Thursday, January 31, 2008

Let the painting begin!

The time we've been waiting for is upon us. N252Q is in Tejas's quarter-million dollar paint booth and eagerly awaiting the painting process to begin...

To bring you to speed, several steps have been completed so far. She's been stripped, patched, sand coat primered and they just completed the Alodine application. The next steps are the fun ones. The paint booth is where the project really starts taking shape.

NOTE: The rusty looking coat on the surface of everything is Alodine. Alodine is a chemical treatment process used to prep aluminum. It provides corrosion protection in addition to creating a superior bonding surface for paint. It is the primer's primer so to speak. Many shops skip this step because it is costly; however, it is critical that Alodine is applied to all surfaces. An airplane painted without Alodine will easily develop corrosion under the surface of the paint. It is nearly impossible to detect corrosion under paint until it breaks through, which basically destroys the part. Not good when the part is a flight control or wing!

The photo above is of the bottom cowling. Take a close look at the quality of the finish. It looks brand new... The skills they have in the fiberglass shop is one of the many reasons why Tejas was selected to do our project. These guys remove all fiberglass parts and strip them completely down to the fiber. They then build every part back up to new, many times better than new, tolerances. There are not many shops that have in-house facilities or skills to do this type of work.

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