VT-16 Orlik: Back from the Paintshop!

We spent three half-days painting the various colours on our Orlik (and Andi three more by himself). This wasn’t without challenges. It’s the first time that we spray-painted surfaces covered with Koverall (always a bit of a gamble to see if the solvents are compatible), and the first time that we applied so many different colours. The masking of surfaces takes a lot of time, and we needed to wait at least 12 hours between different colours to let the paint harden out. It all went relatively well, albeit with a few mishaps. The elevator and rudder covered with Koverall were very static and attracted every bit of dust, and the Koverall in some spots shows pinholes and stood up a bit. Most of this was easy to correct with a bit of sanding. Although not perfect, the surfaces look very good. We also made a mistake leaving two fuselages too close to the painting which resulted in some excess spray landing on them – the lower part is now a bit textured. But without these mistakes the planes would have looked too perfect – it’s an oldtimer that needs a few flaws :-).

This morning Andi went to pick up the fuselages and I just couldn’t wait to put my Orlik together. The edge of the canopy still needs to be painted (you now only see the epoxy used to glue the canopy to the frame), but I think it looks awesome.

Now comes some really difficult and precise work: cutting out the control surfaces, setting the hinges and seals, and then installing the servos. We’ll be doing this in parallel to finishing the electronics in the fuselage.