Tips for Cleaning and Conditioning Aircraft Leather

Cleaning and Conditioning Aircraft Leather

Here are a few steps to cleaning and conditioning aircraft leather in order to keep it at a high quality.

Protect your aircraft leather with these easy steps:
1. Buy a quality leather conditioner and cleaner.You will want cleaner and conditioner that protects against harmful UV rays. The leather on your seat is often under constant attack from UV rays that can damage the leather if left untreated for too long. UV rays are what give you sunburn, and essentially the same thing happens to your leather seat while you are flying. Prolonged UV damage will result in cracking and fading. Remember that leather was once a living thing, so protecting it from sun damage is very important to keep its integrity secure. You will need a conditioner that essentially acts as sunscreen for your leather. This is crucial to preserving a quality leather seat and interior, and preventing the leather from losing value quickly and easily. We recommend Perrone Aircraft Cleaner and Conditioner.

2. Clean spills quickly. Do not let your leather become wet for any extended period of time. The water will seep into leather slowly and sit on the surface, which will lead to damage if left for too long. Prevent water damage such as swelling and fading by promptly drying the surface of aircraft leather so that no water can compromise its structure in any way.

3. Get yourself a sturdy brush to grind out tough stains. A good brush can be hard to find, but in order to effectively scrub out deeply ingrained stains in the pores of aircraft leather, you will need a brush that has strong enough fibers to dig deep into the contours of leather. A brush with a strong handle is preferred as well. For example, a brush with a wooden back is easy to handle and used to scrub into the root of the stain in your leather.

4. Get the right cleaning agent for what you need. If your leather seat has ink blotches, you will need a different cleaner to quickly and effectively clean your seat than if you had the beginnings of simple wear and tear. A conditioner may be used to combat further normal sun damage, but it will not necessarily get rid of that ink stain. There are many cleaning products made especially for the purpose of removing ink from leather. Know specifically what you typically clean off of your leather, and find the appropriate product aimed at solving your unique problem. Perrone also makes a great ink stain remover. Just be sure to get to the stain quickly before it sinks deeper into the top-coat.

By using these simple tips, your aircraft leather seat will look as good as new and will resist future damage. Proper regular care is the main important tip. Keeping your aircraft leather in good condition only requires a few moments of diligence every day. With these tips, your leather will shine for a long time.

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How to Refurbish Pneumatic De-Ice Boots

How to Refurbish Pneumatic De-Ice Boots

 

Refurbish Pneumatic Boots:

Refurbishing the Pneumatic De-Ice Boots refers to the stripping and sealing of the rubber edges along the leading edge of the wings. De-Ice boots help make sure that the leading edge of the aircraft doesn’t start to accumulate ice at high altitudes. 

Materials Needed for Refurbish Pneumatic De-Ice Boots:

– PBS Prep,

– PBS Sealant,

– A bucket of water (half filled),

– A Scrubbing Sponge,

– A Soaking Sponge,

– A few Terry Towels,

– 3M 3 inch Masking Tape.

 

Procedure: 

Step 1: Setup:

a.) Tape Off Perimeter of Boots: Using 3M Masking Tape, tape off along the perimeter of the de-ice boot. The tape will protect the paint on the wing from the products.

 

Step 2: Strip & Rinse Boots:

a.) Apply PBS Prep: Take PBS Prep and apply a small amount to the scrubbing sponge and apply to rubber surface. Rub back and forth and agitate the surface. The PBS Prep will start to remove all previous treatment and buildup.

  1. Rinse with water: The boots will now be ready to be rinsed clean. Take a clean terry towel and wet it down with the water pump spray bottle. Slowly rinse off the PBS Prep treatment. Now allow a minute to dry before step 3.

 

Step 3: Apply Sealant:

a.) Apply PBS Sealant: The boot is now ready to be sealed. Take the PBS Sealant and apply a small amount to a clean terry towel. Now take the cloth and apply the sealant, wiping in one direction down the leading edge of the boot. Apply 2-3 coats allowing each coat to dry before applying the next layer.

 

Step 4: Wrap Up:

a.) Remove Tape: Remove ALL Tape from Static Ports and Edges of Boots that you were working on.

b.) Check work AGAIN: Check over work for streaks, missed areas, etc.

c.) Clean Up: Put dirty rags in correct bins, throw away trash & gloves etc.

4 Steps to Dry Wash Aircraft

4 Steps to Dry Wash Aircraft

Dry Washing aircraft refers to the cleaning of easily noticeable bugs, carbon stains, oil stains etc. off of the exterior.  All blemishes should be removed with relative ease by hand by using our cleaners and clean terry towels. This service will also include wiping down the windshield with Plexi-clear to free it of bugs etc. 

Materials needed for Dry Washing Aircraft are:

  • Ladders & Small Step Stool (Vary Depending on size of aircraft)
  • Powerfoam
  • 3M Masking Tape

– Terry towels

  • Plexi-clear Plexiglass cleaner
  • Micro-fiber cloths
  • Degreaser Spray Bottle (one oz. Spray Nine Earth Soap and then filled with water.)

Procedure:

Step 1: Setup:

a.) Tape Static Ports:  Cover all static ports with small piece of 3M Tape so no products will enter. The static ports are generally located along the sides of the fuselage. (Ask your crew chief to help you locate them/ check aircraft layout page)

b.) Dust paint before proceeding (Onlly necessary

Step 2:  Dry Wash/ Wipe Down Exterior:

a.) Select a Panel: Look for bugs, dirt, grease, exhaust stains, and any other blemishes that can be easily removed from the surface of aircraft. Be sure to look at belly as this is where most grease and buildup happens. *It’s best to start cleaning at the nose of aircraft and work your way backwards down the fuselage. Polish the wings after you finish the fuselage. You may need to stand on the inner-wing to polish areas on top of the fuselage.

b.) Spray and Clean: Hold Powerfoam 8 inches from surface and spray until foam covers the affected area. Then Take clean terry towel cloth and rub into Powerfoam with fingers to agitate the bugs, grease, dirt, etc off the dirty paint. Once area is cleaned, wipe surface with a clean terry towel to remove streaks etc..

c.) Check and Continue: Check over your now clean paint and check for streaks, more bugs etc. then continue to next area of affected paint. Continue this process over every affected area of the exterior.

Step 3: Wipedown Windows & Brightwork:

a.) Clean Windows/Windshield: Wipe off windshield & windows by spraying them down with Plexi-clear. Completely cover the area of windshield that you’re cleaning. Once covered, take a clean terry towel cloth and swipe the surface clean. Once Plexi-clear is fully cleared off the surface, take a clean micro-fiber and wipe surface down to remove streaks etc. Be sure to look at work once finished to make sure there’s no streaks, especially on the windshield.

  1. Wipe Bright Work Clean (if not polishing): The same procedure can be used to clean bugs off the bright work: Spray them with Plexi-clear and wipe clean and dry with a terry towel.

Step 4: Wrap It Up:

a.) Remove Tape: Remove ALL Tape from Static Ports and Edges of Paint that you were working on.

b.) Check work AGAIN: Check over work for streaks, missed areas, etc.

c.) Clean Up: Put dirty rags in correct bins, throw away trash & gloves etc.

**FOR TOUGH BELLY GREASE: 

(USUALLY FOUND ON G.A. AIRCRAFT; NOT USED ON CORPORATE JETS)

Step 1. To remove very tough belly grease sometime Powerfoam doesn’t cut it. Using Spray Nine’s Earth Soap fill the pump spray bottle with 1 oz. Earth Soap and the rest with water. (preferrably warm/hot)

Step 2: Spray Earth Soap mixture onto scrubbing sponge and start to scrub and agitate the grease off of belly one section at a time.

Step 3: Once grease begins to come up, wipe clean with terry or micro fiber  towel.

Step 4: Repeat this process over the tough grease areas.

How to Machine Polish Aircraft Paint

How to Machine Polish Aircraft Paint

Machine Buffing the Exterior Paint refers to the application and machine polishing of a heavy compounding wax off of the aircraft’s paint. Machine polishing is needed for deeply oxidized and faded paint and will restore its life and Appearance. 

Materials Needed: 

– A Makita 9720 Polishing Machine

– Makita Hook and Loop Velcro back compounding pad

– Supreme Glaze

– Spray Bottle of Water

– A few clean terry towels

– A cleaning spur for buffing pad

Procedure:

Step 1: Setup:

a.) Static Ports: Cover all static ports with small piece of 3M Tape so no products will enter. (Ask your crew chief to help you locate them if you can’t find them)

b.) Other Spots to Tape: If working on aircraft with bright work or de-ice boots you may want to tape of the area of paint that you are about to polish so that no wax gets on the paint during this process.

Step 2: Apply Polish:

a.) Select Panel: Locate a approximately 4×4 ft. area on the paint to work on.

*It’s best to start at the nose of aircraft and work your way backwards down the fuselage. Polish the wings after you finish the fuselage as you may need to stand on the inner- wing to polish areas on top of the aircraft.

b.) Moisten Terry Towel: Using the Water Spray Bottle, spray a small amount of water to moisten the terry towel. (The moisture helps spread the wax more evenly over the surface of the paint.)

c.) Apply Polish: Apply a quarter-sized amount of Supreme Glaze to moist terry towel and apply thinly and evenly your selected section of paint.

Step 3: Machine Polish Paint:

a.) Machine Polish Paint: While Supreme Glaze is still fresh on the surface, turn on your Makita 9720 Polisher and slowly buff up and down the freshly waxed area in a routine fashion.

* BE CAREFUL NOT TO LEAN INTO PAINT TOO MUCH WHEN USING MACHINE BUFFER. THIS CAN RESULT IN BURNING THE PAINT.

b.) Clean Pad: Every 2-3 minutes use the cleaning spur to remove the wax buildup from the pad. Do this by running the spur through the polisher’s pad  while running the buffer.

c.) Check Work: Once section of the paint has been machine polished and wax has been removed check over the panel for streaks or leftover polish. If necessary, Use a clean micro fiber cloth and go over section you just polished looking for streaks and wax left on paint.

Step 4: Repeat Steps 2 &3

Step 5: Wrap Up:

a.) Remove Tape: Remove ALL Tape from Static Ports and Edges of Paint that you were working on.

b.) Check work AGAIN: Check over work for streaks, missed areas, etc.

  1. Clean Up: Put dirty rags in correct bins, throw away trash & gloves etc.

5 Steps to Cleaning Aircraft Windows

Windows on aircraft are extremely sensitive and easy to damage, not too mention expensive to fix or replace. This is why its extremely important to take all the necessary precautions when cleaning aircraft windows. If you’re in the habit of cleaning your aircraft windows yourself we’ve put together a list of 5 steps to help you do it effectively.

Step 1. Equipement: There isnt much equipment besides a cloth and a cleaning agent. However its important to pick the right ones. Good cloths to use include cheesecloth, microfiber towels, 100% cotton flannel or a chamois. Its very important that whatever cloth you use is completely free of dirt or debris before touching the surface of the window. Our preferred cleaning agents are Plexiclear, Plexus, or Novus aircraft polish

Step 2. Precautions: Its a good idea to take off any belt, rings, or watches when cleaning the aircraft windows. A simple graze could cause a major scratch in the window’s acrylic. Just do it, its much better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your aircraft.

Step 3. Rinse: Rinse the window with water first to remove any dirt or debris. You dont want to start polishing and grind leftover grains of sand deeper into the aircraft window. Its very important all surfaces are clean and clear before polishing.

Step 4. Polish: Using the approved cloths liberally apply the window cleaner to the window.  Let it sit for a moment and do not rub.  Give the cleaner time to work. If there’s bugs not coming off take the time to attend each one with the clean cloth. Then, with bare hand, go over the surface to feel and remove abrasive grit, taking care not to scratch the acrylic.

Step 5. Rinse and Dry: Now that the surface is clean you can choose to rinse with water again if you wish. Some cleaners dont suggest this so read the directional labeling on your product ahead of time. Then take another clean, dry microfiber or cheesecloth and wipe the surface dry.

Reason’s to fly to Nantucket Airport

Reason’s to fly to Nantucket Airport

Nantucket is a beautiful place, theres no arguing that. If you’re an aviator in the New England area I’d be suprised if you’ve never made the trip over to the island. However if you’ve never made the flight here’s a few reason’s that a day trip to Nantucket is a fun idea:

1. The Food: Right at the airport is a great restaurant called Crosswinds. The few times I’ve eaten at Crosswinds its been incredible. Its located right inside the airport so simply land, put your plane on a tie-down and go grab a bite. I recommend the Fish & Chips. Cant go wrong with that.

2. Everything’s close enough to bike:  Located at the airport is a bike rental service. If you’re not in the mood to go through the hassle of renting a car, renting a bike is a great way to see the island. Seeing as everythings so close you can literally bike anywhere you need to go if you have the energy. Biking into town takes only 15 minutes and you wont be dissapointed with the sites on the way.

3. The view: Flying over the ocean into Nantuckets airport is a beautiful experience. The airport is located directly ajacent to Nobadeer beach and coming into land is a truly beautiful experience. If you’re flying in the summer you might even fly directly over some young adults partying on the beach. Nobadeer is infamous for its summer beach parties.

3 Ways that aircraft paint becomes oxidized

3 Ways that aircraft paint becomes oxidized

Oxidized paint is the number one reason that most aircraft get repainted. And, if you’ve ever repainted a plane before, you know that it can be extremely expensive. There are many ways to prevent oxidizing including regular waxing, keeping a cover on your plane, or ideally keeping it in a hanger. However you must first understand the reasons for oxidation:

1. The Sun: The sun’s powerful UV rays have a profound effect on the aircrafts paint. If you’ve ever removed stickers or decals from your aircraft you’ll quickly see how the paint can get faded from its original color. The Sun’s UV rays cut through the top coat of the paint and make it faded and chalky. This is obviously especially prevelent in sunny areas like Florida or California.

2. Salt: Flying near the ocean means that your aircraft will be in constant contact with salt from the ocean. Salt is extremely corrosive and requires regular cleaning to keep it off. Obviously this is not a problem if you dont live near the ocean however if you do you need to be aware of the damage it can cause. Regularly wash your aircraft to get rid of the salt.

3. Acid Rain: Acid rain is typically not a geographic problem. Acid rain can hit any plane and do serious damage to the tough exterior paint. Acid rain is similar to salt in the that best thing you can do is keep the plane washed and waxed regularly. Also not having your plane on a tie-down outside will obviously limit the exposure to acid rain.

3 Must-Have Products for Aircraft Cleaning

3 Must-Have Products for Aircraft Cleaning:

There are many products that can be used for aircraft detailing; however having a basic few items will allow you to maintain your aircraft by yourself with continual use. Out of the dozens of products that we use for aircraft cleaning we’ve narrowed it down to 3 must-have products for aircraft cleaning:

1 . Supreme Glaze Wax:

Wax is the most important product for maintaining your aircraft’s exterior paint. Jetstream’s Supreme Glaze is a great aircraft wax. It reasonably priced and, when used 3-4 times per year, will keep your aircrafts paint clean and protected all year. Whether hand waxing or machine polishing aircraft wax is a must-have for any aircraft owner

 

2. Plexi-Clear Window Polish:

Window cleaner is important for many reason, mainly so you can see out of your windows without bugs, grease and scratches blinding your view. After each flight a simple wipedown with Plexi-Clear will ensure that your windows are in pristine condition for the next flight. And like with most aircraft cleaning products, cleaning the windows after each flight will prevent buildup and make cleaning much easier

 

3. Leather Cleaner & Conditioner:

Perrone makes great aviation leather cleaners and conditioners. Aircraft leather is subject to the same problems as auto leather. UV rays can crack the leather and cause it fade. Fixing cracks and rips in leather can be very expensive to fix. Because leather was once a living thing, its important to keep it cleaned and especially conditioned. The conditioner enables the leather to keep a vibrant feel and prevent it from fading and cracking in the strong UV rays

 

I hope this short list give you ideas of the products to keep with you for each flight. Like everything in aircraft cleaning and maintenance regular use is the key. Keeping on top of aircraft cleaning enables  you to maintain your aircraft’s appearance through all seasons. For more product info visit our store on our site at http://freshairdetailing.com/store.htm

3 Tips to Maintaining Your Aircraft This Winter

3 Tips to Maintaining Your Aircraft This Winter

 

Maintain the appearance of your aircraft is tough, especially if you keep in cold climate areas like the northeast. The salt air, the cold

harsh conditions, and snow buildup can severely damage your aircarft; especially if kept outdoors on a tie-down. There are some precautionary measures you can take to better maintain your aircraft during these harsh times

1. Hand or Machine Wax the paint: 

This is the most crucial part of maintaining the aircraft’s paint. Machine or hand waxing the paint is recommended every 4-5 months depending on usage. If you keep your aircraft outside on a tie-down I’d suggest every 3-4 months. Waxing the paint keeps it protected from UV rays and prevents oxidation (the cloudy look). It also makes it easier to clean off salt bugs and tar once a protective layer of wax is sealing the top of the paint.

 

2. Machine Polish the Metal:

Not all aircrafts have exterior metal surfaces, but those that do require regular attention. Aircraft with a metal “spinners” or corporate jets with metal on the leading edges can be polished and protected. Machine polishing the metal with either Skai Metal polish or Nuvite is a great start. Once polished products like Jetstreams “Mirror-Image” removes swirls and provides a protective layer. Metal, like paint, can easily become oxidized and requires continual attention.

 

3.  Rubber Protection:

Protecting the rubber on the tires is also important during winter. The cold weather can expand and contract the rubber and cause cracks that can easily develop into blown tires. Standard tire protectant like those used in auto detailing can go a long way to making sure this doesnt happen. Tires are obviously an important part of the aircraft, and regular 3-4 month application of tire protectant can help keep them from cracking.