Pilots know that an aircraft’s paint job has almost nothing to do with how it flies — that’s the objective, fact-based side of our brain at work. Really though, an attractive and well-executed paint job has everything to do with how we, and others, perceive an aircraft. Simply put, paint is important. Very important. And that’s why the staff at Glasair wants to make sure we’re utilizing the best materials and processes available.
Last summer, we undertook a “coatings review,” wherein we re-evaluated every aspect of our paint shop. Part of that process included evaluating the materials we were using. As we took an updated look at the aerospace coatings market, we found that Sherwin-Williams Aerospace had become a dominant supplier. Sherwin-Williams entered the aerospace market in the early 2000s and has been improving and growing ever since. SKYscapes, now their flagship product line, was introduced in 2010 and has propelled Sherwin-Williams to its current #1 spot in the aviation market.
We became convinced the SKYscapes line was the right solution for Glasair. A partnership with Sherwin-Williams’ team resulted, and their support has been fantastic. We sent our entire paint shop crew to their headquarters in Wichita, Kansas, and followed that up with on-site training here in Arlington. We now paint exclusively with the Sherwin-Williams product family and with SKYscapes specifically for all topcoats. We’ve standardized our processes for both surface prep and coatings application in the interest of improving both quality and productivity.
I think it’s fair to say that the SKYscapes product family has raised the bar in aircraft coatings. In terms of color saturation, gloss retention, abrasion resistance, and protection from UV damage, SKYscapes has set a new standard. Just as importantly, its speed and flexibility of application has enabled improvements in shop productivity.
As I mentioned in my last installment on Arlington Airwaves, “you should expect to see improvement from Glasair in many areas,” and this is one such area. Aviation is changing, and we at Glasair intend to keep pace and maintain our position as proud custodians of the Glasair legacy.