I'm looking at a Duce for sale. It was recovered circa 1999 with Stitts. Stored mainly outdoors in a northerly wintery climate. How long would this covering be expected to last? I suppose the AME would have some empirical method of testing fabric integrity during a pre-purchase inspection. Yes? (My previous homebuilt was aluminum - Zenair 601 - so all this wood and fabric is a little new to me...).
Are there other key things to watch out for? The original kit first flew in 1977 and is registered as a Duce (i.e. not Deuce), fwiw.
Somewhere in my failing memory I recall that Dacron fabric was lifetime. If it's covered in
Dacron, ( and I assume it is) the fabric should be almost perfect. Stored outside, the wood
could be a problem. You should have inspection holes and an AP can assess the wood. Engine
may be full of rust also. (low compression). But that will probably be on only 1 cylinder. And
that can be "Re-Lapped" back in.
Keep us informed.
Found an ad last year for the same plane and the owner says: "Could use recovering.." Given the distance involved and difficulty in assessing the situation, I will have to pass on this one. There are some nicer looking examples just south of me (I'm in Canada)... but I would be taking such a hit on the dollar exchange rate right now it makes going that route much more expensive.... will keep looking.