r/aviation Sep 24 '22 Silver 2 Helpful 6 Wholesome 3 Heartwarming 1

It's not duct tape, it's speed tape that's $400 a roll Discussion

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49.6k Upvotes

1.7k

u/chriscloo Sep 24 '22

Where did he get the blue spludger…we only have orange ones at work. I want blue

464

u/curiousbydesign Sep 24 '22

Mine is blue. Not sure where I got it.

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u/chriscloo Sep 24 '22

I suspect ours are orange for fod reasons…don’t want to leave it for customers to find

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u/Dnich77 Sep 24 '22

I've noticed the gold and orange are a lot stiffer/firmer than the blue ones

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u/laquine22 Sep 24 '22

As a sign maker, can confirm that the gold ones are the best. When it comes to squeegees on thicker adhesive backed materials, stiffer is better!

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u/Dfallat14 Sep 24 '22 Silver Wholesome Take My Energy

The gold and silver ones are made of nylon as opposed to the medium density polyethylene of the orange, blue, and white.

Source: I mold these at work

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u/we45ghj890 Sep 25 '22 All-Seeing Upvote

I fucking love Reddit.

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u/Dfallat14 Sep 25 '22

We also make white Teflon ones every once in a while, a real pain in my ass every time it runs

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u/dbrck Sep 25 '22

I used to do vinyl graphic application. Teflon squeegees were the best. They slid so smooth.

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u/morgecroc Sep 24 '22

Nothing worst than eating a plane and finding a spludger in it. Best to make them bright colour so they're easier to see and don't get given to the customer at service.

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u/tommos Sep 24 '22

Mine's purple. It says bad motherfucker on it.

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u/CosmicCreeperz Sep 25 '22

Well, that’s what happens when you tattoo it like that. Give it a week and the swelling should go down.

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u/melperz Sep 24 '22

Blue is for left handed.

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u/curiousbydesign Sep 24 '22

Welp. That explains it. I am wrong-handed as I have been told.

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u/Sdomttiderkcuf Sep 24 '22 edited Sep 24 '22

What’s the difference between this and the HVAC aluminum tape? Aside from $395 extra dollars that is.

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u/Grolschisgood Sep 24 '22

This one comes with a certificate to say it is what it is. Sounds dumb, but in a lot of cases the CofC is worth more than the product.

As an aeronautical engineer, so a design guy, the things I'm looking for are the flammability which includes the adhesive, as well as things like how well does the adhesive perform under certain conditions, ie make sure it doesn't come off the plane at high speed. Now I'm pretty damn sure that a $5 roll will perform just as well, but all the testing has been done on the $400 roll amd that added cost is to ensure that all future rolls are the same. It's simply not worth it it to anyone to try and save that small amount of money given what the consequences could possibly be.

For the record, $400 seems like a slight exaggeration. The stuff we purchase and use is more like $60 a roll but still considerably more than the stuff you get at your local hardware store.

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u/Sdomttiderkcuf Sep 24 '22

I think you get out of design and into tape. Seems lucrative.

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u/_repr_ Sep 24 '22 edited Sep 24 '22

D38999 aerospace grade connectors have entered the conversation.

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u/verygoodchoices Sep 25 '22

I work for one of the three companies that you're likely to buy one of those from... can confirm, lucrative business.

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u/tankerkiller125real Sep 25 '22

I work for a calibration/gse maintenance company (as an IT guy) very, very lucrative. Our largest customers are all aerospace, and they happily drop list price on services (and while we are cheaper than say Fluke, we also regularly discount list prices by more than 30% sometimes to make a sale for other customers). Simply calibrating their torque wrenches for say putting tires on cost them around $1000 or more, every 3-6 months. And like clockwork those assets are in our lab to be calibrated, because a failure to have it calibrated means big trouble with the FAA.

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u/ZCEyPFOYr0MWyHDQJZO4 Sep 25 '22

Looks expensive. We should switch to a more common connector, like Apple's Lightning connector.

(Please don't hurt me)

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u/mtled Sep 24 '22

Market is pretty much cornered by 3M.

Personally I wouldn't consider flammability for exterior application (though the tape can be used for interior use, so the person you replied to is likely thinking of that because FAR 25.853 applies to interiors). Adhesion so it stays on in flight, water/spray/ice resistance, etc....just data to support the environment the stuff will be used in.

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u/catsdrooltoo Sep 24 '22

Certificates are the key. Went from structures mechanic to buyer and everything needs certs or the plane doesn't fly. One time I had to dig through sales orders going back years to find a lot number and export codes for a screw because it was holding up shipment of a satellite. Aviation doesn't fuck around.

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u/kaenneth Sep 25 '22 edited Sep 25 '22

Yep, even the ink used to mark 'inspected by:' has it's own certifications that it won't corrode metal or emit fumes in closed spaces. You can't just swing by Staples to pick it up.

edit: still a small fraction of the price per ounce of HP Inkjet ink.

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u/rieh Sep 24 '22

It's not too far off. I think the volume price per roll for the speed tape we used when I worked for a major airline (so as recently as Jan '22) was $350.

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u/Swampass1964 Sep 24 '22

Explains the excessive price of the toilets, same shit, just tested more..

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u/BLK03MODULAR Sep 24 '22

That's about the realistic cost of what we purchase. I work in automotive collision repair and the tape is used to for plastic/epoxy/resin etc repairs so that parts will hold shape during repair. Its definitely worth the cost!

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u/akmjolnir Sep 24 '22

You're paying for the chain of custody.

Same thing why NASA, or whoever, would pay $99 for a single AA Duracell battery you or I can get at the nearest gas station.

It's a guarantee that the product is what is claims to be and perform.

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u/E_Des Sep 24 '22

I had a friend who would source parts for space stuff, mainly satellite components. He said it was a pain in the ass.

Even just getting a transistor with the correct amount of gold or whatever in it could set him back a week or two sometimes. But those components need to be able to survive EMPs and solar flares, so it is important they are made the way they are ordered.

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u/chriscloo Sep 24 '22

Is hvac tape rated for flight? I think getting the product certified for this purpose is where the cost comes into play.

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u/Slartibartfastthe3rd Sep 24 '22

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u/Metalbasher324 Sep 24 '22

I was just about to comment on 3M applicators.

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u/Guy_A Sep 24 '22

yeah ive only seen the gold ones in the lab from 3M

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u/chriscloo Sep 24 '22

I get mine at work and it gets covered in seal when doing stringers…well that and all the sealant picks we use. I don’t want to buy them just to use them once or get them stolen by coworkers lol. Thanks though

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u/StephenHawkings_Legs Sep 24 '22

So ask your employer to order them

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u/scottysmeth Sep 24 '22

We use blue, I think orange would be better for aircraft though, less chance of FOD.

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u/techguy15962 Sep 24 '22

I got yellow ones if you want some

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u/chriscloo Sep 24 '22

Lol. Thanks for the offer. There is a reason ours are orange. If I brought a different color then it will probably be stolen by coworkers or my manager might be unhappy. (New manager and we are his first team…fun time)

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u/JoshS1 Sep 24 '22

I was just commenting on how I only ever had an old gift card I kept in my wallet just for this.

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u/ColdStorageLoader Sep 24 '22

$400 per roll and you left air bubbles during application!

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u/JoshS1 Sep 24 '22

Dude was holding a camera. Im sure he went back and redid it to make it look extra sleek and sexy.

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u/k9handler2000 Sep 24 '22

That’s a $15 take

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u/JoshS1 Sep 24 '22

He's not paying for the tape haha

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u/gonzalope Sep 24 '22

Purchase agent mentality v/s mechanic one

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u/Nothxm8 Sep 24 '22

Wouldn't you want it to be sexy for the camera

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u/9p83fhsa312 Sep 24 '22

I knew someone who worked for Nasa, he gave me a little screw like 5mm big made from titanium. One screw costs like 100 dollar if I remember it correctly. Also he showed me some special plastic cylinder, which was expensive as fuck.

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u/I_PUNCH_INFANTS Sep 24 '22

I used to work for a nut and bolt supplier, we would get in titanium nuts/bolts often for a certain client. There was a 3/4" nut that cost us somewhere in the ball park of $250 alone. Its crazy how expensive the stuff is

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u/TopAce6 Sep 25 '22

Thats Nutz

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u/I_PUNCH_INFANTS Sep 25 '22

glad to see youre still around my dude

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u/Fillicia Sep 25 '22

I work in tool making, sometimes designing a 1000$ custom bolt is cheaper than doing the redesign of the engine part that the engineer didn't think had to be assembled in some way.

I concur, crazy the amount of money that is just thrown around.

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u/Verification_Account Sep 25 '22

When you get into high temperature and large diameter, they can cost multiple thousands of dollars each. I have held a single bolt worth more than the car I was driving at the time. I was driving a junker, but still….

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u/I_PUNCH_INFANTS Sep 25 '22

When you get into high temperature and large diameter, they can cost multiple thousands of dollars each

2 of the clients we had were steel makers, some of the stuff they needed was crazy. We could do up to 5" bolts in house and it was wild when we did them.

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u/wwlfgd Sep 25 '22

I work in maintenance at a steel plant. We have some seriously skookum nuts, bolts, and tools to use with them.

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u/9manacombo Sep 25 '22

no way a titanium nut is gonna come cheap.

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u/December_Hemisphere Sep 25 '22

"The nut that never busts"

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u/Wloak Sep 25 '22

I have several friends that work on defense satellites and it's crazy but makes sense how expensive even a screw is. They obviously didn't share anything about the purpose of the satellite, but building those things every gram matters so you spend a ton of time even designing the perfect screw to do the job at the minimum weight then have to have a supplier machine a handful of them to exact spec.

I'm not even kidding when I say one of my friends quit working on defense satellites to go work for a FAANG over the time it took to get a screw design approved.

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u/AFM420 Sep 25 '22

How did you manage to have multiple friends working on something like that ?

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u/Saros421 Sep 25 '22

Sometimes people who work together become friends, and if you're friends with one of them you'll meet everyone else.

Source: was friends with a few defense contractors 15 years ago who would go through images and video to decide who/where should get drone struck.

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u/AFM420 Sep 25 '22

Yeah it really just makes perfect sense when you think about it. I guess I was just surprised by level of job but it’s no different than people who are friends at your local McDonalds.

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u/Wloak Sep 25 '22

Yup, exactly. Made a friend then met their friends from work and became friends with them as well. Nothing too crazy going on haha

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u/tdasnowman Sep 25 '22

Live in a town with defense contractors. In my friend group we’ve got satellites, drones, lasers. On the bio tech side got brain and heart. Given the right workshop I’m sure a drunken evening could result in a Terminator. It’s been discussed before.

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u/Tightisrite Sep 24 '22

What kind of alien was in it?

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u/9p83fhsa312 Sep 24 '22

E.T. (Expensive Terrestrial)

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u/AlreadyTaken-1234 Sep 24 '22

Some aircraft hardware is made of precious metals like platinum or coated in chrome.

I won’t bore you with the details but let’s just say $100 for a tiny screw is nothing.

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u/Dirk_The_Cowardly Sep 24 '22

I think I use the same stuff on my furnace for $20 a roll.

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u/officialbigrob Sep 24 '22

And that's the price difference between paying for "almost certainly aluminum, probably 99%" and something that has a traceable supply chain, outrageously good QA, and the perfect adhesive

I can't say that for sure about speed tape. But that's the way some scientists at JPL explained the cost of their parts to me.

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u/Striker654 Sep 24 '22

Probably insurance too

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u/mr_potatoface Sep 24 '22 edited Sep 24 '22

They have expiration dates too. There's even stuff like Navy and Nuclear duct tape. Similar thing.

regular off the shelf duct tape may be acceptable, or even identical. But you can't prove it is. This tape is proven to be acceptable. It's properties are all measured and recorded and traceable to the mfg/source. An easy example is that chloride content of tape needs to be below certain amounts. When you put the tape on something, it can contaminate the surface with whatever is in the tape. So the process just certifies it meets X content, depending on application. There's a lot of other testing involved, but just being quick about it.

There's even nuclear/navy/aerospace pen/paint markers. Basically a very expensive sharpie, but they come with their own certificates depending on application.

Common jokes about this kind of stuff are that when you deal with Aerospace/nuclear/navy work, you buy the same off the shelf part as everyone else except it comes with a tractor trailer load of paperwork and cost 10x or more that everyone else pays. Even though it may be an identical product. It goes for every nut/bolt, literally everything.

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u/123456478965413846 Sep 25 '22

You think the paper trail for aerospace or nuclear stuff is bad, wait until something needs to be certified for a submarine.

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u/arelath Sep 25 '22

It's not a joke in a lot of cases. I worked in flight simulation, which means we needed aircraft parts, but no paperwork or quality control. A lot of the mechanical engineers would take apart the aircraft looking for part numbers. Whenever they found one, they'd order the exact same part off McMaster Carr for 1/100th of the price.

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u/CatStealingYourGirl Sep 25 '22

Thank you! That is a great explanation for why a normal item can be more expensive despite being the same product. Maybe that explains the super expensive hammer everyone laughed about.

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u/nateaff Sep 25 '22

Former Navy nuke here, the nuclear duct tape is 1000% better than standard Home Depot stuff. You can get it hot, get it wet, do whatever and it still sticks and doesn’t get brittle like the standard stuff.

Also, real ones know Nashua is the only way. 3M don’t tear clean.

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u/monsieurpommefrites Sep 24 '22

There's even nuclear/navy/aerospace pen/paint markers.

How are those better than the regular ones?

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u/rieh Sep 24 '22

They come with a lot of paperwork proving that they don't contain anything corrosive, etc etc. That they have undergone expensive testing and certification to make sure they won't cause a problem. It's why the same light bulb design that goes in your car's turn signal costs $300 when it goes in a Cessna's marker light-- the FAA certification to make sure that it won't catch fire is most of what you're paying for.

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u/sincle354 Sep 24 '22

Yeah, I'm verifying a computer chip that goes on a plane. I will legitimately ask it to add 2 + 2 a hundred thousand times in all sorts of insane configurations because when some pilot presses the "turn on display" button and it doesn't work, I can point to the literally 1 million simulated tests I ran so I can save my designer's ass. Nothing gets out of the door for this level of verification without at least 4-10 documents about what each thing is supposed to do.

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u/[deleted] Sep 25 '22

[deleted]

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u/Educational-Seaweed5 Sep 25 '22

Same geographic area?

Obviously aliens.

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u/Jon_Snow_1887 Sep 25 '22

It was the Bermuda Triangle wasn’t it

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u/sincle354 Sep 25 '22

We call this a corner case because 2+ edge cases get triggered at the same time. Some ungodly specific combination of sensor data triggered an error and that's the law of truly large numbers right there. One of the best solutions for that kind of situation in my specialization in engineering is constrained random verification. Quite literally, we send every possible valid and invalid input into a design, get output, and we have a perfect version of the output data we compare it to. You'll hear stories where an existing (less strict use case) team implements this, and suddenly their tried and true design spits out many failure cases. Scary...

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u/ExperienceLoss Sep 25 '22

Redundancy is there for a reason and many people seem to not understand this.

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u/AtomicSagebrush Sep 25 '22

For nuclear work, the chlorides in a Sharpie can cause problems with certain stainless steels. And all the nuclear QA guys know to look for Sharpies during any kind of inspection. If you're marking metal for nuclear work, it's only done with the traceable markers. That's probably similar for other high-QA industries as well.

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u/michaelseverson Sep 25 '22

There is protocol for a reason. I’ve heard a of Naval hardware in the wrong bin causing the toolbox to be obsolete. When it comes to submarines or spaceships this level of perfection saves lives.

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u/rsta223 Sep 25 '22

the chlorides in a Sharpie can cause problems with certain stainless steels.

Also with some titanium, which caused issues with some of the initial tooling and prototypes of the SR-71.

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u/AtomicSagebrush Sep 25 '22

I seem to remember that vanadium was also an issue there, from the chrome plating. So all the tooling from that point forward was different. Kind of fun to see how some of those details worked out.

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u/[deleted] Sep 25 '22 edited Sep 25 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/GiraffePastries Sep 24 '22

Nah, man. You're paying $400 for that big FAA thumbs up.

*it costs a lot for parts and products to be granted FAA approval.

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u/StarCitizenIsGood Sep 24 '22

God himself can make it but if it doesnt pass FAAs absolute worst case scenario tests with flying colors then its trash and guaranteed death.

You are flying over sized soda cans at 15x the speed you drive steel cars. That can better be made absolutely flawlessly

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u/GiraffePastries Sep 25 '22

You have much higher expectations with regards to the flawlessness of aircraft than what actually exists. It's the reason we champion redundancy and preventative maintenance.

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u/OtherPlayers Sep 24 '22

I prefer to think of it as paying $400 so that if the worst happens you can blame the tape manufacturer.

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u/shadycoy0303 Sep 24 '22

Absolutely…. Traceability for anything aviation or defense is normally a huge chunk of the costs associated with it. Hell, just being able to find a certain materials that are certified to be from an approved Country of Origin, having no traces of conflict minerals, produced to a particular spec, and within dimensional tolerance can be just downright expensive as fuck… but to go on an airplane/rocket/spacecraft it needs a paper trail for literally every spec of anything involved

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u/FreeRangeEngineer Sep 24 '22

Honestly makes me wonder whether SpaceX follows that process or cuts corners. Somehow I can't imagine them not cutting corners.

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u/CosmicCreeperz Sep 25 '22 edited Sep 25 '22

I heard a few crazy stories about their early days (~2005-2006) from a friend who worked there. They definitely cut a few corners to get their first Falcon 1 launched.

One that seems to fit nicely here: they were using an off the shelf microcontroller/SoC in one application with some parts that weren’t properly disabled in hardware. They actually flew him out to the Marshall Islands to debug a problem that turned out to be a spurious interrupt for an unused peripheral connection (network PHY, USB, something like that, can’t remember exactly). He recommended they make a hardware change but they overruled him and came up with a software workaround. No idea if it affected anything later. Doubtful, but who knows. He left after another similar questionable decision but before they actually had a successful mission…

My guess is now that they have government contracts and are working on manned missions they can’t do that any more. But basically, the space startup with a limited (though still huge) budget and aggressive schedules did what most startups do in that situation…

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u/Pablo_EscaGAYbear Sep 24 '22 edited Sep 25 '22

Well it's not $400 a roll, it's $47 a roll so....

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u/CosmicCreeperz Sep 25 '22

Well, he was holding 2” tape so it was really $48.

The 3M brand that one was based on is closer to $100. Not sure if I’d go with the half price version to repair an airplane though.

Also, I’m pretty sure neither of those have the exact certification needed. Though they are probably the same tape. Just needs to have the batches tested, and certified, etc, which is an expensive process for a small customer base.

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u/[deleted] Sep 24 '22

Wait until they see how they fix chips in props and helicopter blades.

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u/Princ3Ch4rming Sep 24 '22

Cup noodles and superglue, right?

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u/LocoBlock Sep 24 '22

Yeah, but it's FAA approved cup noodles, so don't forget the 2000% mark up.

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u/oldsecondhand Sep 24 '22

epoxy, not superglue

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u/mootmahsn Sep 25 '22

Oh fuck. Here we go again.

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u/[deleted] Sep 25 '22 edited Oct 04 '22

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u/AeroWrench A&P - RC-135/Spooky King Air Sep 25 '22

Props and rotors are spinning over 1500 rpm in dirty ass air and while we are constantly looking for FOD, it's impossible to pick up every tiny pebble on a concrete flightline and asphalt runway. The leading edges are basically getting sandblasted constantly, which is not really a problem. But when you get a nick or gouge that's high or deep enough to catch a fingernail running over it, you contour it back smooth.

There are limits in the prop manual though that will tell you if the gouge or whatever is more than .xxx" deep/wide, that prop blade (not necessarily the whole prop) needs to be replaced.

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u/Kasaeru Sep 25 '22

It gets filed smooth so it can't start a crack

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u/MikeOfAllPeople Sep 25 '22

Rotor blades are constantly getting impacted by dust. We used to just spray paint the leading edges after every flight for a while.

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u/BlueFalcon142 Sep 25 '22

Some have nitrogen filled inner spars with an indicator that turns black if any nitrogen leaks out where it mates to the rotor head. Detects cracks in the frame of the blade. Abrasion is a lot less of an issue IMO. Tip caps are sacrificial and you can continue flying if they are shredded. Proper maintenance and paint application negates any "sandblasting". If you do fly in a TERF environment there are some extra inspections to do relating to an increase in debris.

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u/Redeyes765 Sep 24 '22

I'm a mechanic and we use that for bullshit. Didn't know it was so expensive lol

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u/KinngWookie Sep 24 '22

Everything we use is overpriced

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u/TehWildMan_ Sep 24 '22

The second you said "airplane" the credit card bill winced in fear.

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u/[deleted] Sep 24 '22

Lol I saw a post on here a while back where everyone was recommending a set of tools to a newbie. The linked site was a tool store for aviation techs, but the tools were just…regular tools. They had a pair of standard Knipex pliers for like $120 that only cost around $40-50 direct from Knipex; I believe it was the 10” chrome pliers wrench. The term “aviation” literally brought the price up.

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u/[deleted] Sep 24 '22

Same shit in gaming - dont buy the shit advertised for gaming because of markups

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u/Weltallgaia Sep 24 '22

Fuck that I'm buying RGB pliers cuz I wanna show off.

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u/AtDawnWeDEUSVULT Sep 25 '22

RGB is the exception, as it is actually proven to improve performance

/s

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u/wtfbro_ Sep 24 '22

Same with weddings. Don’t tell your vendors what it’s for, just a regular “party”

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u/long218 Sep 24 '22

Is this McMaster-Carr

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u/[deleted] Sep 24 '22

I’d have to check, but that sounds familiar.

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u/Hahnsolo11 Sep 24 '22

Same with “marine grade”

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u/Fellzer Sep 24 '22

Snap-on

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u/Goyteamsix Sep 24 '22

You're probably just using generic foil tape. A roll of that stuff is $15.

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u/Inator-Maker Sep 24 '22

Typical mechanic. No clue how much parts cost /s

Signed - your friendly parts guy. :)

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u/Dragon6172 Sep 24 '22

Friendly parts guy who acts like they are paying for the parts out of pocket

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u/[deleted] Sep 24 '22 edited Sep 25 '22

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u/GodTyrandFreya Cessna 195 Sep 24 '22

Looks exactly the same as aluminum foil tape used for hvac, and I sure as hell didn't spend $400 a roll on it

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u/fishymamba Sep 24 '22

He seems to be using Polyken 345SW which is only $40 on amazon. Of course they're not buying it through Amazon, but $400 still sounds crazy to me even with the required paper trail.

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u/Airborne_Oreo A&P Sep 24 '22

Yeah the 3M version for aviation is around 100/roll, even then airlines prolly get bulk discounts and stuff too.

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u/MetaLagana Sep 24 '22

Probably more like they're charging somebody or insurance $400 markup and some piece of paper somewhere.

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u/R_V_Z Sep 25 '22

From my experience (Boeing Spares) it's that somebody is ordering a part number from an IPC or Service Bulletin that calls out a "proprietary" part number that at the end of the day is like 10 inches of tape (or adhesive velcro, or extruded seal, etc). That means not only is it considered a certified part but now a supplier needs to "make" that part, which entails charging the entire MOQ of the roll for that 10 inches.

I try to direct customers to order the raw materials from us instead.

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u/_Rocketstar_ Sep 25 '22

Most of those materials are “aviation grade” because they come with a signed 8130-3 tag which certifies the material as safe for use in aerospace per the FAA. The govt is super strict on any potentially flammable adhesive or compound. That 1 piece of paper can move a decimal point to the right 1 or 2 spots.

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u/Pyronic_Chaos Sep 25 '22 edited Sep 25 '22

3M makes the best stuff. Bandaid that work better? Sandpaper that sands better and last longer? Sticky notes that actually stick? Tape that actually seals and resists heat?

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u/FreddoMac5 Sep 25 '22

A kind of duct tape that is stronger than rivets. 3M makes it. It'll hold hundreds of pounds.

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u/RoyceCoolidge Sep 25 '22

Over the range of temperatures is also the key.

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u/TheAJGman Sep 25 '22

Having worked in (not aerospace) manufacturing I can assure you that this is the OEM version that is totally different than the off the shelf stuff and the 400% markup is absolutely justified due to the extra engineering that went into covering up the original label.

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u/MurgleMcGurgle Sep 24 '22

I believe it. The 3M foam tape we use at my job for mounting brackets costs like $150 per roll and it’s an “off the shelf option.” When I looked into different options that would be easier to work with there was basically nothing that could work in cold temps, and specialized stuff immediately got into “unless you’re ordering this for major production, don’t even think about it” pricing.

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u/GreasyAlfredo Sep 25 '22

We have a special roll of electrical tape are work called "harness tape" which has some sort of spice laced into it to prevent mouse chew on our engine bay harnesses. It's no larger than your average roll of electrical tape but it's like 98 dollars a roll or something crazy like that. It's a Honda part too lol

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u/manticore116 Sep 25 '22

If memory serves, didn't they use a corn or soy-based insulator instead of plastic, and the one downside is that it's tasty?

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u/glytxh Sep 24 '22

Your HVAC tape doesn’t have a meticulously recorded manufacturing history, and hasn’t been tested in every measure applicable to its use under industry standard third party inspection.

Even if it’s the exact same material product, they’re not the same thing.

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u/AhegaoGunParts Sep 24 '22

Yup. Exact same reason military screws are 80 dollars a piece. A QA paper trail gets expensive quick

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u/glytxh Sep 24 '22

It’s not complete embezzlement. There is a pretty expensive process behind that final price tag.

People are definitely squeezing their buck out where they can though, especially in the military sector.

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u/magnets0make0light0 Sep 24 '22

But the FAA said the buck stops with me... Oh wait I think I get what that means now? I cover the cost. Got it.

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u/strider0075 Sep 24 '22

God don't remind me. I recall back during an 09 insurv we were having logistics issues getting nuts for our water tights because of budget issues. LPO said fuck it, gave me $20 and sent me to Lowe's for a bag of the exact same part that would cost $50 for one, because milspec.

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u/mule_roany_mare Sep 25 '22

People don't realize how much of a miracle economy of scale is.
When nails were handmade people used to burn down structures to collect them all.

Even without the exacting standards & guarantee absurd prices would be the norm for low volume hand tooled items like fasteners.

It's hard to imagine how expensive something like a smartphone would cost if you weren't making millions of them.

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u/DriveByStoning Sep 24 '22

That's not the reason why it's so expensive. Here's a little story about the cost of things I experienced while deployed.

I was in the support wave of the initial invasion of Iraq. Being a mechanic, we had made bone yards with recovered non operational equipment. For about 6 months, everything was going relatively smoothly. Then KBR showed up, put up a fence around our bone yards and had a fucking gate with a guard and some silly bitch with a clipboard.

They inventoried the equipment and then billed our battalion for recovered parts that were already paid for by your taxes. There was literally no reason for them to be there except to make someone else money.

If you think hardware costs so much because of QA, you've got a lot to learn about lowest bidder supply chain.

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u/Substantial-Emu-9900 Sep 25 '22

Yep, agree with this having done federal purchasing. It's a fucking joke and we get absolutely gouged by companies that know exactly how to play the system.

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u/GodTyrandFreya Cessna 195 Sep 24 '22

Oh I totally understand where the paper trail comes into play especially if there is ever an accident but it's hard to not point out the obvious especially with such a massive price difference

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u/RA242 Sep 24 '22

It is the same, actual hvac duct tape. I have a roll or two in the garage maybe I'll put them on fleabay

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u/GodTyrandFreya Cessna 195 Sep 24 '22

If only Boeing knew home depot sold it for $30 a roll

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u/obecalp23 Sep 24 '22

You got it wrong. Boeing buys it 30 and sell it 400.

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u/Scrtcwlvl Sep 24 '22

But now under a new special BAC part number and installation process.

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u/GodTyrandFreya Cessna 195 Sep 24 '22

Oh big brain move! thank you for opening my eyes lmao

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u/joshwaynebobbit Sep 24 '22

I'll never use this stuff again without gloves. Got a nasty "paper" cut from it when installing my mini split this summer.

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u/funkdialout Sep 24 '22

It will cut you to the bone too. You can guess how I know. Lessons learned, glove it up.

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u/William514e Sep 24 '22

Well if you’re willing to put it on an airplane, go right ahead. But if you’re not willing to be the guy that gets blamed when that duck tape falls apart mid flight and causes a crash, $400 duck tape it is.

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u/Goyteamsix Sep 24 '22

It is not the same. They're similar, but the HVAC stuff is a bit thinner, and a lot less stickier.

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u/BWanon97 Sep 24 '22

So it id aluminium tape but then certified for aviation adding $350 to the price tag.

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u/Castun Sep 24 '22

Polyken 345SW

$30 on Aerotape.com

I think you're all being ripped off...

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u/bulboustadpole Sep 24 '22

No you see, those extra numbers means it's actually $2,548 per roll.

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u/MercilessParadox Sep 24 '22

Yes, paperwork and approval costs money too. It's pretty nuts how it all adds up.

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u/Scrtcwlvl Sep 24 '22

I always balked at the whole $10,000 bolt joke. Then I had to design a custom bolt for a specific project. After the hours of back and forth with stress and fatigue to determine that yes we did indeed need a custom one, detailed drafting, ODA certification, fab, and inspection, we'd be lucky to get the first one out the door for anywhere close to 10k.

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u/corbear007 Sep 24 '22

The wonderful supply chain and cost of scale. You can make your own chicken sandwich for $1,500 or buy one of a few hundred million produced each year for $7. Same principle applies, you only need 7 of them? Open up your wallet, it's going to get expensive per piece. You want 400 million? It'll be pennies per part.

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u/BURNER12345678998764 Sep 25 '22

Where'd this guy get land and a kitchen for free?

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u/Verified765 Sep 24 '22

In your situation how big of a run approximately would it take to get the cost per item down to 10k, 1k, and $100 respectively.

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u/Scrtcwlvl Sep 24 '22

No idea, cost numbers beyond engineering hours worked weren't my concern or problem, but everything I did was for small batch size on small fleets.

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u/AlexanderDaychilde Sep 24 '22

The nuts are $75

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u/MercilessParadox Sep 24 '22

Oh I know, I've made them. Machinist pay at $31/h +$320 /h shop time set up 1 hour run one hour and you've only made 10 of them. Then inspection, parts wash and plating, mag inspection and final billing to go to the customer. It's ridiculous but they're very serious about every single part being made perfect cuz it keeps planes safe.

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u/Butrus666 Sep 24 '22

Its fancy duct tape for few cycles.

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u/Cheef_queef Sep 24 '22

It's airplane duct tape. He can say it ain't all he wants to we all know duct tape when we see it

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u/AdOptimal8854 Sep 24 '22

I respect the sentiment but that's not how adhesives work. Quality and capability aren't always visible from a 10 second demo.

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u/Cheef_queef Sep 25 '22

I know know duct tape won't holf up under those conditions. I just call every roll of tape I use to unfuck something fast duct tape

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u/unique-name-9035768 Sep 25 '22

I just call every roll of tape I use to unfuck something fast duct tape

Good correct usage.
Remember everyone, duct tape is generic while Duck Tape is trademarked.

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u/Mysterious-Ad8136 Sep 24 '22

I have a few rolls in my garage from a Boeing employee!

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u/Straitjacket_Freedom Sep 24 '22

Stigaviation on Instagram?

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u/OldTimeyClipperShit Sep 24 '22

A very worthwhile follow. He’s great.

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u/TheAceMax97 Sep 24 '22

Louder for the idiots that post clickbait content labeled with: “¡!mY aIrPlAnE iS dUcT tApEd ToGeThEr AnD wE aLmOsT dIeD!¡”

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u/[deleted] Sep 24 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/curbstyle Sep 24 '22

So is the duck tape

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u/Ottovordemgents Sep 24 '22

They’re not idiots, they’re just not educated on the situation & have legitimate concerns.

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u/[deleted] Sep 24 '22

[deleted]

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u/AlexanderDaychilde Sep 24 '22

Both names are correct.

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u/sticky-bit Sep 24 '22

One is a brand name. The other is a generic product category. And there are better choices for actual HVAC duct sealing work, so you shouldn't use duct tape for duct work.

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u/Cringelord_420_69 Sep 24 '22

Clickbait TikTok pages: “I’m going to pretend I didn’t see this”

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u/danhaller28 Sep 24 '22

Is feel better if he used 2 hands

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u/Throwaway_inSC_79 Sep 25 '22

We one time had a cargo bin door that wouldn’t lock, so the option was to cover it in speed tape. It came in that way. When I met the plane with the jetway, the pilot came off and handed me a roll of speed tape to give to the ramp.
And maintenance was already aware to tape it back up for the outbound flight.

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u/pomonamike Sep 24 '22

I used to work for a company that sold tape and we carried speed tape; we were also next to a major airport. Every now and then I would get a frantic call from someone working the line asking if they could drive over and get a roll otherwise people weren’t getting there on time

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u/Cethin_Amoux Sep 25 '22

If the women don't find you handsome, they'll at least find you handy.

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u/yingling247 Sep 24 '22

Fun fact about speed tape. If you stick it in the cig lighter/12v socket of a vehicle it will zap you.

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u/eatmynasty Sep 24 '22

If you wrap speed tape around your genitals and rip it off, it hurts.

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u/AlexanderDaychilde Sep 24 '22

If you throw a roll of it at someone, you can injure them.

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u/namaesarehard Sep 24 '22

In Africa, speed tape goes as fast as the aircraft it’s adhered to.

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u/747ER Sep 24 '22

If you ingest enough speed tape, you will die.

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u/plazmafire Sep 24 '22

Yeah, I've got a roll of that stuff. It most certainly didn't cost $400.

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u/chicagotonian Sep 25 '22

Is this the same tape they use on F1 cars?

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u/YamReal8581 Sep 24 '22

So $400 buck duck tape?

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u/dangerousgoat Sep 24 '22

Your comment has ATM machine written all over it

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u/justcallmeluis Sep 24 '22

Nah you not gon’ get me. I know duct tape when I see it.

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u/randomvandal Sep 24 '22

Interesting, but not uncommon to see stuff like this. I worked in the realm of A/C maintenance for some time. All of the methods used, no matter how janky they seem, have gone through rigorous approvals process before they are used. But of course, once a method is approved for use, it doesn't necessarily mean that the repair techs on the ground will actually follow the correct procedure when using it. So how good a method is depends on how well it was engineered/tested and then how well it was actually done.

But he's incorrect that the panels are only there for aerodynamics. In most modern A/C, the panels are incredibly important for the overall structural integrity. There is internal structure (ribs, spars, stringers, etc.) that support the skin, transfer loads to the fuselage, and further stiffen the wing, but the skin is doing some heavy lifting when it comes to making sure the A/C stays in one piece and can actually fly.

Think of something like an I-beam shape used for structure steel in buildings. There is a reason why it's has the cross section shape of an uppercase I (with a serif font at least)--you want more material further away from the center (neutral axis). The material in the middle is holding things together, but the material on the ends (the top and bottom of the "I") is what's providing the majority of the strength and stiffness, particularly when you apply bending loads. The same concept applies to A/C structure.

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u/Its_Raul Sep 25 '22 edited Sep 25 '22

Im a structures repair engineer for a few aircraft throughout the years. Overwhelming majority of panels are non structural, video sounds correct to me. Only ones that are structural usually encompass a large area. For example engine bay doors on the hornets are very important at preventing the aft end from bowing/opening since theyre literally 1/6th of the aircraft. Going from memory but there is an overwhelming amount of non structural panels on the hornets and easily less than half are structural. Those aircraft are packed as much as possible so a huge portion of the airstream is comprised of access panels. Itd be very poor design practice to make the aircraft structure dependant on load transfer through doors/panels let alone hope that maintainers install them correctly each time theyre opened. We occasionally get mishap reports where a panel fell off the aircraft lol. Im not saying that we wouldnt analyze a panels repair and assume its unloaded, rather they tend to be non critical to flight loads.

Ive only worked on military aircraft, i would strongly guess that given the stricter guidelines passenger airlines impose, and the amount of redundancies built in, and the size of those jumbo jets, i doubt any of the panels are actually critical to the airframe. Big ass openins like doors or wheel wells are definitely not structural.

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u/bosshaug Sep 24 '22

I made a wallet out of speed tape when I was a kid, probably used $100 worth of the stuff to make it haha