JAN 2015

Experimenter is a magazine created by EAA for people who build airplanes. We will report on amateur-built aircraft as well as ultralights and other light aircraft.

Issue link: https://experimenter.epubxp.com/i/449720

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Page 20 of 32

EAA Experimenter 21 grit sandpaper just to make sure they were really nice and smooth. I spent a weekend doing that. Then the installers came to my hangar after I got off work, and we'd work for two or three hours in the early evenings. We did that over five sessions. If I could have gotten off work, it would have taken maybe two-and-a-half to three days to do the whole project. So the fact that the whole vinyl wrap installation was basically done in less than a week was really cool; I liked that a lot." Pete specifically selected Satin White (I080-S10) for the wings to eliminate the problem of glare, which he experi- enced while flying with the RV-9A's shiny aluminum wings in sunny southern California. He chose Gloss Bright Yellow (I080- G215) for the fuselage and completed the overall scheme with a combination of the two and an accent stripe of Gloss Black Metallic (I080- G212). The 3M Scotchprint vinyl came in a 60-inch-wide roll, and Pete described the material as having "some micro-channels in the glue that's on the backside, which facilitates placing and repositioning it as necessary when first starting the process. A large sheet of vinyl is 'tacked' down in places overlapping a metal seam (which was trimmed later), and the installer positioned and pulled it up four or five times to get it in good position. Then it's rubbed onto the metal with a plastic applicator and just fingertip pressure to get the air bubbles out through the micro-channels. That kind of sets the glue and makes it nice and sticky. The vinyl is trimmed at the metal seams of the airplane." The method is a little different when it comes to com- pound curves. For example, Pete said the area around the windshield was done with one piece of vinyl. First, a piece of wire tape was applied to the entire edge of the wind- shield, which was later used to neatly cut away the overlay of vinyl. (This same wire-tape method was used to make the sweeping curve of yellow on the side of the fuselage.) VINYL WRAP ALTERNATIVES An Internet search revealed hundreds of imaginative applications for vinyl, and two of the major manufacturers of vinyl wrap are 3M (www.3M.com) and Avery Dennison (www.AveryDennison.com). Several companies advertise vinyl wrap installation for airplanes, including Gatorwraps of Ontario, California (www.Gatorwraps.com), AircraftWraps of North Palm Beach, Florida (www.AircraftWraps.com), and Plane Vinyl of Woodstock, Georgia (www.PlaneVinyl.com). Looks like paint, doesn't it?

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