Friday, February 01, 2008

Primer has been applied!

252Q's exterior referb project is coming along quite well. The Zinc Chromate primer has been applied to all surfaces and the temp was brought up in the paint room to keep humidity down and to let the parts cure it overnight. We are getting very close to applying the base coat, which will be Sherwin Williams Acry Glo Titanium Metallic Urethane.

It is remarkable how talented the Tejas team is. I could not be more impressed with the quality of the work they produce. These guys are good, very good...

Pay particular attention to the photo below. Take note of how the primer covers all ends and pieces parts. This is a textbook perfect example of how to apply primer. Not many do it right.

When we owners design a scheme and get our planes painted, we often forget the reason why we paint planes in the first place. Sure it is nice that it makes them look new, but we actually paint planes to protect the aluminum surfaces. Aluminum is a very strong, light and malleable metal, but it is highly susceptible to corrosion if it isn't prepped properly. I cannot stress enough how important it is spend the money and paint a plane the right way. Metal airplanes can literally last forever, but corrosion can turn a perfectly good flying machine into scrap metal in a matter of months. Aircraft bone yards are full of planes that were taken by corrosion.

If you are buying a plane that has been painted, it is important to carefully read the logbook entry. It should spell out everything they did including removing the parts, applying Alodine, Zinch Chromate, etc. They should also specifically document that the flight controls were balanced. If they don't list these items out, then it is very likely it was not done or done improperly. Balancing flight controls is required by the FAR's. Doing the job right is required by how big your wallet is. It goes without saying that replacing flight controls or parts due to corrosion is costly and labor intensive project. A few buck spent up front can not only increase the value of a plane, it can literally make it immortal.

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