Oratex STC Press Release


Staff member
Northwest Arkansas
Lanitz Aviation from Leipzig, Germany is the only manufacturer of the worldwide patented ORATEX6000® aircraft fabric which comes coated & colored and can be flown right after the installation without any painting. It is airworthy right off the delivery roll. There is no other product like it; all other Aircraft Fabric products are naked woven cloth relying on multiple layers of paint that are sprayed by the installer.

Some years ago, the company looked into the designs of aircraft types and had an innovative idea: Why should the covering be attached to an aircraft by the antique time-consuming rib stitching or pop-riveting technology? There should be a better way!

Lanitz Aviation developed a new technology: they implemented cap strips to strengthen the ribs and to substitute bracing tape for the ribs, rib stitching and/or riveting. This process is called the Lanitz Aviation Design-change STC. This STC implements the aircraft fabric by special bonding process only, which means rib stitching and riveting become obsolete.

The very first aircraft STC’ed for this are European Jodel Robin, a very popular 180Hp+ 4-seater in Europe, flown in almost every flying club there. Due to the high performance of these aircraft, they are often glider tugs.

The technology behind the Design-change STC is the installation of special 1.2 mm beech plywood cap strips, consisting of three beech layers, which also enlarge the gluing area of the fabric on a rib. By implementing this technology, the original type design rib stitching becomes obsolete. The

result is a cleaner airfoil with better airflow. Together with the micro-vortex effect produced by the Lanitz Aviation ORATEX6000® aircraft fabric, you succeed in getting the ultimate performance from your aircraft concerning lower stall speed, higher cruise speed and climb rate. This technology has been approved by EASA and LBA (German authorities) as well as by FAA STC.

The second aircraft type Lanitz Aviation implemented this technology in was the Piper PA-18A-180. On December 1st 2023 the FAA approved the Lanitz Aviation’s Design-change for all N-registered high-wing Pipers according to the AML of the STC.

At EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2024, Lanitz Aviation will demonstrate the covering process in real time at their sole distributor’s booth, Better Aircraft Fabric (booth #300). Before that date, Lanitz Aviation will be publicly covering the very first STC’ed US Piper PA-18 in Ohio (on display in Oshkosh). Due to limited space in Ohio, interested customers are kindly requested to contact us at www.Oratex6000.com

Lanitz Aviation is also inviting maintenance companies interested in learning the application process of ORATEX6000® and the installation of the STC. Take note, the STC will only be available to qualified builders.

As Lanitz Aviation extends the STC AML, the unstitched Design-change already got implemented in the following homebuilt aircraft: Pitts special S1-S, Stolp Starduster, Carbon Cub, Just Aircraft Highlander & SuperSTOL, Rans S9, Savage and Savage Cruiser.

At the moment, Lanitz Aviation is in STC approval for Christen/Aviat Husky unriveted and Maule MX4 and MX7 unstitched. The goal of Lanitz Aviation is to offer future Design-change STCs for the majority of the existing rib stitched and riveted aircraft fleet. The implementation of this process and ORATEX6000® aircraft fabric will save installation time and money, increase the aerodynamic performance and reduce the empty weight.

For those interested in learning more about Lanitz Aviation’s Design-change and ORATEX6000® aircraft fabric, as well as their workshops and tradeshows, we invite you to visit the homepage at www.lanitz-aviation.com. – Or contact the exclusive USA-Canada Dealer at: www.Oratex6000.com
I am curios about these 1.3 mm strips and how they work to eliminate rib stitching.
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I am curios about these 1.3 mm strips and how they work to eliminate rib stitching.

I am guessing the additional glue area is the idea. The Avid/Kitfox have wood ribs with a 1" wide "cap strip" on them and per the build manual, don't require rib stitching (at least on the early models) however, I have seen a lot that the glue turned loose of the rib on the bottom (could be that the under cambered airfoil plays into it). I rib stitched mine just for my own peace of mind when I rebuilt that basket case. I am not sure I would fully trust just the glue to hold, especially long term.
From Lars at Better Aircraft Fabric in Alaska:

Hi Steve,Thanks for the email and thanks for posting the press release on ShortWingPipers! - Yeah the cap strips are glued onto the original ribs with a special two component glue that is able to really bond with aluminium. Of course with this method as a hole the workmanship is extremely critical and following the manual in every little detail is a must. When everything relies on a glue bond there is no redundancy like mechanical fasteners like rib-stitch or rivets. The ribs get strengthened a whole lot with this method and the glue surface gets bigger etc.
With the solvent free glue clean working conditions will be again of paramount importance, contamination of glue surfaces with stuff like Butterfingers, Burger Grease, Pizza Oil, sunscreen or Handcream would be a real mess.
If you want to talk with somebody who owns a plane built that way years ago, I can put you in contact with Rick Papp in Ohio.
Best Regards from Alaska,

Rick Papp is a good friend of mine and will reach out to him and see if he noticed anything different about how his Carbon Cub flies before and after.
Will the weight be different with the extra cap strips?
How will future recover/repairs be handled?
Mike Z
I used to maintain a K7 glider where the fabric was glued to the cap strips. The airfoil had a significant under camber and after a couple years the glue holding the fabric to the cap strips started to fail. It left the underside of the wing with several sections where the fabric didn't follow the under camber. Was a real mess trying to feed glue in with a syringe and hold the fabric against the ribs until it set up. I know glues have improved but I would not trust a cover job on regular ribs to glue holding the fabric in place.
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I’m trying to figure out how glueing veneer to the cap strips saves time and weight over rib stitching.
I took a phone call from the German factory boss while I was covering a Mini Cab with Oratex. He said that concave surfaces eg, the wing to aileron cove on my Colt, did not need the aluminium strip to secure the fabric in place as the adhesive they use is more than strong enough and its removal would be mentioned in the STC. He also spoke about the timber cap strips so as to remove the need to stitch. He could not tell me how much the strips added to the weight but said that any increase would be more than compensated for with a fabric and paint weight saving of about 30 plus pounds. I think that there were about 60 pieces of timber to epoxy into place.
in the end I went with the Ceconite I already had. I must say that I had reservations about the fuse to vertical stab compound curve as there is very little to attach the Oratex to, just a bent sheet metal joiner.

I am about to start painting the dope and not looking forward to all the work, but having committed I must finish.

if I was to do it again I would use Oratex and stitch it instead. Having done a plane already I feel it could cover the Colt in 7 days with a helper. And a further 2days for the stitching. It is also an easier (quicker) stitch. The job would be finished as no painting required .

i tested the Oratex glue bond on a painted wooden surface and the wood split before to glue failed.

I have been asked to cover a Pawnee wing in Oratex in the coming months. So I will let you know how that goes