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Helicopter Painting – What we have to look for

Painting a helicopter and other aircraft

When it comes to painting most types of Helicopters, it would be best to not only inform you as to what we do, but to also demonstrate our knowledge on what we go through with every project. Every aircraft we paint is subject to heavy scrutiny from our team of painters to ensure that we always deliver the high standard of quality we've come to be expected of. This will also give you an idea on what our HPN team will be doing to provide a vibrant, elegant display for your aircraft that also fits within regulations.

Helicopters VS. Airplanes

Most would think by default that its just paint. What effect would it have on a big plane, or a small passenger one, or even a helicopter? To answer this, we must consider the normal uses of the aircraft in order to see their effects. First, lets start with the larger commercial airliners. The normal practice is to put the master painter on the area around the door that passengers would be loaded in, due to that's where they would normally be standing, seeing and paying attention to. However, the rest of the airplane would be of slightly less quality simply because they're not being seen up close. The story sort of changes for smaller airplanes.

For the smaller airplanes, more care has to go into painting them as more of their bodies are seen at any one point. So more care would be put into their full body than with a commercial airliner, however some portions can still suffer. Then we get to Helicopters.

When it comes to Helicopters, which can be approached from any angle, usually is just walked right up to, and even down to the uses demand more care go into painting them.

What's the process though?

For one, what Helicopter are we talking about? What is its use? Is it just a passenger Heliocpter that is taking a couple people on a tour? Could it also be a military grade Blackhawk armed with Hellfire missles and machine guns? The point being that the additions that usually go onto a Helicopter for whatever it's use is, adds weight. Every pound that is put onto an aircraft counts, that's added revenue needed to gas up, as well as more strain put on the aircraft to begin with.

For this example, lets just use a simple tour helicopter. For us, the best start would be to start from scratch. After the customer chooses the colors and the design, we would want to remove what paint is there. Bringing it down to the  base metal and giving it a cleaning helps us save weight as well as ensure a nice smooth, clean finish that wont drag in the wind.

Onto painting already.

Removal is mostly done with either chemicals, or by sanding down the surface to ensure a clean removal of the paint. Once it is smooth, we apply a primer. This primer ensures that we maintain the same smooth paint and reveals imperfections early that we can account for. The type of primer used would vary based on environmental standards, and what metal the aircraft is made of. Another contributing factor would be the environment. Different paint for different locations. For example, an aircraft flying through the arctic would need different paint coats than an aircraft flying over the Sahara.

Once we've ensured a smooth surface, we would apply the base color to the Helicopter. This would establish the first color of the design and covers most if not all of the aircraft.

Second color would more than likely (depends on design) be used for carving out the first details of the design. Highlights or even just the next color to finish the design. After the base color, all other colors are optional.

Why so much care?

During this process we would ensure that the paint has no imperfections, and uses as little weight as possible.

I continually stress the weight portion, because due to all other things that can be attached to your aircraft, weight is prime real estate. You wouldn't want an aircraft that has to make special arrangements just because of a heavy design would you?

We've also been handling painting projects for over 14 years, constantly using this process and adapting to new regulations to make Helicopters, as well as other aircrafts, stand out the most for their businesses. We take every project to heart and attempt to showcase our best work every time. Our team of painters are always available and are alwaysready to take on another project.

Let our years of expertise work for you.

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