Speed Tapes in Aviation

The aviation industry bases itself on almost all aspects of air travel and the mechanics to facilitate it. This involves multiple industries such as airlines, aircraft manufacturing, research manufacturing and research companies.

People often get the ‘aviation industry’ and ‘airline industry’ confused or think they are the same
thing, but they’re not, the airline industry is simply a small part of the wider aviation industry.

Like any automotive, airplanes are also prone to damage, which is understandable as they travel at 400 to 600 mph. For minor repairs such as cracked parts of the aircraft frame a specialist type of tape can be used, Speed tape.

Speed tape is heat resistant and can withstand high temperatures without degrading, this is due to most of them being made of aluminium which is heat resistant itself. Speed tape is also resistant to water, solvents and other chemicals.

When aircrafts are flying high and conditions are very cold, the tape will shrink and hold its position. In warmer climes, like airports in the tropics, the tape will expand without dislodging.

Whilst speed tape has many benefits it can only be used to fix minor or temporary repairs.
Plans will need to be made to get repairs underway. For an emergency, when a plane needs to be able to fly quickly and there is no time for repairs, the tape can be an adequate measure.


“The publicity around speed tape is unwarranted,” said Chris Brady, an airline captain in Europe and the founder of Boeing 737 Technical Site.

Over the years there have been numerous outrages on social media over airplanes using ‘duct tape’. Speed tape is however a perfectly acceptable and standard practice in airline maintenance, in a bid to improve aerodynamic efficiency on a damaged part. It’s not cheap, either; it can cost around $400 for a four-inch-wide roll.

Legal restrictions on the use of this adhesive tape vary. A maintenance personnel will need to
inspect the components carefully when the plane is on the ground to make sure the speed tape is