Author Topic: aircraft paint job question  (Read 15485 times)

Offline Mike

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aircraft paint job question
« on: October 24, 2010, 10:15:55 PM »
Ok, here is a new question for you guys, I hope you can help me with this:

Do you know what a vehicle wrap is?
I attached a picture to be sure we're all talking about the same thing....

Can one do a vehicle wrap on an airplane?
Are there any legal issues with it?

It would go on the fuselage and tail, not so much on the wings. And I don't think aerodynamically there is an issue with it.
Just not sure about FAA and W&B, even though we can weigh it again after paint and wrap.....


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Offline Rooster Cruiser

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Re: aircraft paint job question
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2010, 06:39:08 AM »
What are you going to paint and wrap, Mike?  Panaca Jane, or Big Mama?  Sure sounds like an interesting project, please keep us informed!

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Offline MasonKR

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Re: aircraft paint job question
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2010, 02:08:50 PM »
I know there is a 206 by me that has a decal wrap on it for the local casino.  That is the only one I have ever seen.  Albeit its not as extensive as the picture you posted, but it is done in vinyl seems to have held up so far.

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Offline Oddball

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Re: aircraft paint job question
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2010, 03:53:02 PM »
Used to do that sort of think when I worked for a sign company on cars,buses,lorries and mobile cranes with wraps printed off a big digital printer onto vinyl, but never tried on aircraft envn though I have heard about companies that do it.
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Offline Mike

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Re: aircraft paint job question
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2010, 04:16:06 PM »
We're thinking of a "Chicken Wings" Cessna 175. Not sure what exact design it's gonna be....

But I really want to make sure there are no legal issues first.


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Offline Oddball

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Re: aircraft paint job question
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2010, 04:28:08 PM »
been looking into this for you Mike and found a forum thread at  http://www.recreationalflying.com.au/forum/home-built-kits/44719-aircraft-graphics.html about it. and so far have not came across any legal issues, I suppose you could contact the FAA about it.
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Offline MasonKR

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Re: aircraft paint job question
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2010, 04:34:34 PM »
I called the FSDO and was told they can't see any problems as long as it doesn't restrict the pilots vision in any way

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Offline BrianGMFS

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Re: aircraft paint job question
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2010, 09:37:30 AM »
It wasn't applied to an airworthy plane but the VT Air Guard did a wrap on their decommissioned ground trainer a few years ago...


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Offline Jupiter

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Re: aircraft paint job question
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2010, 11:27:27 AM »
From my point of view as an aerospace student, I think it should't give any problems as long as the pilots vision isn't hindered in any way, and the wrap is properly attached. (Partial) detaching of the decal results in FOD, as well as possibly having aerodynamic consequences. On the fuselage this shouldn't pose any major problems, but on the tail it could theoretically do a little more damage (control/stabilising surface, so more aerodynamically sensitive, as well as having possibly jammable moving parts).
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Offline Mike

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Re: aircraft paint job question
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2010, 05:48:42 PM »
thanks for the input guys!

It's looking pretty good for a "go" then, huh?!!

I still worry a little that some FAA guy will have an issue with it. I have learned that every FSDO is different and they interpret the rules differently as well........  ::thinking:: ::sulk::


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Offline Jupiter

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Re: aircraft paint job question
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2010, 05:58:45 PM »
Well, if you really want to be a hundred percent sure, send the FAA an email or give them a call... Wouldn;t know how approachable these guys are over there in the states, but here in the netherlands, you can just call em and you'll eventually get an answer...
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Offline Oddball

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Re: aircraft paint job question
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2010, 05:59:20 PM »
Well by the looks of it as look as its the approved stuff for A/C and not motor vehicles, not covering canopies,showing your A/C registration and not restricting control surface movment you are good to go, but I reckon the company you go to should give you the advice you need, I know I had to go through the pros and cons of the diffrent type of vinyls we stocked with customers.
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Offline Baradium

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Re: aircraft paint job question
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2010, 08:52:39 PM »
I don't see any relevent FARs at this point dealing with vinyl.

So far it seems that a lot of airliners with full body graphics are actually using vinyl like you're asking about.   Both these companies seem to do this kind of work:

http://www.adhetec.com/MENUAVIA-1325000010-cat-2.html?gclid=CNr05Lfu86QCFQy8KgodiS82iQ

http://www.signindustry.com/installation/articles/2008-07-01-Wrapping_airplanes_Aircraft_with_vinyl_graphics.php3


I assume you are trying to avoid the cost or work involved if you were to have it painted or mask and paint it yourself.

It looks like what you want to do is a well established practice these days.  The second site references Cirrus as doing this on production aircraft, but I did not find any references to full wraps on their site.  With so many airplanes already out there with this kind of thing,  I don't see any issues with going forward with it.  Of course, if you are good at painting and masking, you could always do that as well.

The big consideration you'd have would be keeping registration markings visible and discernible.  I expect the wings and horizontal stab are best avoided, but those companies should be able to give you some good information about it.   There shouldn't be any problems with the fuselage or vertical stabilizer as far as I can see.

I'd like to add that you probably won't be able to get away with the windshield or front windows being covered, but you probably guessed that already since you can't do that with cars either.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2010, 08:59:10 PM by Baradium »
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Offline Baradium

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"Well I know what's right, I got just one life
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Offline Turbomallard

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Re: aircraft paint job question
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2010, 12:46:49 AM »
Huh. I think this would be considered just another paint scheme, so I would think that the regs for that apply. I don't know much about this, but there are some areas in which the paint can be critical, most likely in aileron balance-- I'd want to look into that. Otherwise there are some regs about N numbers having to be readable and not in some fancy scheme. They also have to be horizontal, I think... there was a Kodaiak on display at OSH this year that had its N number vertically on the tail and that's a no-no, apparently. See Joe Norris's column here (he also lists the FARs that talk about this): http://www.eaa.org/experimenter/articles/2010-02_tales.asp

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