Vinyl Wrapping Part 1

This weekend we had our first go at putting vinyl on the plane. The current goal is to have the back half of the plane completely finished, tail installed to spec, control cables attached, vinyl wrapped. Then we can forget about it until the end.

With that in mind, we set to getting the plane prepped for the vinyl, removing all the tail pieces, and tieing off the control cables so that we wouldn’t lose them inside the plane.

Trying not to lose the control cables

Oh, this picture reminds me that I riveted the brackets that hold the stabiliser on.

To help with that, we used a chair under the nose wheel to lower the tail and make it easier to get at.

Unusual attitude

With all that done, we pushed the plane out of the hangar so we could give it a wash and get all the dirt and dust off it. I think this is probably the first time it has ever been all the way outside.

Plane outside

Too bad she doesn’t have the wings and tail on, or I would have definitely needed to get inside and make engine noises.

Having the plane out of the way meant the hangar floor could get a good sweep.

Clean Hangar!

Could eat your dinner off that floor, you could! As part of the wash we also gave the skin an alcohol rub to pick up any extra things we didn’t want getting under the vinyl. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it will take off the yellow primer where it has seeped through.

Today we re-applied some acetone for a final cleaning and set to work on the vinyl. Not much to say about that other than the obvious. The rivets sure do make it harder than it needs to be, and also where there are cut outs or things to avoid don’t help. A car bonnet sure is a lot easier, I think.

It took about four hours but we got a five foot length on each side of the back of the plane.

First five feet section wrapped

I think it is going to look really good. Now, it wasn’t without incident, we do have a few wrinkles on each side.

Some wrinkles in the vinyl

But for the first time I’m pretty pleased with how it went. And I’m sure a few wrinkles would still look better than my attempt to paint it! I’m not building a show plane.