When I read this question asking for identification of the aircraft, my immediate question was:

What is that duck tape for?

Whether you call it duck tape or duct tape, why is it being applied to the nacelle?

a technician applying tape to an engine

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    $\begingroup$ It's being applied to keep the nacelle from falling off, of course. $\endgroup$ Feb 3, 2017 at 21:19
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    $\begingroup$ @PeteBecker close, but no cigar; the nacelle is usually held on by crazy glue. The tape is speed tape, which makes the plane go faster. $\endgroup$
    – 0xdd
    Nov 20, 2018 at 15:21

1 Answer 1


It's not duct tape. It's speed tape.

Speed tape is an aluminum pressure-sensitive tape used to do minor repairs on aircraft and racing cars. It is used as a temporary repair material until a more permanent repair can be carried out.

Probably just got a bit of a gap around the cowling or perhaps a loose fastener or two. It's common practice for sealing minor gaps and things until it's next in the hangar for work.

Whilst I was Googling for speed tape, I also found these:


This is how the wonderful British "tabloid" press deal with aviation stories. Top marks for getting the "shocked passenger" phrase in.

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    $\begingroup$ Wow - at first pass, I thought the Speed Tape was much like the Speed Holes in Homer's car. Thanks for the answer and details! $\endgroup$
    – BruceWayne
    Feb 3, 2017 at 22:45
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    $\begingroup$ To be fair, if I, as a passenger, saw a worker apparently duct-taping the engine on a plane I was about to hang around up in the sky in, I’d probably be reasonably shocked as well. And to give them their fair dues, they did spend most of the article explaining how it’s not duct tape but actually perfectly normal and absolutely up to safety standards. $\endgroup$ Feb 4, 2017 at 0:40
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    $\begingroup$ @MartinArgerami Being shocked at seeing something very unexpected doesn't equal assuming it is wrong. If I looked out the window and saw someone putting (what looks like) duct tape on a nacelle like that, I would have been shocked and thought, “Is that for real? WTF?!”. I wouldn't assume maintenance didn't know what they were doing, but it would shock me that taping up an airplane was apparently something to be done. And I'd be quite likely to take a picture and tweet about it, too. $\endgroup$ Feb 4, 2017 at 12:38
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    $\begingroup$ @JanusBahsJacquet: You may take one minute to include in your reasoning, before being "shocked", that an airline that owns or leases a \$100 million to \$300 million aircraft is not in a hurry to not take care of it. In the past, when we didn't know, we assumed things were handled correctly by those who know, it seems that today, everyone wants to challenge skilled professionals, even in a domain which is one of the most regulated and safe ones. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Feb 4, 2017 at 20:05
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    $\begingroup$ @mins My point is that shock generally comes before reasoning. Once you've reasoned, there is no possibility of shock. $\endgroup$ Feb 4, 2017 at 20:18

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