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Painting or Wrapping?

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Has anyone had experience with wrapping an aircraft. It looks like is is becoming more popular with very good results.  I am building a Savannah and was thinking about getting it wrapped, not because its getting close to xmas.

What is the difference in price between the two and also the pros & cons?

 

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If you decide to wrap let us know how you go time wise, you can buy the wrap off alixpress for about $300-$400 and you still need to prime the surface to get the wrap to stick

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Protruding rivet heads may make it difficult to get the wrap to stick around them. Any voids under the vinyl might become a corrosion trap?

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4 hours ago, rgmwa said:

Protruding rivet heads may make it difficult to get the wrap to stick around them. Any voids under the vinyl might become a corrosion trap?

That's true if done poorly. However, vehicle wrap is a different product to the vinyl used for making rego letters and stick on graphics. Vehicle wrap is very flexible and is applied using a heat gun. With care, the rivets can be dealt with effectively, but it will be a very tedious job.

In addition to that, you could have a very speccy "paint job" for a lot less than having it painted that way. And if you come to dislike the decoration, you can heat it off and design a new one.. But you'd still have to prime and paint a base coat, probably white would be best.

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Would it be more tedious that epoxy filling and sanding all the rivet heads as I have already done? I am thinking that would be a good start to getting a good wrapping result but I would still be a bit concerned about the weight difference between wrap and a conservative layer of paint.

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3 hours ago, rankamateur said:

Would it be more tedious that epoxy filling and sanding all the rivet heads as I have already done? I am thinking that would be a good start to getting a good wrapping result but I would still be a bit concerned about the weight difference between wrap and a conservative layer of paint.

Ok, just did a little research.  According to 3M, their 1080 vehicle wrap is approximately 150g/sq. metre.

 

Then watched a youtube video where a bloke does a before and after weighing of a square foot of bare metal, painting it with primer, 3 coats of colour and 3 of clear.  It came out at 26 grams, given there's 10.8 square feet to a square metre, that's 280g/sq. metre.

 

Obviously the plane won't be given the full car paint so you could probably halve that, which makes it pretty even.

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Ok, so maybe the same weight as a full paint job.

 

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750 being wrapped - doesn't look like they primed this one.

 

 

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Wrap vinyl requires a gloss surface for maximum adhesion.. . . . for some reason, they won't guarantee full adhesion to a bare metal surface.   Contact a Spandex representatiive  ( USA ) or one form HEXIS ( France ) for technical spec on wrapping materials.   Car wraps are based upon a Gloss substrate in all cases that I have encountered.  So I would assume that the same applies to ANY surface. . . There may be problems with bare metals, perhaps due to possible adhesive reaction between the bare metal and the Adhesive used on the vinyl material.   I am not in any way a specialist in this regard, . . .I just FIT the stuff. . . 

 

If you have to coat the airframe with a Gloss Primer first, then wrapping it afterwards will create additional weight.  This is why all Evektor Eurostar U/L aircraft in the UK ( Sport Star Lookalike ) cannot be fully painted, as this would take the critical weight over the 450 Kg limit for Microlight  aircraft.

Edited by Phil Perry
typo / grammar
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I just listened to a Matt Hall speach on Saturday.

He removed paint from his Red Bull competition aircraft and replaced it with "wrap". Saved many kilos he said.

 

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My Jodel's fuselage has developed a few cracks and is in need of a repaint. I had planned on rubbing it back to bare plywood and applying a thin coat of S-glass before reprinting.

Maybe a vinyl coat would do both jobs in one. Any advice welcome.

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