Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
By Wabash
#1819804
If I wanted to repaint a piper L-4 cub into a more authentic shade of olive drab and apply a different set of marking's, what and how can I do this from a legal point of view and does whether it is a permit to fly or CofA aircraft affect this or indeed G or F reg?

Ideally I would want to paint it myself, both to save cost and because I prefer hands on approach - the aim is to replicate a mass produced wartime type of finish and not paint it to ferrari standards of perfection. For sure I ain't spending 40k to repaint a 45k cub and clearly my repaint won't much if any value so its all money down the drain.

What's roughly cheapest I could get it done professionally as a sanity check

What types of paint am I allowed to use ? Can I use something single mix like a modern cellulose equivalent or even car paints :lol:

Why? The whole reason for doing this is because some of the L-4 I see are not right from a visual point of view and most have the almost obligatory D Day markings - I won't bore too much and yes many on here will scoff but for historical accuracy freaks the more glaringly obvious things can be:

1) stars and bars which scream im a stuck on decal rather than spray or hand painted and in too bright blue due to printing limitations and/or due to subsequent ink fade?

2) almost mandatory D Day markings that are milimetric perfect and totally opaque , when in reality many were daubed on freehand the night before D Day with a mop.

3) olive drab shade wrong or too shiny
User avatar
By tnowak
#1819817
I think you are supposed to request permission from relevant authority if you want to apply military markings.

Regarding what paint you can apply - it all depends on the existing paint (dope) on the fabric.
Importantly, unless you spend ages on carefully rubbing down the existing surface to get rid of all contamination, you are likely to end up with peeling paint after a few years. Your existing fabric is almost certainly contaminated with dust, dirt, polish and oil etc. so the rubbing down step is essential.

Rubbing down can be a challenge as you have many "bumps" on a fabric covered aircraft (edges, lacing cord, pinked tape edges etc.). It is very easy to accidentally rub through the fabric, creating more issues for you.
My recommendation is "don't" unless your desire for a new paint job outweighs the hassle factor.

The best time for a new scheme is at fabric recover time.....
mick w, Lockhaven liked this
By JodelDavo
#1819855
When I had an L4 in USAAF markings, the D-day stripes were there to make us a bit more visible. Bit dull otherwise.

I agree about accuracy though. People spend a shedload of money having an aircraft painted as ‘a warbird’ and it’s let down by things like the wrong font etc.

If I could do it again, I’d paint it in period civilian colours. The olive drab was a bu66er to keep clean.

You need permission from both the Americans, and the CAA if you’re in the UK for a registration exemption.

Anyone remember the military marked Cessna 150? What was that all about?
User avatar
By Rob P
#1819857
The following leads me to think it is in military markings already.

Wabash wrote:If I wanted to repaint a piper L-4 cub into a more authentic shade of olive drab


Rob P
By Wabash
#1819964
This is likely an aircraft already in miltary guise, just to avoid confusions assume reg or markings will remain same I'm just wanting to over paint existing with a better shade .

So my key question is assuming i follow good general practice in cleaning existing paint , masking etc etc can just go paint (with a paint of my choice ) and then go fly without any inspections /signing off (only flight issue i can think is CG will move back slightly) Sounds too pragmatic to be true but I live in hope that a coat of paint won't ground the aircraft :lol:
#1819976
I should try registering at J3-cub.com and asking on there.

They provided a wealth of info when I was upgrading my Cub some years back.

As for removing old paint from fabric, I have seen it done by soaking cloths in thinners and laying over the painted surface to soften and remove the existing.
User avatar
By Ian Melville
#1819982
The Kissimmee Bum wrote:As for removing old paint from fabric, I have seen it done by soaking cloths in thinners and laying over the painted surface to soften and remove the existing.


I've done that for patches, but would rather recover than do a whole wing with that method.
By Aerials
#1819984
I remember someone on here painting his aircraft which may have been a Cub with masonry paint. There was an extremely good write-up on the project, including test pieces of fabric on the side of his farm building. I'm prob 99 there was an LAA approval for it too.
User avatar
By Rob P
#1820035
Human Factor wrote:This may be of use


It is, in that

The only exceptions are aircraft which display historically accurate military liveries and marks, which must be relevant to the aircraft type in question.


it would appear correcting the shade of olive drab is in full compliance.

Rob P
User avatar
By kanga
#1820036
JodelDavo wrote:..
Anyone remember the military marked Cessna 150? What was that all about?


<nerd>

The USAF Academy 'Flying Training Squadron' operates (still, I believe) C150s in USAF colours as the 'T51A'

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/557th_Fly ... n#Aircraft

</>

ISTR the CAA attitude to operating G- reg in 'military' colours in such a way that the G-reg letters in standard size font are not visible in the normal way is that the military authorities of the nation whose colours are depicted (or mimicked) must give permission. A certain Forumite painted his Isaacs [Hawker] Fury (beautifully) in the colours of the prewar Imperial Iranian Air Force (which had used Furies), but was unable to get permission from the current Islamic Republic to use them. CAA insisted that large G- letters in white be painted over the Iranian design.

I have read that the US authorities are supremely relaxed about their military colours being used or mimicked on any type which the US military used, or one which closely resembles such a type, but permission must be sought, given, and demonstrated to CAA. Thus it might be possible to get USG permission to paint a G-reg C150 in USAF colours without displaying the G-reg.
User avatar
By Rob P
#1820039
The Yak 52 group I joined as it was forming liveried the aircraft in full Russian Air Force markings. (It was on the RA register anyway)

To help obtain the necessary permission from the Russian Air Attache the aircraft was named after his daughter, with her name, Tatiana, prominently displayed.

Rob P
kanga liked this
User avatar
By kanga
#1820040
Rob P wrote:..
To help obtain the necessary permission from the Russian Air Attache the aircraft was named after his daughter, with her name, Tatiana, prominently displayed.

Rob P


.. written in Cyrillic, I hope :)