07 Jan When Using a Buffer to Detail An Aircraft There Are A Multitude of Things to Consider
Aircraft paint is very thin, and really it has to be that way to save the weight. If an aircraft gets too heavy, it takes bigger wings and a larger power plant or motor to fly. Think of the paint weight this way; if you have a five gallon paint pail how much does it weigh? And how many gallons does it take to paint the aircraft. Well, let’s say it takes 25 gallons to paint the aircraft, that is the same as putting five of those paint pails in the backseat and flying around with them everywhere you go, on every flight for as long as that aircraft shall both live. See that point.
Now then since that paint is really thin, it’s very easy to go through it with a buffer and take it down to bare metal, aluminum that is or fiberglass, titanium, or carbon fiber. Not only will that piss of the owner of the aircraft, but you’ll get a pretty bad reputation around the airport if you are running an aircraft detailing business if you do that. But, there’s even a bigger problem, once the paint is thin or removed corrosion can start in or taking down the paint on the control surfaces could cause adverse flight effects. Do you doubt what I’m saying?
The FAA issued an airworthiness directive for the Gulfstream line of corporate jets which will become effective on August 1, 2012 and here is the summary of what it is and why they have made the issuance of this AD for the Gulfstream Model G-IV, GIV-X, GV, and GV-SP airplanes;
“This AD requires measuring to determine paint thickness on the flight control surfaces and corrective actions if necessary, and revising the Airplane Flight Manual (AFM). This AD was prompted by reports of failure to inspect or document the paint thickness on flight controls (ailerons, rudder, elevator), potentially having a negative impact on the flutter characteristics of the airplane. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct paint thickness on flight controls, which could result in loss of control of the airplane due to flutter.”
Are you beginning to see why you need to be an expert with a buffer before you use it on the surface of an aircraft, or why you need to train your crews professionally? And even when you do, might I suggest you stick to an orbital buffer, and not use anything high-speed until you have years of experience? Please consider all this and think on it.