rikkus67
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AC & AA - Tail Decals?

Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:16 pm

Hi All,

Just a quick question: Does the tail art on Air Canada, and on the new American Airlines scheme consist of paint, or a decal? I had this debate in the AA "new scheme" #4 discussion yesterday. I believe it is a decal applied over paint in both cases. Can anyone verify?
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Horstroad
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RE: AC & AA - Tail Decals?

Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:33 pm

http://youtu.be/nrIqZRMxfKk?t=2m15s

AA is painted and I´d bet AC as well
 
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longhauler
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RE: AC & AA - Tail Decals?

Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:41 pm

I am going to guess AC's tails are decals. They are very intricate, and would be a hellish tape job to paint!


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Horstroad
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RE: AC & AA - Tail Decals?

Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:49 pm

Quoting longhauler (Reply 2):
would be a hellish tape job to paint!

I haven't found a video of an AC aircraft being painted, but look at this and you can imagine how it's done
http://youtu.be/ilXDziiS7H0?t=2m15s

if you want something durable, paint it. if it's just temorary (like the Air Madagascar logo in the photo below) use decals.


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EMBQA
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RE: AC & AA - Tail Decals?

Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:52 pm

Air Canada is paint...It's done with a paint mask and is actually quite easy to do. My guess is American is the same way
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longhauler
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RE: AC & AA - Tail Decals?

Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:07 pm

Quoting horstroad (Reply 3):
I haven't found a video of an AC aircraft being painted, but look at this and you can imagine how it's done
Quoting EMBQA (Reply 4):
Air Canada is paint...It's done with a paint mask and is actually quite easy to do.

Now you have me intrigued, I am searching for a "paint an AC tail" video, to see how its done. I remember this aircraft, it flew around like that for a while, and made me think it was a decal.


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Quoting EMBQA (Reply 4):
My guess is American is the same way

The video shows AA taping and painting. As they are all basically just stripes, I can see how it could be done. The AC tail though, is made of millions of little dots!
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shuttle9juliet
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RE: AC & AA - Tail Decals?

Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:13 pm

Quoting longhauler (Reply 5):

Longhauler, I think AC tails are very similar to our own BA tails, lots of dots black,white ect..
 
connies4ever
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RE: AC & AA - Tail Decals?

Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:45 pm

Quoting longhauler (Reply 2):
I am going to guess AC's tails are decals. They are very intricate, and would be a hellish tape job to paint!

Longhauler, I'm with you. Almost certain the maple leaf is a decal. The rest of the fin mag well be painted, though. I think the multi-hues of the maple leaf would be difficult to spray on.
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shuttle9juliet
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RE: AC & AA - Tail Decals?

Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:50 pm

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 4):
Quoting connies4ever (Reply 7):

As said dots are supposedly easy to apply ..One colour, peel off, mask , next colour..
I have seen a 319 tail, stripped, cleaned, masked and applied..( all from the staff canteen) in a very short time...
 
FoxBravo
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RE: AC & AA - Tail Decals?

Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:54 pm

I believe these (AA, AC, etc) are all painted--the color gradations are achieved by dots which, as others have mentioned, can be done fairly easily with masks. If they were decals, the dots wouldn't be necessary, but decals don't tend to wear very well over time. Here's another example (not a decal): http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5018/5520138751_df91afb4f2_o.jpg
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Horstroad
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RE: AC & AA - Tail Decals?

Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:55 pm

 
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JBo
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RE: AC & AA - Tail Decals?

Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:58 pm

The dots on the tails aren't manually masked off ... large vinyl decals are printed as a stencil and adhered to the tail (or whichever other part of the aircraft is being painted) and then the paint is sprayed on to achieve the halftone dot pattern.

Usually one color is painted on as a solid then the stencil is applied for the dots.
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shuttle9juliet
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RE: AC & AA - Tail Decals?

Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:01 pm

A lot of decals are made of vinyl and can last, but tend to fade more easily.I know all new deliveries from the factory for our airline are delivered with vinyl markings only (titles) Boeing and Airbus.When we paint them after 5 years we apply stencils and paint the titles..
 
shuttle9juliet
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RE: AC & AA - Tail Decals?

Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:02 pm

Quoting JBo (Reply 11):

Beat me to it.
 
FoxBravo
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RE: AC & AA - Tail Decals?

Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:04 pm

Quoting horstroad (Reply 10):

Exactly my point. Even within the maple leaf, which from a distance appears to fade smoothly from one color to another, it's still dots.

Same thing with the BA livery--from a distance it looks smooth but up close you can see it's just varying sizes of dots, all painted:
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rikkus67
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RE: AC & AA - Tail Decals?

Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:00 pm

Thanks for the replies, everyone. I stand corrected! I'd like to see the multi-mask technique done on both AC & AA tails, though! This leads to some intriguing questions regarding Air Canada's transition tails, which longhauler pointed out...were they decals, or was it just paint the flaked off in large chunks?

Anyways, I was hoping the AA tail was a decal. Unique idea, but it still is too busy for my tastes...
AC.WA.CP.DL.RW.CO.WG.WJ.WN.KI.FL.SK.ACL.UA.US.F9
 
pnwtraveler
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RE: AC & AA - Tail Decals?

Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:29 pm

I know that decals have vastly improved in performance in the recent time period. BCFerries have Dupont wraps on some of their fleet advertising the 2010 Winter Olympics. These operate in a salt water environment with lots of wear but don't face the high speed wind airliners do. They have only recently started to revise the wraps now that the Olympics are long gone and making a more generic advertisement of BC Ferries. The edges if you look closely are showing some wear. But the BC Ferries wraps have been going for over 5 years now.

http://www.bcferries.com/about/newbuild/Supercolympics.html

While the saline environment is caustic, it doesn't have the sandblasting of dirt and grit that is in fast moving air. For an aircraft I don't if the wraps/decals would be more or less durable. I guess for AC/AA it would come down to the labor for paint versus the cost of the wrap, durability, and even perhaps weight of the decal.
 
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JBo
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RE: AC & AA - Tail Decals?

Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:42 pm

It is worth mentioning that Frontier uses vinyl decals for the animal images on their tails, which are then covered in a layer of clearcoat to seal the seams of the vinyl panels that make up the image to inhibit peeling.

I think there was a thread awhile back about the lifespan of Frontier's tails and how often they have to be changed, but I can't locate it.
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BOS2LAF
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RE: AC & AA - Tail Decals?

Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:20 pm

Quoting longhauler (Reply 5):
I remember this aircraft, it flew around like that for a while, and made me think it was a decal.

I think it was only the hybrid aircraft that had decals on the tails. I seem to remember reading at the time that AC was slapping decals on the aircraft that hadn't been painted with the toothpaste blue to have a somewhat consistent branding when they rolled out the new scheme.

I always referred to these aircraft as having an identity crisis.
 
rikkus67
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RE: AC & AA - Tail Decals?

Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:43 pm

With the intricate detail in the AC & AA tails, and the fade technique in the BA tails, I can only imagine the skill (or more likely, time) to get the masks right...


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longhauler
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RE: AC & AA - Tail Decals?

Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:55 pm

Quoting bos2laf (Reply 18):
I think it was only the hybrid aircraft that had decals on the tails. I seem to remember reading at the time that AC was slapping decals on the aircraft that hadn't been painted with the toothpaste blue to have a somewhat consistent branding when they rolled out the new scheme.

That would make sense. And after reading this thread, I can see now how even a very intricate paint scheme can be in fact paint and not decals as I had assumed.

And FWIW, we are not allowed to call it "Toothpaste Blue" ... nor "Brokeback Blue", nor the ever popular "Gay Pride Blue".  
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krisyyz
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RE: AC & AA - Tail Decals?

Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:55 pm

Quoting bos2laf (Reply 18):
I think it was only the hybrid aircraft that had decals on the tails. I seem to remember reading at the time that AC was slapping decals on the aircraft that hadn't been painted with the toothpaste blue to have a somewhat consistent branding when they rolled out the new scheme.

I always referred to these aircraft as having an identity crisis.

That's right.. I think the overall plan was to see if decals could be used on the entire fleet to save $, but they didn't last long enough so the plan was abandoned.

here is an example...


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Horstroad
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RE: AC & AA - Tail Decals?

Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:25 pm

interesting to know: the Flight Symbol is acually a decal

http://youtu.be/VBz4uzO-_OY?t=56s

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