Sunday, January 20, 2008

Prepping N252Q for Paint

252Q is coming along well. The vortex generators are installed and the Tejas AeroServices team is almost done with prepping the aluminum for acid etching and paint. The shop foreman told me last week that they were very impressed with my plane. He said they have been inside of everything and were unable to find a spot of corrosion anywhere. He continued to say that this is not typical for a 20 year old bird. Apparently most used planes coming through their shop have something hidden under the paint. In fact, he told me a story of one plane had nearly all of its rivet heads sanded off by the previous paint shop and another had a 10" long cut completely through from the top of the tail to the bottom and was covered over with Bondo! Not N252Q. She's as clean as a whistle!

We did have a bit of a fire drill last week. Tejas contacted their supplier to purchase the Chromallusion paint we will be using for some accent stripping and they initially refused to sell it to them.

NOTE: Chromallusion is a highly specialized paint that changes color depending on the angle you are looking from. It is hard to find a photo that adequately shows what this looks like in person, but here's one I found on the web that does a pretty good job:

Chromallusion is a solid color paint that is applied in several layers. The layering of the paint causes it to shift color depending on how the light reflects off of the surface and the angle you are viewing it from. Two people looking at the same time would see a different effect.

We will be using a red/gold paint on 252Q called Pure Fire. Of course, like everything else we are doing, Chromallusion is very expensive ($700 a pint) and complex to paint. In fact, it is so complex that DuPont rarely sells it for aircraft applications because most shops that paint airplanes are not qualified to apply it. The warranty repair on an airplane is astronomical and DuPont has had to pay out some hefty repaint fees because of shop application errors. The Tejas team is one of only a few aircraft paint facilities in the world that has the technical skill to apply this paint on an airplane properly. Fortunately I picked the right shop and they were able to substantiate that they are indeed qualified to apply Chromallusion and have successfully applied this paint to other aircraft without issues. Mark another one up for Tejas...these guys Rock!

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