I change the gear every float season so for sealing the gap between the gear leg and the fuselage I used a general purpose rubber insulating tape used for all-voltage splicing and jacketing, something like 3M Scotch 2242 or 2248.
Not the thin vinyl electrical tape but the old-fashioned thick rubber tape that went over nut and bolt style electrical connectors and was then followed up with the hockey stick tape, cloth/black friction tape. The thick rubber tape lasts over the winter, I put the splice on the belly side, looks nice and flexes.
On the gear I used the 1” tape followed by a second layer of 3/4” tape on the hull to gear leg -not really needed thought it might look a little nicer, but you can’t really tell. I pull the gear every summer anyway, so I wanted something simple. Frankly, I’m surprised how well it stays on and how easy it is to remove.
Application is pretty simple – I just start in the back and do one wrap of the 1” tape right up against the hull and a second wrap with the 3/4” tape flush with the lower edge of the 1” tape. Last year I just did one wrap of the 3/4”. I was going for a shadow line effect, bu I’m not sure it was worth the effort.
Then end the wrap behind the leg keeping in mind the direction of the air flow so it doesn’t get peeled off. Keep in mind too, I can only get 110 knots or so with my prop setup, so maybe you guys that are burning the paint off as you reenter the Earth’s atmosphere would have to get a carbon fiber heat shield tape.
The tapes can be purchased from Amazon:
- Scotch 2242 Linerless Electrical Rubber Tape, 3/4-Inch x 15-Foot
- Scotch 2228 Rubber Mastic Electrical Tape, 1-Inch x 10-Foot x 0.065-Inch