I desired taking some photos of the masking process … so when Jeff finished masking one side of the RV-12, I made the drive to the paint shop with a trailer to retrieve the wing cradle (thanks Mike for towing your trailer up there and back) and while there, took a few photos of the masking tape applied onto the RV-12's fresh off-white base color.
Jeff at Custom Aviation has completed masking the left side of the RV-12’s fuselage for the accent trim colors.The wing tips will also receive a little trim accent … the tips were masked accordingly so the main trim color will extend to just inboard of the landing lights.
Left main gear wheel pant masked for the accent trim colors.
The stabilator will also be receiving accent trim colors along the outboard tips.
A couple of days later, Jeff called and said the painting was completed and I could finish up attaching the rudder, tail cone fairing, landing light lenses and the inspection port covers … thus completing the reassembly of the RV-12. I’m pleased with the transformation from an unpainted, unfinished looking airplane to a stylish, freshly painted airplane that looks ready for travel. Below are photos of the before and after.
The DOG Aviation RV-12 about to enter Custom Aviation’s paint shop at Portage County airport.
The DOG Aviation RV-12 after being painted by Custom Aviation at Portage County airport.A keen eye may notice that the fuel cap just aft of the rear window is not painted. I elected not to paint the fuel cap because over time they always seem to become chipped. The plan is to either try polishing the fuel cap or perhaps look into having it chrome plated.
As one can see in the above photos, the colors chosen for the Dog Aviation RV-12 are a little out of the ordinary, in that, quite a few airplanes are typically painted red, white or blue and/or combinations thereof. Wanting to be a little different, purple and green were chosen as the trim accent colors. These colors will match nicely with the green RV-12 stitching on the seat backs and baggage bulkhead cover along with the deep purple powder coating used on the instrument panel, flap handle and steps. I would have preferred a little darker royal purple …but here again, did not want to dive into custom mixed paints. So chose a purple that, although not quite as deep as I would have preferred, still looks good.
The top and bottom of the outboard portion of the wings received accent trim paint extending to just inboard of the landing lights.
The outboard portion of the stabilator received the same accent trim colors and scheme as the outboard portions of the wings. The new stabilator tip fairing is not installed in this photo, but it is painted purple as well.
The decision was made not to install the stabilator tips, wheel pants and gear leg fairings while the RV-12 was at the paint shop for a couple of reasons. Mainly, I want to get an accurate measurement of just how much weight the paint alone added to the RV-12. Plus, the RV-12 has never flown with the wheel pants, gear leg fairings and stabilator tip fairings installed, so I did not want to add any unknown variables during the initial flight home after paint. Fortunately, the RV-12 flew the same way on the way home as it did on the way up to the paint shop.
The freshly painted DOG Aviation RV-12 arrives back home to hangar 45.
Now that the RV-12 is back at the DOG Aviation hangar, the next step is to drain the fuel tank and remove everything except the items that are required to be in the aircraft at all times so the new weight and balance calculations can be made. After that is completed, the stabilator tip fairing, wheel pants and gear leg fairings will be added and another weight & balance measurement made. That way I will know how much weight the paint alone added along with the new balance numbers … plus, will also know just how much the numbers change when the wheel pants, gear leg fairings and stabilator tip fairings are added.