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is there a special material required for aircraft graphics

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Post Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:03 pm

is there a special material required for aircraft graphics

Hi all,

I've been plodding on now for about 10 months producing the usual van liveries etc but have been asked today if I can produce replacement livery on a light aircraft.

Are there any specific material requirements required for vinyls on aircraft or are cast/calendered vinyls acceptable ?

thanks in advance

Pete
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Post Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:11 am

really is a can of worms.

the aircraft owner must take advice from his area inspector as to what is suitable. for that type.
if you are to fit them then they must be checked by the inspector after and signed off.
a lot of small AC have poor quality paint finishes and vinyl does not stick to well to it.
possible to supply the letters as masks to be painted in.

you are probably not insured for this work.

the list goes on.

yes i know a lot of people supply these with out a thought, but as a pilot i do give it a lot of thought.

chris
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Post Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:48 am

Thanks for the response Chris.

This was my thinking. I was of the opinion that something like CAA regulations etc. would come into play regarding this issue, but thought I would ask the question on here to see if anyone else had been in this situation.

regards

pete
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Post Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:25 am

I did some work on a light aircraft using quality cast vinyl. The owner is a retired 747 Captain and very experienced in most aspects.
He checked with the manufacturers who had no problem with it.
Just so long as it doesn't interfere with any controls or moving parts.
Of course it is possible that visible crack detection could be masked.
I get written authority from an owner to the effect that they have checked the suitability.
Commercial vehicle insurance is generally not valid on airfields.
I generally steer clear though, as Chris says - a can of worms.
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Post Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:37 pm

There was a program on sky just the other day, and it was about repainting light aircraft, there was also a bit about the vinyl being replaced and it was said that it is a special aircraft vinyl that had to be used, as like the paint.
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Post Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:39 pm

Hi Pete

Over the years we've done many aircraft, here and abroad and yes, the vinyl is special aviation vinyl. (3M)

Its got tiny perforations in it, similar to contravision but not as obvious.

This allows the vinyl to 'breath' as the temperatures and speeds are pretty extreme up there!!

Not too sure about about light aircraft tho as only worked on big passenger aircraft.

Matt
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Post Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:23 am

matty goodwin wrote:Hi Pete

Over the years we've done many aircraft, here and abroad and yes, the vinyl is special aviation vinyl. (3M)

Its got tiny perforations in it, similar to contravision but not as obvious.

This allows the vinyl to 'breath' as the temperatures and speeds are pretty extreme up there!!

Not too sure about about light aircraft tho as only worked on big passenger aircraft.

Matt



Hi Matt

Thanks for the response.

Following further inquiries with CAA and others that are involved with such issues I'm slowly gathering a whole raft of info on this subject. As you say, 3M and also I believe Avery have appropriate materials. Also the material spec can vary based on aircraft type.

Have also checked with my business insurance provider and so long as relevant working practices, precautions and post- work inspections are satisfactory, I'm covered.

Is this what you have found when doing this type of work ?

regards

Pete
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Post Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:35 pm

Hi Peter
Ive done a fair few light aircraft now using cast vinyl as long as you give the aircraft a good degrease all should be well i always recommend an edge seal around the edge of the vinyl lettering, one thing to do is defiantly go look at the job first as so many have rivets everywhere and it can take for ever, and lying on your back under the wing doing the reg No is not much fun so make sure you charge good money for it as time can have a habit of running away with you, a worthwhile investment is a soft foam rivet roller i think from memory i bought it from jac and worth every penny.

Regards Kev
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Post Sun Jan 10, 2010 4:28 pm

Kev, no disrespect meant here but how do you know a good quality cast vinyl is ok for use on a light aircraft ? Have you checked with any governing bodies or authorities to make sure that what you are using meets with their approval ?

Reason I ask is because a few years ago I was asked about applying some new decals to a light aircraft, I went and looked at the job, priced it and gave the customer a quote based on using a cast vinyl which I knew would be needed with the substrate I was applying to. I didn't get the job because I was to expensive but if I had I would probably have gone on to do more work for other people with light aircraft as quite often happens when someone sees your work.
The point is that I never checked with anyone to see if the material I was going to use met with the requirements of any aviation authority or any governing body that may exist, I just assumed that cast vinyl would be the right product for the job. I might well have gone on to do quite a bit more work for others owners and still not realised that I should have been using a different material.

I have never thought about this since until reading this thread and other people commenting about using aircraft vinyls and checking that insurance covered you to do this sort of work.
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Post Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:10 pm

Just as a further point on this subject.

Could one of the site moderators confirm if it is ok to post a couple of links for 3M website regarding products I've come across with regards to product info sheets and fitting/removal instructions for aircraft graphic films ?

I've found it useful and I'm sure many of the other members will be interested.
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Post Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:22 pm

I got one now. :D

The customer is going to paint the numbers on, so just needs stencils from me, but does anyone know if there is a compulsory font for the registration letters?
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Post Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:39 pm

Hi John

Check out www.lasaero.com/site/products/article?id=P036LVGYP.

It will give you an indication of the type of fonts that are acceptable.

If you require any further assistance please contact me

regards

Pete
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Post Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:00 pm

i have done quite a few aircraft now locally here. 2 kingairs and a couple of cessnas.

We have been putting a digitally printed die cut logo on the rear tail and some die cut prints on near the door. and cut vinyl numbers under the wing etc.

I would definitely stay away from the jet type planes large passenger aircraft etc. This does require the special films and special training etc. Something about the actual cabin breathing hence the tiny holes int eh film. Especially when wrapping the fuselage.
I find that a lot of these rules and spec sheets can be deceiving because it talking about the Boeing/ Airbus aircraft. The speed, along with the cruising altitude is quite a bit different to the normal light aircraft we are talking about.

I have been using a 3MIJ180 for the tail sections and printed decals,and a avery 800 series for the reg numbers. Very small smooth rivets. We worked it over and post heated a lot. We have had decals on these planes for 2 years now without problems. I did warn the customer though that it may not last as long but they were happy about it. There really isnt much that can go wrong with the decals IMHO.


The decals have been checked by the authorities here and they have had no problems. Obviously your circumstances may be a lot different in the UK but i do believe that if you are talking about this kind of light aircraft there should be very little problems if you use a decent cast film Avery 800/900 or 3M equivalent.
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Post Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:47 pm

Interesting site Peter. Thanks.

This "customer" is renovating an old plane and knows exactly what he doesn't want. Unfortunately he doesn't know what he DOES want. :(

I can see this job becoming far more aggravation than it is worth, so I'm going to sidestep it. :D
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Post Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:27 pm

John Childs wrote:I got one now. :D

The customer is going to paint the numbers on, so just needs stencils from me, but does anyone know if there is a compulsory font for the registration letters?


arial :D

I'll get me coat

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