Custom Painting & Refinishing

Royal Aircraft Services
18335 Airpark Road
Hagerstown, MD 21742
Royal performs the following process on each aircraft inducted for a full strip-and-paint:

1. An A&P will conduct an initial incoming inspection of the aircraft, looking for defects, dents, signs of corrosion, mechanical issues, leaks, etc. Particular attention is given to the windows, flight controls, skin surfaces and de-ice boots. Brakes and landing gear mechanisms are inspected for leaks. Engine cowlings are inspected for evidence of oil leaks and wings are inspected for evidence of fuel leaks. If discrepancies are found, the owner will be notified and provided with repair estimates if requested.

2. Maintenance personnel will record travel limits, then remove the aircraft's ailerons, elevators, flaps and rudder. In the case of most helicopters, main rotor blades will normally be removed prior to painting.

3. All fiberglass / plastic / composite wing tips, landing light lenses, antennas, seams (on pressurized aircraft), static-ports, exposed hydraulic lines / hoses and other components that need to be protected from stripper are masked with aluminum barrier materials and tapes. All windows are masked with paper, followed by aluminum barrier material and tape. Wheels and gear-wells are masked with 4 mil plastic. Engines and all areas behind cowl openings are masked with plastic.

4. Aluminum surfaces are chemically stripped using an environmentally safe, peroxide-based aerospace stripper. Control surfaces and flaps are stripped separately. All stripper residue is removed, then the aluminum surfaces are power-washed with hot water and AC-2010 alkaline water-based cleaner. A final hot water power-wash rinse is performed to remove any residue from the AC-2010, then the surfaces are allowed to air-dry.

5. The aircraft will be unmasked completely and remasked for prep work. Windows, static-ports, openings and all other areas not to be painted are re-masked with two layers of paper and masking tape.

6. An A&P / I.A. will perform a post-strip inspection on the aircraft and control surfaces, checking for any hidden damage, areas where old body filler has been destroyed by the stripper, and any underlying corrosion damage that was not visible prior to stripping. Any major defects found are photographed. Photos are forwarded to the owner, and a repair estimate is created if requested. 8-hours of corrosion removal and body-work are included in our initial strip and paint estimate. If additional work is required, it is billed on a time and materials basis.

7. Areas of remaining paint on the aircraft that were protected from the stripper by the aluminum barrier materials are hand-sanded to remove all remaining primer and paint. Landing gear-wells and painted portions of the landing gear mechanisms are hand-sanded. All plastic, fiberglass or composite items that will need to be painted are hand-sanded as well.

8. If any body-work is required, it is performed using Duraglass, which is waterproof. Royal Aircraft Services does not use "Bondo" or any other automotive filler products, as they can absorb moisture which will promote corrosion of the underlying aluminum.

9. High-build primer is applied to all areas where body-work was performed and is hand-sanded smooth. High-build primer is also used on jets or other aircraft where a super-smooth finish is required or where it is desired to cover-up all traces of flush-rivets on the surface.

10. In the case of pressurized aircraft, all pressure-vessel seams are sealed using PR1422 B1/2 or equivalent seam sealant. When this is dry, high-build primer is sprayed over the sealed areas and hand-sanded smooth.

11. All dust and sanding debris is rinsed off the aircraft, then the aircraft's aluminum surfaces are etched by hand-scrubbing them with maroon scotch-brite pads and 13204S etching aluminum cleaner. More agressive medium gray scotch-brite pads and CR-1010 corrosion remover are used in areas where evidence of light corrosion was noted.

12. After the etching process is complete and the aircraft has been checked for a clean water-break, 13206S aluminum chemical conversion coating is applied to all exposed aluminum surfaces until a golden brown finish is achieved. This chemical serves a twofold purpose, acting as an adhesion promoter for the primer as well as a corrosion inhibitor. Magnesium surfaces are treated with an alternate conversion coating that will not burn the magnesium skins.

13. The aircraft , control surfaces and any removed plastic, composite or fiberglass components are air dried, then washed with 3901S Final Klean to remove any remaining traces of alodine or other contaminates. All remaining dust and contaminants are removed using tack cloths, then two coats of corrosion-inhibiting aerospace primer are applied.

14. After the specified cure-time for the primer has passed, an aerospace polyurethane base-coat is painted on the aircraft, control surfaces and all removed components.

NOTE: Royal Aircraft Services will ONLY apply primers and coatings that are designed and manufactured expressly for aerospace applications. We will NOT apply automotive paints on any aluminum aircraft. While many paint shops regularly use automotive painting products to save money, these products do NOT provide the same level of corrosion protection as the more expensive aerospace paints that are designed and approved for these applications.

15. The design scheme, stripes and corporate / agency logos are laid out for painting on the aircraft. If the design scheme runs through the rudder or any of the control surfaces or other removed components, then these items are temporarily reinstalled to layout the stripe and logo designs. Stripe, logo and design areas are hand-sanded, then the rest of the aircraft is masked from overspray and the design colors are painted on.

16. Maintenance personnel balance-check all control surfaces in accordance with the aircraft manufacturer's maintenance manual prior to final installation.

17. Flaps, control surfaces and all other removed components are installed in accordance with the aircraft manufacturer's maintenance manual. Any corroded, unserviceable or incorrect hardware that was found during removal of these items will be replaced with new hardware, after consultation with the aircraft owner. If so-requested, standard non-structural screws and CAMLOC fasteners will be replaced with stainless components.

18. PR1425 B1/2 or equivalent window sealant is applied around all windows prior to the aircraft receiving its final detailing. If the aircraft has inflatable de-ice boots, these will be cleaned and new edge-dressing will be applied. All leading-edge bright work will be polished.

19. Our maintenance department will inspect bearings and races for any water or stripper residue, ops-check the control surfaces, flaps, landing lights, etc. and perform gear-retraction tests on the aircraft prior to performing the final inspection of the aircraft and preparing all required 337's and logbook entries for return-to-service.