After 4 weeks of prep work, the new runway, taxi way and pit area are now completed.
Rodney Nichols was able to get the new runway grated and loaned us the roller we needed to get everything as smooth as possible.Brian Ford loaned us his tractor to do the dirt work Brian and Todd completed all dirt work. Before the fabric was put down, Max and Sally Blose spent 2 days using RoundUp to kill weeds. Also, over the past 2 weeks Max Blose and Danny Jackson mowed 75 percent of the field (25 acres) and Brian Ford shredded the rest.
I would like to thank the members that were able to come out to the work party Saturday, the 27th. We had everything installed in 3 1/2 hours with everyones help.
I would like also thank all of the club members for their donations. Without them we would not have been able to get this done. We now have a 1st class field to fly off of.
We are working on getting the shelter moved to its new location and hope to have it done
in the next couple of weeks.
Max and Sally Blose, Todd Blose, Brian Ford, Danny Jackson, Andy Richmond, Glen Gerik, Dennis Durham, Carl Ervin, Steve Fabianke, Steve Hollingsworth, Charles Huse, Dave Smith, Jim Smith
Ed Snow, Butch Zalmer and Rodney Nicholes for all of support from the city of Valley Mills.
Fabric Runway FAQ
1. What size is your fabric runway?
44' wide x 298’ long (grated total of 600 ft for smooth runoff at each end) with (1) 15’ x 150’ taxi way and (1) 15’ x 150 Pit Area
2. What preparation is needed before laying the fabric?
We grated the runway, taxi way and pit area, then spent 3 weeks rolling and filling all low spots and added RoundUp to kill all weeds
3. How is it installed?
It is held down by 8in staples approx. 8” apart at all edges and seams. once the fabric tightened up we added more staples in between each 8" foot staples.
4. What maintenance is required during the season?
The only maintenance required has been to kill a few weeds working up thru the seams and to patch a few bad prop strikes.
5. What needs to be done each spring?
Check to make sure each staple is down.
6. Any winter preparation needed?
No winter prep has been needed.
7. How easy is it to repair and what was used on the seams?
We repair holes using small pieces of the fabric and asphalt roof patching compound. Some of the smaller holes can be repaired using just the asphalt roof patching or Henry 10.3 oz. 208 Wet Patch Roof Cement. The seams are just stapled down at approx 6” spacing and overlap each roll 4 to 6 inches. .The seams are stitched with the asphalt roof patching or Henry 10.3 oz. 208 Wet Patch Roof Cement and since the cure time is 24hrs we used 3M 90 contact cement to hold the seams until the cement dries This is a must, if not done the seams will stay loose and cause problems for the planes (see picture below)
8. How long has your fabric been down?
Since April 2013
9. How is it repaired?
See question # 7.
10. What glues have you used and what works best?
Again, see question # 7.
11. How long will it last?
This is the info we have from other clubs that have the Fabric.... "We are guessing 6 years in Michigan, but a club in Texas has had it for five (5) years and they expect it to last much longer."
12. What are the problems with the fabric runway?
(A) You must have a very slow idle.
(B) If a plane noses in or crashes on the runway real hard, it can put the prop nut thru the runway or the prop may slice thru. However most of the time it does no harm.
13. Why did the club go to a fabric runway?
Hard to get a grass runway in the Texas weather and it was much cheaper and easier than an asphalt runway
Even small electrics can take off with no problems, as well as fuel powered scale planes with retracts.
See Question # 12 - ALSO sometimes extremely small tail wheels may catch in a seam while taxiing.
14. How do the club members like the fabric runway?
Love it, made our field 1st class
15. What do jets do to it? How many members fly jets?
Currently, no one regularly flies jets off our field, but we have been told that they do not affect it.
16. What care must be taken while mowing? How close do you get to the fabric?
Our mower just overlaps the edges of the runway and has had no problems.
17. How have you oriented your runway to the prevailing wind?
yes , Our runway runs North to South.
18. Do you know other clubs that have used the fabric?
There are several other clubs that we know of, One of the clubs is in Nederland Texas and we talked with Kent Radio Aero Molders in Alto MI for lessons learned.
19. Does it stay tight?
The Runway material stretches tight in the sunshine and stays tight all year round.
20. Does the wind damage the runway?
We have not had any problem with the winds damaging the runway. But, we have securely installed the runway with special staples. (We have had 50 mph winds without any problems)
21. Does glow fuel, gas, or the exhaust damage the Fabric?
No, I have put gas and 30% PowerMaster on the fabric and it does not hurt it. We do all of our
fueling off of the fabric at this time because I donot know if over time it will stain the fabric or not
One of our members made up a tool for putting the Staples in and this made the install much easier. With one worker loading them, and another driving them in, it goes surprisingly fast. We just rolled the fabric out and pulled it out fairly flat before stapling it down. In a few hours of warm sunshine the fabric stretches tight. It is useable within a couple of hours. We added extra staples at each end once the runway was rolled out. Make sure to put the staples as close to the edge as possiable this will keep the edge from rolling up After 1 week in the sun we have added more staples to each side to ensure the sides would stay down We had the whole runway done in approx four 3 1/2 hrs and started flying off of it the same day.
Make sure not to get the fabric to tight when installing, just pull it tight by hand the sun will smooth it out.
Any questions you can email us at email@example.com
Thanks to Kent Radio Aero Modelers (KRAM) for FAQ idea