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Old 01-25-2012, 11:54 AM
Gregg Brightwell's Avatar
Gregg Brightwell Gregg Brightwell is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Benton, Kansas
Posts: 259
Default Plastic tubing vs aluminum...

From the pitot tube through the wing and to the panel. Which would you recommend and why?

I like the plastic, but not sure of any potential pitfalls.

What say ye?

Gregg J. Brightwell
Benton, KS
-4 Emp and Wings complete!
Fuselage out of the jig!
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Old 01-25-2012, 12:13 PM
ChrisMallory's Avatar
ChrisMallory ChrisMallory is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Richmond, TX
Posts: 71

I used neoprene rubber from the Aviation department of McMaster Carr for my runs. Check it out here:
Chris Mallory
A & P
Starting an RV-6
Prior RV-8
Richmond, TX
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Old 01-25-2012, 12:20 PM
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JoeM JoeM is offline
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Perryville, MD
Posts: 93

Plastic is good in protected areas, I would use aluminum in areas where there is a chance of crushing/chaffing such as the footwells and cocpit area. Even the F-106 built in the late 50's used some plastic tubing for the p/s lines.
Joe Mikus
MSgt USAF Ret Avionics Tech
Perryville, MD
Student Sport Pilot
Future RV-12 Builder?

Last edited by JoeM : 01-25-2012 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 01-25-2012, 01:21 PM
Bob'sRV6A Bob'sRV6A is offline
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Arroyo Grande, CA
Posts: 227
Default I'm going Plastic

the SafeAir 1 stuff sold by Avery seems pretty indestructible, leakproof, and very easy to use. Take a look at:
Bob Marshall
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:28 PM
Phlyan Pan Phlyan Pan is offline
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 174

Originally Posted by Bob'sRV6A View Post
the SafeAir 1 stuff sold by Avery seems pretty indestructible, leakproof, and very easy to use. Take a look at:
If you look real close in one of those pictures, the tubing says SMC on it. SMC is the company I used to work for. It's standard polyurethane or nylon airline tubing for compressed air. The fittings all look like standard pneumatic push to connect fittings as well. I imagine that stuff could be purchased from a local pneumatic components distributor for much cheaper.
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:10 PM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
VAF Moderator / Line Boy
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dayton, NV
Posts: 12,829

One thing about aluminum tubing is that it will last as long as the airframe. If tubing is going to be put into places that will be inaccessible later on, then aluminum is a great idea. I have seen plastic tubing get brittle in 20 years - so ask yourself if you will have access to replace it. If so, then you shouldn't have a problem.

Paul F. Dye
Editor at Large - KITPLANES Magazine
RV-8 - N188PD - "Valkyrie"
RV-6 (By Marriage) - N164MS - "Mikey"
RV-3B - N13PL - "Tsamsiyu"
A&P, EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor
Dayton Valley Airpark (A34)
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:53 PM
Av8torTom's Avatar
Av8torTom Av8torTom is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Yardley, PA
Posts: 1,361
Default I used both

I used the aluminum tubing supplied by Vans for the airspeed line, then 1/4" OD ice maker line plastic tubing for the AOA pitot. I ran the plastic pitot inside my PVC electrical conduit. You can also purchase the quick connect fittings at the home center stores.

RV-9A (empennage completed, both wings completed, fuselage and finish kit completed, engine hung, working on panel and wiring)
N677AT reserved
Superior XP O-320, 160HP
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Old 01-26-2012, 09:15 AM
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RV6_flyer RV6_flyer is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: NC25
Posts: 3,762

I used Nyloseal. 14 years of pitot / static and Transponder checks have had no leaks.
Gary A. Sobek
NC25 RV-6
3,400+ hours
Where is N157GS
Building RV-8 S/N: 80012

To most people, the sky is the limit.
To those who love aviation, the sky is home.
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