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-   -   Inspiration Pictures (https://vansairforce.net/community/showthread.php?t=191774)

sloengineer 01-29-2021 02:39 PM

Inspiration Pictures
 
Would you fine builders be willing to post a few pictures of your polished airplanes? We're miles away from making a paint vs polish decision, but I like to dream of the future when we're not pounding rivets. Keeps me motivated! :)

In particular, I'm considering a partially polished and painted surface. I'd like to paint the fiberglass and leading edges, but the rest be polished. I've also done some engine turning on custom door and instrument panels for a customer vehicle. Looks like the nose of the Spirit of St. Louis. Anyway....

Love to see what y'all have done!

Richard RG 01-30-2021 11:11 AM

Painted vs polished
 
My RV3 is painted and glad it is. My neighbour has a mostly polished RV7a, the fiberglass parts are painted.
I've watched my neighbours spend 4 full days polishing their plane using a very deluxe two head polishing machine. Sadly, they once washed the plane with tap water and discovered that the minerals in the water left spots all over the unpainted aluminum. Another week of hand polishing returned the airplane to an almost mirror finish again.
Their future plans are they will buy distilled water if they again feel the need to wash the plane. The wife half the of the RV7a team is the head polisher and gets a little grumpy if someone even entertains the idea of touching any of the shiny aluminum. Leaving a polished airplane outside for a few days on an extended trip may risk it being rained on and maybe require having to polish water spots out again?
It sure looks nice, but happy that I'm not having to polish even a small aircraft like the RV3. My two cents...

fixnflyguy 02-01-2021 08:31 AM

They look nice, but..
 
Id love to have a polished plane..it would be the Hughes Racer, and I would have a team that keeps it polished up, it would seldom come out of the hangar, but it would be nice when it did. Then I woke up and remembered maintaining the Eastern and USair airliners back when it was a "weight savings"..ugh. If you plan it, make sure your workmanship is top-notch, and you enjoy polishing often. Others will likely have similar experience and suggest paint, but do what YOU want..it can always be painted! I'll end with my friends experience and my suggestion.." How do I keep it polished he said?" 2 years later he took my advise "turn 15-20K into a paint job", and he did.

birddog486 02-01-2021 07:24 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Just a teaser pic.

sloengineer 02-01-2021 07:32 PM

Maybe I should change my thread title...
 
.... to “Please talk me out of polishing my airplane”

Just kidding. :)

Yeah, I know it’s a hard job to maintain the polished parts. My plan would be to paint those parts which are hard to reach or awkward to access. Polished areas would be an accent. Anyway... Maybe someone will chime in with some photos.

sloengineer 02-01-2021 07:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by birddog486 (Post 1499542)
Just a teaser pic.


Whoa, baby! That is really sharp! We’re building a nose wheel kit. When I realized the tail of the 14 was 8 ft tall, I decided I better add the vertical stab and rudder to the painted part list.

Taltruda 02-01-2021 08:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sloengineer (Post 1499546)
Whoa, baby! That is really sharp! We’re building a nose wheel kit. When I realized the tail of the 14 was 8 ft tall, I decided I better add the vertical stab and rudder to the painted part list.

Drop the “A” model and just go straight RV-14! You will have a lighter, faster plane and can reach the tail for polishing! Easy!

sloengineer 02-02-2021 06:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Taltruda (Post 1499555)
Drop the “A” model and just go straight RV-14! You will have a lighter, faster plane and can reach the tail for polishing! Easy!

That's true. The tail draggers are beautiful. Especially the tandem 8! :cool:

BruceW 10-04-2021 12:01 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Here is an early shot. Still needed to paint the tail fairing.

patterson 10-04-2021 10:10 PM

Beautiful Airplane!
 
Bruce,
What method do you use to get such a brilliant shine?
Ron

crabandy 10-04-2021 11:04 PM

Depends on your level of OCD……

Don’t care who you are but fingerprints on any state of polish is maddening, everyone just wants to touch it.

Had mine polished up decently about 4 years ago, haven’t had time to keep it up. Sits outside on overnights, underneath Pine trees, IFR clouds and rain, bird poop is way worse than finger prints…….

Since my first polish with all the Nuvite steps I’ve spent about the same amount of time as I would a painted airplane trying to touch up the polish. Denatured alcohol mixed with distilled water and a couple drops of soap and “S” polish do wonders, much like a good spray and wax for paint.

It doesn’t look like it did with a fresh polish, but after a wipe down with the above solution it’s still not half bad. I keep thinking a 10’ polish job is easier to acquire and maintain than a 10’ paint job.

Polishing is a learning process, I’ld really like a little down time to re-polish everything again……..

rv6ehguy 10-05-2021 07:29 AM

There’s a saying amongst pilot/owners of polished aircraft
 
You own a polished airplane once. They’re great to look at. A polished airplane will turn heads on the ramp. I owned a 1958 C172 with original paint for ten years. It took close to 3 years to bring the aluminum back to life and another 7 years to maintain that lustre and shine. Rain and morning dew will become your enemy and you will almost certainly require a hangar to stay ahead of the game plus you can’t polish in the blazing sun. What ever you decide, good luck.
John Van Lieshout
RV6A QB 85% (and every inch will be painted!)

Mel 10-05-2021 07:48 AM

I polished my Globe Swift one time. Only one time!

BruceW 10-05-2021 01:48 PM

Standard Nuvite method.
First Nuvite C with rotary, then Nuvite S with double Cyclo tool.

May have started with something stronger on the first go around.
Others were asking on other threads; I painted first then polished around.
Used a vinyl mask for the future polish areas. Yes, the stripes are painted.


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