797 From Venezuela, joined Aug 2005, 1916 posts, RR: 25 Posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 2465 times:
Well, today I bought Airliners magazine, and one of their articles is about Frontier. I've seen those tail pictures several times, and I think they look gorgeous, but I asked myself how do they paint them and how much would it cost them...
I bought a magazine a while ago talking about painting a jetliner, and many factors apply here. In Frontier's case, it's pretty simple (all white paint) until you get to the tail. For what I've seen, they use spray painting to paint the fuselage, but when they get to the highly-detailed tail, how do they do?. Is it a huge sticker or they get painters to do that?
FlagshipAZ From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 3419 posts, RR: 13
Reply 1, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 2421 times:
On F9's tails, they use decals. The rest of the aircraft is painted. I know, because I was trained to de-iced Frontier's 737s at LAX, in case it ever snowed there. All the manuals refered to the animals on the tails as decals, or huge sectional stickers if you wish. I was trained not to aim the de-icing nozzle directly at the seams on the decal. In the year I was with F9 at LAX, it did not snow once. Lucky me. Regards.
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GentFromAlaska From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3339 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (9 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 2020 times:
Here' a blurb from the F9 website about the decals
"How are the wildlife decals on your tails applied?
Images are printed on adhesive-backed vinyl that is similar to contact paper. The image is tiled in 18 to 20 34-inch-by-96-inch panels with 2 inches of overlap. They are applied starting at the rear base of the tail, moving toward the leading edge of the tail. After all the tiles have been applied, the tail is covered with two coats of clear coat to seal the image and prevent corrosion. Any panel that gets damaged may be replaced individually. The panels are printed in Denver and applied in Hamburg, Germany.
Man can be taken from Alaska. Alaska can never be taken from the man.
Jetmek319 From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 199 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (9 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 1933 times:
Mostly correct... The decals are lasting 3-4 years with some maintenance. And they're not exactly cheap. They run upwards of $15-20,000 for the set. The edge sealing is done to prevent peeling and wind erosion. Because the tails are completely composite material, we don't have too many problems with corrosion.
BandA From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 342 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (9 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 1927 times:
it looks like they use the same stuff used on wrapping vehicles with advertisments, like vinyl.
We recently had a whole Ford Navigator wrapped for under $3000 full (4color) and the vinyl is probably not as good as the stuff they use on aircraft.
The way we did it we sent Photoshop/Illustrator art in CMYK format to the printers who print this stuff using wide-format printers on vinyl. The Vinyl then comes either pre-cut to meet vehicle dimensions or uncut for installer to cut later. Then is applied using adhesives and lasts decent amount of time.
[Edited 2005-09-19 05:56:46]
[Edited 2005-09-19 05:59:02]
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Flyabunch From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 519 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (9 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1825 times:
The process is done using digital printers directly to pressure sensitive vinyl. Most of the newer machines are large format inkjet but 3M also makes an electrostatic system that has very high durablility. My guess is that they are using large format inkjet. The prices quoted by JETMEK319 are in line with high quality inkjet with an protective overlay.
I don't know how F9 Runs MX, but it would seem more logical to me that the panels were printed in Hamburg, Germany and applied in Denver rather than the other way around... Does Frontier really shuttle their aircraft across the atlantic for repainting/redecaling?
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