Building and Flying Info / Your Profession / Other Background Info
After being in the food service business, I have gone back to my first love and that is Aviation. I have founded Aviators By Design to get kids and the non-pilot public fired up and passionate about Aviation and also to promote S.T.E.M. education by using the platform of Aviation. Building a 750 is a natural fit to help accomplish this Mission!
Hi Jerry, about the wrap. First I will never paint another plane. I have built a lot of planes over the years and I am done painting. Welcome to the 21 first century. The time and energy to prep and paint plus the high cost of paint and materials is now contributing too much to the final cost of a finished airplane. Wrap is generally one-third the cost of commercial painting. The cost could rise above that with complicated designs. Most ask about longevity. The wrap will last indefinitely or as least as long as paint for pilots who fly a few hundred hours a year and keep the plane covered or in a hanger. 3M guarantees the material for three years at 100% all weather exposure. Still then many years from the first wrap do it again if needed and still be way under the cost of painting and have a completely new look. The warp always looks good, cleans super easy and never needs waxing etc. Should you have a miss-hap, need repairs normally requiring painting, then remove the old and simply add new to the area and never know the difference. As you can see I’m sold. Now there is a little effort to get ready to wrap. The good news, you do not have to go around removing all nomenclature printed on the aluminum. The wrappers preclean the surface with an alcohol base product, then wrap. It is not possible the warp every exposed part of the plane. As an example on the 750. The standoff supports from the wing leading edge to the slat are not wrapped. The aileron supports not wrapped. The wing strut support hardware is not wrapped or the bolt and nuts but the lift struts are wrapped. The jury struts are generally not wrapped. The interior areas in and around the horizontal stabilizer/elevator/rudder etc., are not wrapped. It is easy to identify non-wrapped areas and have some discussions with the wrappers regarding this. I spray painted all these areas after a little prep work with quality canned spray paint prior to the wrap. It is very easy and quick to do. Take a little time to mask off, to some degree, over spray areas to be wrapped. Wrap can lift paint if not properly applied. I was able to find paint that was very close to the wrap colors or used a complimentary color in some other places. The end result was excellent. I was very happy. Pilot friends who come by to see the airplane do not know the plane is wrapped. They all think it is painted, I have to tell them it is not to their dismay. Then they start running their hands all over it, it has a nice silky feel to it, and they smile. The cost to wrap was $4100.00. Some wrap colors in chrome and others special types can drive the price up. Not all wrappers are created equal. I talked to a few, none had ever done an airplane, done most everything else and were excited to do one. I was lucky maybe, chose a sister and brother team who have been it the business for many years. They paid attention to detail and knew all the tricks to wrapping. Like good painters, not everyone can do this well. I did learn to be sure to use the 3M product. There is lower cost stuff out there from places like China.
You must have your hands full with all those projects going on. Can’t imagine. I’m not familiar with Avilution panel products, very comprehensive, some of it looks a bit much for vfr guys. However, I have just about everything Dynon has with the Skyview line in this plane. It is truly amazing how well it works and interfaces with everything and love how I can layout the presentation of it all anyway I like to view it. This plane has the best panel layout I have done to date. As for the upholstery material it is something readily available from just about any auto upholstery shop. I don’t know what it is called, could send you a hunk of it. Easily cuts/fits in all areas using 3M upholstery spray adhesive.
Not sure yet if I will make it to Oshkosh, but thinking about it as I have friends wanting to go. Will look you up if I get there./body>
I wish you the all the best with your project. We are right here in Mexico, Mo., not far from the factory. Ours is a professional builder assist facility and the only one this near to the factory.
We have found that many builders only need assistance getting started or only with a certain component such as wings and not an expensive long term build process miles from home. So we have just begun to offer builder assistance at our location or at the customers location by the day.
Whenever you are prepared to get started give me a call or drop me an email and we can discuss all of the options.
Custom instrument panels are now available directly from Zenith Aircraft Company exclusively for Zenith builders and owners. Pre-cut panel, power distribution panel, Approach Fast Stack harnesses, Dynon and Garmin avionics, and more.
New Custom Upholstery Kits for your Zenith Aircraft:
Developed specifically for Zenith builders (by a builder) these videos on DVD are a great help in building your own kit plane by providing practical hands-on construction information. Visit HomebuiltHelp.com for the latest DVD titles.