Painting aircraft
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Painting aircraft

How to paint a plane?


This question is not idle. Where and how to paint aircraft and helicopters? How often is the case with other technologies, in Russia everything is a bit different than the world. There, the major airlines tend to have their own divisions or departments for painting aircraft. When capacity is not occupied by painting their own machines, a third-party unit takes orders.

In Russia, the aircraft often move from one company to another. There is a purchase or lease, in general, often have to change the livery. And it is time-consuming and very costly.

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It so happened historically that the paint hangar for large aircraft have only aircraft repair plants, and plants for the manufacture of aircraft (helicopters). Small private planes and helicopters can be painted in automotive spray booths. Of course, recently began to appear specialized firms for painting large aircraft.

For example, the firm "AT-Design" has its own set of paint in the Moscow airport "bulls." Size of the area of ​​the company allow it to paint aircraft type IL-76, Boeing 737 and 757. There is a huge hangar at the Ulyanovsk firm "Spektr-Avia", ready to take a giant Antonov-124. Accordingly, they can paint the sun any size.

Legacy Aeroflot

Earlier, in the 90-x years after the division of Soviet Aeroflot heritage, all planes were painted very monotonously, and sometimes only the name of the owner company distinguished them from each other, now the airlines are trying to allocate their equipment. Brightly colored, light-colored aircraft of S7 are well known in airports around the world. And basically, our airlines (probably out of economy) do not spoil us with a wealth of colors (livery) of their boards. The company "Russia" has a very poor and simple coloring. When you see a low-flying aircraft of this company, it seems that the aircraft has a very stupid smile, but of course this is a subjective opinion of the author. Sometimes you often take pictures of planes at airports or on a glide path (the so-called spotting), and of course, "foreigners" are visible, and are determined from afar.

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But back to the painting itself. Painting board just released from the factory hangar, of course, easier and less time consuming. The most common side disguise. Or, after a long operation or when changing the livery. Livery of the aircraft by changing my airline, or in the case of the re-branding of the company.

Aviation equipment, to begin with, in the wiping roll shop. In it a plane or a helicopter is prepared to remove the old paint. Jammed all openings into which water may enter or remover. Then the plane is fully covered by a dedicated liquid - "stripper". It is very aggressive to the ink composition, in just a few hours of eating away the old paint. It swells and leaves patches and seams. Of course, the more layers of paint and lacquer was applied, the process takes longer.

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Wash off old paint jets of hot water under pressure. Sophisticated place cleaned with special rubber spatula. When working with a stripper, it is important to protect all places and parts that can damage the aggressive remover. It not only corrodes the paint, but also a lot else. While working on a repair plant, this writer had seen and participated in the process of painting aircraft.

And here, the plane (or helicopter) appears in its original, factory state. From pomyvochnaya hangar technique to roll the paint box. This is a special hangar, which must comply with the special conditions. Specific temperature and humidity, air purification system, special compressors for air extraction and ventilation. The better equipment and more accurately comply with the special conditions, the better and more durable paint layer.

Further appliances soil (usually not a single layer) special soil. After that were ground thoroughly. Smoothed out small bumps, hollows filled. On the glossy surface is already painted bead, all irregularities are clearly visible. Plane ready to paint.

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Apply basic, basic color, it is often white. The paint is applied in several stages, and depending on the technology in several layers.

The painting plane?

The paint that is used in aviation special polyurethane. It has two main components: the very paint and hardener plus special additives, thinners thinners. The world leader in the production of aircraft special colors are two firms, the Dutch Akzo Nobel and British PPG Aerospace. Well-known, and the French company manufacturer DuPont. Of course, all the components of the chemical components of the painting should be strictly one firm.

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After drying base layer begins, perhaps, the most time-consuming operation of masking techniques, ie coating the surface of various masks and stencils. They have to close those portions which do not need to be painted on. Depending on the coloring scheme, such an operation is performed repeatedly. All operations subsequent to the paint produced with intermediate drying of each layer. Depending on the complexity of the livery, the abundance of signs and labels, the size of the sun, the painting process can take anywhere from 3-4 days to a week or more.

If necessary, after completion of all phases of the painting, on the sun, a layer of protective glossy varnish. It enhances the quality of weatherproof coating, paint gloss levels, and gives the art parade "trademark" look.

The thickness of the finished paintwork (paint), using good modern polyurethane components does not exceed 0,2 mm. And weighs a coating, for example, in the B 737, 115 about kg.

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I hope that in the near future we will see in our sky is not only standard color board - white top, black bottom, and a bright, interesting livery good companies.

Aircraft Painting Video


Liveried aircraft

Especially for Valery Smirnov


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