Michelin Aviation Tires: A Proven Track Record

While blazing across the sky it is sometimes easy to forget that tires are an integral part of an aircraft. Flight is a precursor to landing and vice versa. Are your tires up to the task of touching down on the tarmac without popping like peeps in a microwave?

SkyGeek has an extensive line of undercarriage products, especially aviation tires. And while there are plenty of great brand names, this post shines the spotlight on Michelin.

Sure we could go into a long exposition of what makes Michelin an outstanding choice when it comes to performance and reliability (How about a long Highlighted History dating back to 1889?), but why do that when a Youtube video can do it with fancy visual fireworks and inspirational music:

In less than 100 words, this clip explains the true might of Michelin. The main message book-ended in the video is that Michelin “helps your business fly” and provides “peace of mind.”

The entire video is a true testament to this claim. For over a century they have acted as pioneers in the aviation industry. Short, medium or long range – their inventory of tires addresses your needs. And it does so by offering several benefits: FOD resistance, fuel savings, less maintenance costs, and eco-friendly technology.

Speaking of technology, Michelin has developed NZG (net zero growth) radial tires that not only reduce cuts and abrasions but these tires possess considerable weight savings as well. This is just one instance where technical expertise and quality manufacturing go hand-in-hand (or should we say, wheel-to-tire?).

And through their numerous partnerships and dedicated experts, they have demonstrated a proven track record of innovation and leadership . Why else would Michelin products be found on space shuttles, commercial aircraft, general aviation, and military vehicles across the globe?

Don’t worry about the rubber. You won’t have to when you choose Michelin.

Clearing Your Web Browser Cache

Knowing whether to clear a cache or not from your web browser is something that is up to a user’s personal preferences. Before you know what that preference is, it would first help to define a cache.

Perhaps you have heard this phrase but are not so tech savvy. A cache can refer to many things, from geography to a collection of belongings. But many times it refers to computers. There are many types of computer caches including CPU and page caches (How Stuff Works’cache article does a great job of explaining a cache’s purpose). Because this post pertains to the SkyGeek website, though, this topic revolves around a web cache.

A web cache is a means of temporarily storing web documents and data so that your computer’s performance is increased. In other words, having a web cache of frequently visited sites reduces the time a web page takes to load. This leads to a more streamlined and user-friendly experience. Thus, convenience is something caching can provide.

SkyGeek understands that routine maintenance of your computer involves deleting old web pages for the sake of freeing up disk space, which would involve clearing the cache of your web browser. You can learn how to do so by visiting our Help Center, (or you can simply continue reading).

Unfortunately, not all web browsers are the same and so you cannot perform this function with a “one-size-fits-all” method. Different operating systems have different methods of clearing web cache.

Fortunately, there’s a way to find out. In order to clear your cache, use this WikiHow Guide, which does an excellent job of not only explaining a cache’s importance, but provides a step-by-step process (conveniently accompanied by screenshots) using various web browsers.

Let’s Get Technical: Data Sheets

By now you must be familiar with the content contained within Material Safety Data Sheets. If not then you haven’t read our MSDS posts close enough. What are you waiting for? We spent a ton of time on those! Moving on…

This post is about another kind of sheet: A technical data sheet.

A technical data sheet (TDS) is a document produced in tandem with a product so that a manufacturer provides the necessary information for its usage. Because of this a TDS is sometimes referred to as a product data sheet (PDS). To make it easier, we’re just going to refer to it as a TDS from here on out.

The format, layout, and design of a TDS are not universal and the length may vary. However, there are usually certain sections that tend to appear across the broad spectrum of existing products. (It’s important to note before we go any further that some products may not even have a TDS. For example, our propeller hats don’t need one and neither do gifts and toys in general. Also, sophisticated electronics, like Garmin GPS and Yaesu transceivers instead have instructional manuals and booklets that provide technical and installation information).

For the most part, a TDS is composed of a number of sections. The following is a list of the most common ones:

blog-TDS-benefits

The TDS for Momentive RTV100 Series of sealants contains these features and benefits. This section often comes in bulleted form for easy readability. (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Description – A brief explanation of what the product is and what it is used for. Often you will find that SkyGeek (not to mention practically every site) draws from this section so that it serves as the description on the actual product page.

Features/Benefits – Sometimes one; sometimes the other; sometimes both. Features are traits that a product possesses. And these features usually translate to benefits when used. For instance, a sealant may have “high temperature performance” which means it can withstand high heat without compromising its effectiveness.

Applications – This is a broad section, but basically it gives instructions on how to handle the product and actually put it into use. Sometimes there is surface preparation involved or temperature and cure time requirements. There can even be information on how to clean-up excess amounts. Application can substitute for “Directions for Use” found on many containers since it is more or less the same.

blog-TDS-properties

The Typical Physical Properties section Of 3M’s Scotch-Weld 847 Adhesive TDS. This is the very essence of a TDS. Notice that there is a disclaimer saying the results are not specific. A consumer should thus always test to see if the product meets specific requirements for an intended application. (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Physical/Functional/Performance Properties – Another broad section with slightly different name variations. This is perhaps the most technical section in an entire TDS. A few properties that may be mentioned: viscosity, color, net weight, flashpoint, specific gravity, tensile strength, sheer strength, peel strength, cure time, etc. Fortunately, all this information and more is usually presented in chart form. But obviously because a product is made for an intended purpose and because it is composed of a specific combination of materials and chemicals, the extent or length of the chart varies widely.

Storage – This section describes how best to preserve the product so that it does not expire prematurely. By storing a product in a place that is secure and safe from harm, packaging is less likely to be damaged. No leaks or exposure translates to an uncompromised shelf life. This section is also found in an MSDS.

Warranty – Sometimes a manufacturer will honor a faulty product within a given time frame.

Additional Information – Anything left out that hasn’t already been mentioned and does not fit into any of the above sections.

Other parts of a TDS: a date of when the document was created and revised, a disclaimer with legal information, as well as contact information in case there are further questions.

Perhaps the best approach to understanding a TDS is to simply examine several to get a better idea of the extent to which companies are willing to divulge information on a product. I have selected five products from our site with links to their TDS. If the links do not work for whatever reason, you can simply search these products on SkyGeek; another link to their TDS can be found in the descriptions.

Lubri-Bond A and its TDS
Royco 782 and its TDS
PRC-DeSoto P/S 870 Class B and its TDS
Momentive RTV118 and its TDS
3M Scotch-Weld 847 and its TDS

You’ll notice the featured five TDS pertain to chemical-heavy products. In this way they are related to MSDS, documents that are required to be disseminated to users by law and indicate the stringently regulated nature of a product. Certainly a wrench does not automatically call for a TDS and neither does a screw. Sure they have specifications and maybe even a data sheet of some kind but they do not need to be accompanied with written instructions telling someone where to store it or how to apply it. It is not mandatory. Based on this, one can start to see which products correspond to TDS.

Do you think technical data sheets should be a common feature on our site? Let us know on our Facebook page, the comments below, or email us at techsupport@skygeek.com

Please Advise: Painting Your Plane

When it came time to blog about paint, no one wanted to write about it. Sandy and Otto refused, and I didn’t bother asking Mack since, like most, Mack finds writing about paint just as boring as watching it dry on a wall. Don’t we all, Mack…don’t we all.

A major portion of our website involves purchasing paint. In fact that is why we have an entire category dedicated to it. We thought it would be a good idea to provide some pointers when planning a paint job for your plane. So without further delay, here they are:

Step 1: Gather all the right materials
This depends on the extent to which you are painting. Is it a simple touch up job or a full body ordeal? Answering that question will allow you to retrieve the right tools for the task. Quantities will depend on the size of your aircraft. The following is an incomplete list meant to give you a rough checklist of what you may or may not need:

Masking tape
Paint stripper
Pressure washer
Sanding equipment
2-part epoxy filler
Primer
Wooden stirrers (paddles)
Plastic gloves
Scrappers
Face masks
Eye protection
Paint (of course)

Step 2: Remove old paint
In order to paint your aircraft it would be most prudent to get rid of the old. Failing to do so only will lead to another pre-mature paint job (not to mention a less-than-optimal performance from the paint). Inspect the plane for signs of wear. To remove old paint, apply a stripper. This will take care of cracked coatings; spots that are good can simply be sanded. Just be careful not to sand rivet heads as that can compromise the airworthiness of your vehicle. Also, it may take more than one coating of stripper before old paint is completely removed.

Step 3: Protect non-painted surfaces
Make sure to cover with plastic sheets or masking tape areas of the plane that you don’t wish to paint. Fairings can be removed. Plastic parts should be protected against paint remover. This is particularly directed at windows. You certainly don’t want to obstruct visibility and a beautiful view when flying. You also don’t want others to know how careless you are.

Step 4: Assist with paint removal
Once the paint removal has chemically reacted and has naturally stripped old paint use a plastic scrapper to accelerate the process. Then rinse the plane with a hose or a compressed washer so that pesky old paint can be blasted away.

Step 5: Treat corrosion
Once your plane is stripped to the bare metal surface, inspect for areas of corrosion and then treat accordingly. With what? An acid etch and alodine treatment that is best suited to treat aluminum. Apply the acid, let it work itself in, and then rinse thoroughly. Afterwards you are ready to apply the alodine. This will not only provide a coat of corrosion prevention but act as a good adhesion for paint as well.

Step 6: Repair and replace
If fairings, windows, or any other removable parts need to be either repaired or replaced, now is the time to do it. Otherwise, painting your plane and then making repairs may lead to damaging the very thing you are trying to preserve.

Be advised: You may want to paint inspection covers separately, i.e. remove them first and then paint them. This way when inspection rolls around you won’t damage the finish you just applied on your plane.

Step 7: Select the right paint arsenal
Perhaps the most important step. Choosing paint is not as simple as looking at a color and choosing one that looks pretty (although that is part of it). In fact, painting your plane does not involve throwing a bucket of paint and hoping for the best. There is a process and it comes in stages that revolve around applying certain types of coating in a particular sequence.

It is recommended to start with a self-etching primer that is of high-quality. After all, you don’t want to be doing this every couple of years. Proceed to the next phase by introducing your plane to a coat of primer-sealer (usually white). After that, it’s time to apply the actual paint which may require multiple coatings (look for a polyurethane composition). Finally, additional colors may be used if stripes, numbers, or any other sign or symbol is needed.

Be advised: Painting in sections may be the most practical method. Trying to paint an entire plane at once is not advisable for one person to undertake as paint in one area may dry quicker than another. There’s also the issue of overlapping; when this occurs you can expect a rougher finish instead of that coveted smooth coat.

Be advised: Customized templates are available that can provide a paint scheme for you. Once your base coast is dried, these templates can be used to apply preferred styles and designs without worrying of making your own measurements. This will save you time and may prevent any kind of crookedness or miscalculation of the paint scheme. Remember, time is money.

Step 8: Know when to go pro
We all can’t be bothered with painting. And sometimes seeking a professional is the best way to go. The reality is that not everyone is determined to join the Do-It-Yourself crowd. When in doubt you can always go to the nearest aircraft paint shop and get it done.

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*Thanks to Piper Owner Society and Royal Aircraft Services for being primary research sources.