Speed tape

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Photo of speed tape used to patch a crack

Speed tape is an aluminium pressure-sensitive tape used to perform minor repairs on aircraft and racing cars. It is used as a temporary repair material until a more permanent repair can be carried out. It has an appearance similar to duct tape, for which it is sometimes mistaken, but its adhesive is capable of sticking on an airplane fuselage or wing at high speeds, hence the name.


Depending on the adhesive layer used, it can be resistant to water and solvents, flames for brief periods, and will reflect heat and UV light. It is also able to expand and contract through a wide range of temperatures.[1]

Speed tape may be formed of soft aluminium with an adhesive layer,[2] or a laminate of aluminium and cloth.[3]


Speed tape is sometimes used to protect sealant while curing,[4] or to patch non-critical components of an aircraft.[1] It can also be used for patching bullet damage to combat aircraft.[5][6]

Use of speed tape should be authorized by engineering teams and comply with certain requirements. Fines can be levied against airlines that use it to make improper repairs.[7]

In the 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, speed tape was used by the AlphaTauri garage as a temporary fix after driver Yuki Tsunoda had a rear wing and drag reduction system failure - prompting confusion from fans and commentators.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Information: The good, the bad and the ugly". Salon. 31 July 2009. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  2. ^ "Aluminum Foil Tape 425 • 427" (PDF). 3M. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  3. ^ "Aluminum Foil Tape And Liner Laminated With Cotton Cloth P-12L". Nitto Denko. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  4. ^ "Oh my god, they're duct-taping our plane!". Salon. 27 October 2011. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  5. ^ Battle for the Falklands (3): Air Forces. Osprey Publishing. 1982. p. 22. ISBN 9780850454932.
  6. ^ "Air Force Magazine". 63. Air Force Association. 1980. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ Phillips, Don (4 December 2002). "Improper Use of Tape to Fix Wings May Lead to FAA Fine for United". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 20 January 2011 – via HighBeam.
  8. ^ "2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix: AlphaTauri tape up Tsunoda's broken rear wing". Formula 1® - The Official F1® Website. Retrieved 2022-06-12.