There are no two projects that are exactly the same. Every project is thoroughly evaluated and customized to fit the individual needs. The following is a list of steps and procedures that is typically followed for aircraft refinishing. However, additional steps may be performed in order to achieve the quality finish that Flying Colors delivers.
1. Incoming Inspection
We perform an inspection of the aircraft as it is received. We verify correct function of position lights, anti collision lights, powered trim, etc. We identify any unrepairable plastic or fiberglass parts.
Prior to stripping, we remove all flight control surfaces, gear doors, and any applicable antennas, fairings, and inspection panels.
3. Paint Stripping
All surfaces to be painted will be stripped to bare metal. Flying Colors has the capability of both chemically stripping and plastic media blasting in order to remove the paint from the surface. Predominantly we remove the paint with chemical strippers. However, some components are better suited to be stripped with media. Flying Colors has the capability to do this where most other facilities do not.
4. Second Inspection
Now that the old paint is removed, the rest of the story is revealed. Sometimes there is hidden damage, corrosion, or other defects that now becomes apparent. The customer is notified of any such hidden damage at this time.
5. Surface Prep
This step is one of the most critical steps of the process. The amount of time spent in this area contributes to the overall level of finished quality. Depending on the sub straight to be painted, different types of surface preparation will be used. Some examples of surface preparation would include repair of dents and dings, address corrosion issues, sand and scuff, wash, acid-etch and alodine, etc. Taking the time to do these steps properly ensures the best adhesion and resistance to corrosion for the future.
The standard paint we use for aircraft finishing is Sherwin Williams Zinc chromate epoxy primer, with Jet Glo single stage acrylic urethane topcoat. Based on the level of graphics that are desired, Flying Colors also offers Base Coat Clear Coat paint systems. This would be determined by the projects individual requirements.
7. Accent Stripes and Graphics
Accent stripes and graphics really enhance the curb appeal of the painting project. This could include airbrush work, shadows or fades, pearls or candy coats, logos, and lettering, etc. However, sometimes, simple straight traditional lines are all that are desired. Flying Colors is capable of a multiple level of custom graphics depending on whatever the customer desires.
8. Balance and Reassembly
Balancing of flight control surfaces and reassembly of the aircraft is performed by licensed A&P mechanics in accordance with the aircraft manufacturers specifications.
At this point all final details are addressed. All placards, decals, and non-skid are applied. We take pride in every aircraft that leaves our shop. Every project receives the same attention to detail. This is truly what sets our quality apart from the rest.