The Apis gets its color through new technology
Some time ago AMS started experimenting with ways to use Polyurethane paint for the entire exterior surface of the Apis glider. The path taken was not to paint the glider after it was removed from the mold but rather to apply the paint in the mold in the same way that polyester gel coat has traditionally been used.The goal was to raise the standard of quality, saving both time and money. Quality and savings that would be passed on to our customers.
Our first tests were not successful, because parts stuck to the mold, even damaging the molds when they were finally removed. Many tests were necessary, but like true pioneers we were determined to continue until we found a solution. We are proud to announce that our efforts have been very successful, our goals have been met.
We had to solve five difficult but important technical and quality issues.
- Release agents used in the molds must not be damaged by the thinners and hardeners in the paint mix.
- The resin system must adhere to the paint without any problem for the short and long term. It must be a lifetime finish.
- The paint must withstand normal wet and dry sanding and polishing.
- The new paint technology must not change color over time and must blend in with the surrounding areas when the surface is painted after a repair. This has always been a problem with polyester gel coats.
During testing the quality of the production tooling was improved to reduce the areas that will be spray painted after the parts are removed from the molds. This helps to keep extra weight off the glider and speeds production.
After de-molding, the bonding seam is painted and the entire airframe is wet sanded and polished to a high gloss. The final result is a high quality, robust finish that lends itself well to touch up after repairs, does not yellow and surpasses the traditional gel coat finish. The exterior looks as good as the interior.
Our actual projects, the Magnus, Mingus and Maxus will also share this advanced paint technology. The interior of our gliders has always been of the highest standard and now AMS is leading a revolution in quality, durability and customer satisfaction for exterior surfaces.
Added: New information sheet for the Apis motorglider family, the latest news and Apis development information are inside.