Just wanted to get some feedback on an idea. I have contacted three vinyl companies about installing vinyl instead of paint on my 701. All have said that there is no reason that they could not do the complete plane in vinyl. Rivets and irregularities don't seem to be a problem. It has a 10 to 13 year life on an auto (probably much longer on a hangered plane) and is easily removed for a change in design. The cost is 1200 to 1800 bucks depending on the creativity required for the design. Designs have no limitations. They are done by graphic artists on computer. The vinyl itself is not effected by much after it is installed and it weighs a fraction of paint.
Does anyone have knowledge of a downside to vinyl?
I've used both the "peel off" and "paint on" wing walk compound. I have a slight preference for the "paint on" as far as adherence is concerned. Also, I found it hard to work with the "peel off" variety. I just couldn't maneuver it into place without getting it stuck in the wrong place. That will be a consideration for decals also.
I simply don't know what adhesives are used with any certainty, but the decals I've seen appear to have a different backing than wing walk. My guess is that it's a different adhesive, but I don't know that for an absolute fact. It does tend to demonstrate that there is one adhesive which appears to reliably adhere to aircraft surfaces.
I wonder if one could get some candidate decal samples, and test them in a mini-wind tunnel? It would be necessary to test them over a fairly wide temeperature range at the same time.
There is a vinyl shop in almost every city. The best reassurance that I can think of is to just go and talk to one of them, and take a look at the product and some of their installations first hand. I am sure you will be as impressed as I was.
Top Fuel Funny cars and TF Rail cars go well over 300 MPH while producing high heat, intense vibration and flexing of the body surfaces all with some amazing vinyl applications. I am in the process of polishing the entire surface my 701 with the idea of having graphics applied to certain ares and will be looking at this vinyl concept vs paint further when the time comes to "complete" my plane. Thanks Don
I have applied large vinyle to the entire fuse and upper and lower wing to new paint. So far there in no problem of peeling in heat. i do not know about winter though. Application is difficult , you will need lots fo soaply water and patience. There is also no fading fo color yet as my airplane sits outside in the sun.
I used all Vinyle on my aircraft and it seems to be holding out. It is a lot of work to put on a large Vinyl, it took me a week. you will have to see what the company says about warranty especially the red as in fades the most.
A vinyl shop in my area quoted me about 2000 for the whole plane. Maybe your shop just didn't want to do the job. I have spoken to one that was very excited about the project. If you are still interested, I would shop around. It might be good advertising for them if they were allowed to sight their shop in a small area of your plane, say under the horizontal stabilizer.
So far, I'm getting a little dubious of this approach for me. It doesn't sound as though it's going to be that much easier to apply than paint, and the cost doesn't sound that good. I was thinking in terms of doing a background paint, and maybe just putting vinyl trim on. So, for me, I'd still need to do some painting. It may turn out that, by the time I set things up to do some painting, I might as well do the whole aircraft.
Jim, My first notion was to vinyl the whole plane unpainted, and it would probably turn out ok, at least that is what the vinyl people have said. It would certainly be a first. However I think that I will do a background of paint, and to the rest over the paint in vinyl. It really all depends on what design you want. Any curvey designs or pictures are very difficult to do with paint. Vinyl makes more since in these cases. I feel the plane needs a little more protection than a complete vinyl wrap would give, unless it was wrapped over paint.
I just received some 4" x 4" samples and a color chart of smaller samples from FLX Paint. They are beautiful!! I intend to try them on my rudder over the bare aluminum with a real good cleaning first, over some rivets and tight curves to see how much adhesion there is, and how easy to apply the material might be (and removal). With any luck I will post some pictures. The company says that their product adheres well to painted surfaces but that it should be equally as good on clean bare aluminum. www.flxpaint.com
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