Now--In Living Color!

With black going on, the jet began to show some real personality.
With black going on, the jet began to show some real personality.

Work continued on the jet's paint job on Tuesday--and a long day it was. The detailed layout was completed the day before, so it was mostly a matter of masking off the various colors one at a time, using the additive process. This meant masking for the silver, then the black, and then the red. All three colors were shot with little need to worry about overspray, because once a color was shot, it was covered up - and the spots that hadn't yet received their final color were fine if they got some overspray - because they would get their color later. Continue reading "Now--In Living Color!"

A Little Paint and a Whole Lot of Tape

subsonex-paint

I don't know about you, but I always thought that airplanes are first covered with whatever paint will dominate the surfaces (commonly white) and pin stripes, swooshes, and lines are added later. So, I've been surprised to learn that John Stahr starts with the details. The first paint that he put on the SubSonex jet today was gold...a pin stripe color that will cover a very limited area. So, today started with some light sanding of the areas where gold would be applied and then the color shot freehand. There was no attempt to stay within any lines, Stahr just ensured that all areas that will eventually be gold were covered. Continue reading "A Little Paint and a Whole Lot of Tape"

Prepping and Priming for the Subsonex Paint Job

Paul Dye uses a Scotchbrite wheel along a line of rivets in order to ensure a slightly roughened surface to hold the primer and paint.
Paul Dye uses a Scotchbrite wheel along a line of rivets in order to ensure a slightly roughened surface to hold the primer and paint.

With most of the masking completed last night, the team immediately started into Scotchbriting all of the external aluminum areas on Paul Dye's SubSonex jet. The rivets were attacked first with a rotary, power Scotchbrite wheel. Three passes at slightly different angles ensured that the rivets were adequately scuffed. The fiberglass nose cowl was also lightly sanded. Soon, neighbors started showing up and the broader surfaces received attention. Continue reading "Prepping and Priming for the Subsonex Paint Job"

Subsonex Paint Preparation

John Stahr (left) and Paul Dye discuss how to handle painting the ailerons.
John Stahr (left) and Paul Dye discuss how to handle painting the ailerons.

Editor-in-Chief Paul Dye's SubSonex jet is completed (after less than three months of building!), the engine has started and performed flawlessly, and a couple of slow taxi tests have occurred without issues. Since the Inspector isn't yet available (largely due to the recent enforced paralysis of that part of the federal government), it is time to paint! Continue reading "Subsonex Paint Preparation"

Ready for Paint!

With the first engine start and initial taxi testing out of the way (see and hear it below), the little jet is cocooned in the shop, awaiting the arrival of the paint master - John Stahr of Stahr Design, noted for airbrush work on aircraft large and small. And they don't come much smaller than the SubSonex! After months of back and forth design work, we've settled on a concept that we like and John is enthusiastic about. Paint jobs are always a matter of taste, and trying to please every eye is impossible - but if you look back at the airplane as you leave the hangar saying "I still like that" years later, you know you've hit the mark. Continue reading "Ready for Paint!"