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Aerocet Float Performance

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Aerocet Float Performance

Unread postby gear » Sat Aug 22, 2015 10:49 am

I've been running Aerocet 3500's for about 4 years now and I just read in one of their maintenance manuals that the bottoms of the floats should not be waxed - I believe it was a performance unpredictability issue.

Anyone ever heard of this before? I can't understand why a slippery float bottom would be a risk. Perhaps in a high speed taxi turn? Any thoughts on this?

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Re: Aerocet Float Performance

Unread postby RKittine » Sat Aug 22, 2015 1:41 pm

My only GUESS. So smooth that they stuck to the water from hydrostatic lock ????????????

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Re: Aerocet Float Performance

Unread postby jjbaker » Sat Aug 22, 2015 4:52 pm

This from the Service & MX Manual for the Aerocet 3500 Amphibs...

Image

First, waxing is usually not an act of creating a slippery surface (polishing is). Waxing is to seal the paint against environmental effects and to make it less prune to allow for chemical reactions to cause corrosion. Polishing reduces drag, waxing keeps it so...simply by helping to avoid contamination to stick. On glass we use RainEx, which bonds with and seals the glass by filling minute holes in it.

Corrosion is a non issue on Aerocet floats, rivets causing large amounts of drag on conventional floats are missing.

I think the difference in material, smoother surface and already improved "slipperiness" of the float makes waxing largely unnecessary on most composites. Unless the wax serves some purpose of protecting against UV and aging, it is largely unimportant and serves no purpose other than to improve looks (a matter of finish, not anything else). Not for no reason are there nano waxes which actually reduce the drag coefficient of painted metal.

I can imagine a composite material becoming "too slippery" if properly waxed. Wax is basically a barrier between the surface and whichever medium attacks it, thereby avoiding contact with the water (hydrophobia). This contact to the water is, in turn, what allows us to have any control at all.

I would generally be careful with applying any surface treatment to a composite material, just for fear of chemical bonding and risk of discoloration. Glider pilots are ANAL about using soft soap and lukewarm water to get bugs off their wings. Soak & Wash. More than once if needed. Then leather dry to avoid water drops to dry, which in turn cause drag.

Unfortunately most water has discoloring character on every surface, so I'd rather clean more often, than wrong once.
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Re: Aerocet Float Performance

Unread postby gear » Sat Aug 22, 2015 8:38 pm

So I've been using dry wash on the plane and floats - would this be considered wax?
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Re: Aerocet Float Performance

Unread postby jjbaker » Sun Aug 23, 2015 2:39 am

Some of the dry washes out there contain a sealant some do not. I have never worked on a plane or a vehicle with dry wash. People generally love everything that makes the surface shiny and causes water beads. In my book, the perfect sealant is what doesn't allow water or contaminants to stick around at all. Rinsing with water takes most of the dirt along and leaves a dry surface behind.

The instruction on not using any wax only applies to the bottom step forward part of the float. One would think that wax wouldn't have a long useful time, considering it is pressure washed on each landing and takeoff. Maybe we have someone here who's flown a waxed Aerocet float? Chances are they're still out there, skipping over the water uncontrollably... :?
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Re: Aerocet Float Performance

Unread postby gear » Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:23 pm

jjbaker wrote: Maybe we have someone here who's flown a waxed Aerocet float? Chances are they're still out there, skipping over the water uncontrollably... :?

I used dry wash on my float bottoms last year and i'm still here,..... :Preaching:
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