Carpet Removal

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Out with the old and prepare for the new…

Original red front cockpit carpet
Original red front cockpit carpet
Rear cockpit with ballast weights (since the engine was removed)

I spent several hours on Saturday removing the old carpet. It was a real pain! I started by removing the side panels, the head panels, and then I removed all of the seat belts. I also removed the rear bulk head. It was good to see in the back of the fuselage. Since the plane is sitting tail low (due to no engine on the fuselage) some oil had accumulated in the tail section!

I then started on the carpet removal. Several of the sections were held down by press-studs so that the inspection panels can be accessed. The rest of the carpet had to be torn out. Since the fabric was so old, over 30 years old, it disintegrated as I tore it out. I gripped a corner with some pliers and pulled – only to start un-weaving the thread from the weave, which then left a nice dust red residue everywhere – fun times. Underneath the carpet was dried glue and the foam insulation. I then removed as much of this as possible then it was to work to removed the remainder of the glue.

 

Cockpit floor
The cockpit floor with most of the carpet removed.

After experimenting with several solvents I found that using a rag soaked in paint thinner, then leaving this on the area to be cleaned for a few minutes, the glue residue could be removed using a soft brass wire brush. This proved to be a slow and tedious process.

The rear carpet was a real pain to remove. The carpet disintegrated as I tore it out. Then I had the pad to remove too – this was also a pain.

The back cargo area was just covered in glued down carpet – no pad. This took a lot of effort to remove – but I did manage to complete it.

The floor areas in the back where the seats are were proved not to be as easy as the cargo area. Alas, I had some stuck screws which prevented me from removing the seat anchors and the plastic trim. So, they will have to wait until I can get a screw remover.

Here’s some of the old carpet I removed – any takers?

More fun next week!

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