Is it necessary to hangar a Robin?

The simple answer is ‘no.’ In some circumstances, parking outside is a better trade-off than hangerage. It depends on the environment and the usage of the aircraft.

An aircraft made of any material will deteriorate if kept outside, uncovered and unused for long periods. The wood structure of Robin aircraft is superior to metal and man-made composite because wood does not corrode. Note that Robin give an unrivalled 20 year warranty on their airframes with unlimited flight hours, so no concerns about weather damage there! If a Robin is left outside, all that will happen is that the paint will lose its gloss more quickly, just like a car that is parked outside.

The Oratex™ covering for the control surfaces cannot crack or craze, so it remains totally waterproof throughout its life (and it is guaranteed for ten years), completely preventing water ingress to the ailerons, stabilator and tail. This, combined with the Swift Wing, which has a solid upper surface, finally puts to rest the myth that Robins have to be hangared. If you already have a Robin that needs recovering then you really should consider using Oratex: contact the Light Aircraft Company ( for this service.

Condensation and ultraviolet light are the main two problems for all aircraft kept outside, irrespective of their construction. Condensation can cause corrosion in many areas; airframe, avionics and engine (although the plasma coating of the bores of the Continental diesel engines provides protection even there). Ultraviolet radiation will attack paint, composites, perspex and avionics. A full set of covers will protect your aircraft against the ravages of the weather, will prevent water ingress to the cabin and will reduce ultraviolet damage. Flying the aircraft frequently, avoiding parking for long periods on grass and using dehumidifier gel packs can help keep condensation at bay.

Hangerage is good if the environment is harsh, the aircraft is used little and the hangar is well ventilated but, just as for a car, putting a wet aircraft away in an enclosed space with inadequate ventilation can be worse than leaving it outside!

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 Mistral Aviation LLP, Elstree Aerodrome WD6 3AW; +44 (0)7973 691727;