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.
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
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.