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Model Aircraft Covering Weight Comparison

Model Aircraft Covering Weight Comparison - Airplanes and RocketsWhen deciding which type of covering material to apply to a model airplane structure, it would be helpful to have a table of covering density for comparison. Here is such a table which shows, for instance, that 21st Century Fabric is the heaviest type of covering you can use. MicroLite covering is the lightest weight. Not shown are most doped or painted coverings because finished weights are so dependent on substrate type (silk, Silkspan, tissue, etc.), paint or dope type, and number/thickness of coats. To calculate the covering weight, multiply the density by the total surface area of your model. Unfortunately, most of these coverings are no longer manufactured, but a lot of it can still be found on eBay.

HomeFly has a very extensive table of model airplane covering material weights. Note that they use units of grams per square meter. I have not verified the numbers there, so be sure to investigate further if weight is critical. Here is a units converter for you.


Name Weight per Area Brand
(oz/ft2) (oz/yd2)
Monokote* 0.20 1.8 TopFlite
Econokote 0.20 1.8
CoverLite 0.10 0.89 Coverite
MicroLite 0.07 0.60
21st Century Fabric 0.34 3.1
21st Century Film    
Black Baron 0.19 1.68
MicaFilm 0.14 1.25
TowerKote 0.20 1.8 Tower Hobbies
LighTex 0.20 1.8 The World Models
ToughLon 0.27 2.43
Koverall 0.14 1.25 Sig Mfg.
Silkspan (light)** 0.00027 0.35
Silkspan (medium) 0.00038 0.48
Silkspan (heavy) 0.00048 0.62


   * Opaque, transparent, pearl, metallic (other sources claim transparent is lighter)

** w/o dope



Posted June 7, 2024
(updated from original post on 10/13/2009)

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