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It's been 12 years since someone started a "Can I paint it X?" thread


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I'm working on a velocity and trying to decide on paint. I'm not 100% opposed to white or a shade of it and realize it's the best choice safety wise etc.

What I haven't seen discussed is how grey you can go without it being an issue. If I go with a slightly grey color will that not move the needle?

Is there a limit or a specific paint that is seen as acceptable?

I've seen a few composite aircraft that were light to even dark grey including velocity.

Here's some examples of what I've seen.






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Nice airplane but gray?  I dunno.  A Navy gray scheme with F-14 decals would be eye-catching but you could also do a lot with a white base and vinyl trim.  I see that some of the RV builders are using vinyl wraps.

It's a very personal choice.  How about this?  I like how the lines flow from nose to winglets.


Cozy IV N13AM-750 hrs, Long-EZ-85 hrs and sold

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I hope Nate has some sort of secret composites going on, or something else that I am not aware of, but I would be VERY concerned about a dark colored plane in the sun.  

If you're considering a color other than white, read and understand this article.  Know your Tg temp for your epoxy system and do a similar experiment as in the article.  It's a straightforward consideration.

Why is White Sacred.pdf


Jon Matcho :busy:
Builder & Canard Zone Admin
Now:  Rebuilding Quickie Tri-Q200 N479E
Next:  Resume building a Cozy Mark IV

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/7/2016 at 10:05 PM, Joe Polenek said:

How are some plastic planes (e.g. Lancair) able to get away with such dark color schemes?  Sure, they're made of carbon, but isn't it the epoxy that softens in the sun?

Yes, it's the epoxy system that matters and possibly heat/Infrared-reflective paint.  Excuse me if I'm telling you what you already know, but here goes...

Dark colors absorb light and lighter colors (white) reflect it.  The temperature under the paint is what matters, and if it's above the Glass Transition Temperature (Tg) the cured epoxy will transition into a "rubbery" state (not good for wings, etc.)  My point is that one needs to be fully aware of these issues and design accordingly -- NOT just use gray/black and hope for the best.  Personally, I would know my epoxy system's Tg and would do a test, in the sun, of the temperature under a painted skin before painting.

Stunning plane BTW.

Epoxy Tg from Epotek.pdf

Jon Matcho :busy:
Builder & Canard Zone Admin
Now:  Rebuilding Quickie Tri-Q200 N479E
Next:  Resume building a Cozy Mark IV

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Just to add to the above....

There are epoxies that work nicely that can be post cured up to 300+F and that would get you into a zone where you can have a wider selection of colors....... from the epoxy perspective.

Now, the issue you will face is how much heat can your foam take?

It doesn't do you a lot of good to have skins that can take the heat only to have them delaminate from the foam.

T Mann - Loooong-EZ/20B Infinity R/G Chpts 18

Velocity/RG N951TM

Mann's Airplane Factory

We add rocket's to everything!

4, 5, 6, 7, 8. 9, 10, 14, 19, 20 Done

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