.
I’m now redesigning the cover with strategic extra straps to punctuate the process and take back control. Lol.

Jgmusic, you don’t mention the aircraft type.

Private strip, Essex (not mine), United Kingdom

Yes it is absolutely vital to not let the cover touch the ground, otherwise the grit it picks up will scratch the windows.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Thanks Peter. Like my former instructor, it sounds like you have mastered the art Thanks for the instructions. I will try this and hope not to trouble you for a diagram.

GA_Pete, it’s a Piper Arrow IV.

In a fit of eagerness (and evidently funds at the time) I actually invested in a full set of covers. Wings are relatively easy to fit but the tail requires a ladder (ahem) so hasn’t seen much action. Given the permanent cross-winds at North Weald it’s enough to wrestle with the fuselage, so I’m happy to leave it at that until I graduate to higher skills.

I have a trunk on the airfield which provides handy storage in between short flights, or rather damp storage in between longer ones. Never in the hold, as you say, Peter.

North Weald, United Kingdom

With the arrow, as a relatively regular low wing shape, I wonder if a good approach would be ‘flat-roll-folded’ lol…..bear with me.

If you start near the tail and flick 2ft of the cover over itself, in a way that the other side will kinda follow. Then repeat in 2ft bites, now climbing on the wing, continuing forward until the bulk is now a saussage across the base of the windshield.
It should be heavy enough and compact enough to stay put while you walk around and complete the engine section.
Refitting is the reverse, where you place the sausage back, secure the 1st strap before completing the engine section, then unfolding/ rolling back to the tail.

I’m sure you’ve tried that, or there’s a reason why that won’t work but thought I’d mention it, just in case.

Private strip, Essex (not mine), United Kingdom

Intriguing, GA_Pete. I’ll try that!

North Weald, United Kingdom

TB20 with cockpit and cowling cover, single handed operation of Cambrai cover ;-)

Open buckles back to front.
Fold cowling end up to windscreen.
Stand on wing and pull cowling end up to antenna cut out on top.
Pick a middle seam halfway between antenna and fuselage and pull up, so that it doubles up towards antenna. Double up again from the end.
Lift aft part over antenna cut out and fold over front part.
Lift pilot end and fold up.
Pull in copilot side incl straps (only awkward move) and fold in.
Fold one last time and put in bagagge compartment ;-)
Needs a bit of tweaking here and there but generally works single handed in about 2min.
Because of the antenna cut out as orientation, it is equally mounted in reverse in about the same time. Once cover sits over the antenna it wont blow away and the cowlimg buckles fixes it completely.

Last Edited by ch.ess at 04 Dec 06:38
EDM_, Germany

Thanks ch.ess. Three techniques to try now. I will put aside a morning to try them out

North Weald, United Kingdom
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