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Safety may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of aircraft metal polish but it should be. Though not many know it, one awesome benefit of regularly polishing your plane is safety and high performance.
When it comes to safe aircraft polish, there are are generally two dimensions to consider. First, you must choose the metal aircraft polish that is safest for you aircraft. Second, you must consider the excellent safety benefits that polishing your aircraft has to offer.
Choosing the Safest Aircraft Metal Polish
Choosing the safest aircraft metal polish for your aircraft is extremely important. Ultimately, the safest polish for your plane is one that is designed to work well with the surface metals and alloys your plane possesses. If you’re working with chrome brightwork and aluminum metal, your best bet is to go with a polish that is suitable for aluminum and the particular alloys you’re working with.
Other polishes may be better for specific surface types. For instance, fiberglass requires a different set of polishes and techniques than most metals. Most fiberglass surfaces are finished with a gelcoat layer that requires special attention for restoration and polishing. An aluminum-targeted polish may not be the best for such a surface material, and using one could cause swirl marks and oxidation to remain – a huge disadvantage considering the time and effort needed to complete a polishing job.
Also, specific types of paint could require special consideration. Paint can become dull or fade over time, and a good polishing can restore the original luster. However, it’s important that the right polish is selected in order to avoid damaging the paint and acrylic surface. Spray-ons can seem like the best bet for polishing a painted surface, but they may not be the safest. They also may produce lackluster results that fail to last as long as advertised.
Another factor related to this is the age and type of plane. Older planes may need special care and attention and may not be adapted to the newer chemical content of some polishes currently on the market.
A good way to gauge your choices concerning the safest polish for the job is to go with an aviation certified polish. Aviation certified polishes have been approved by special aircraft regulatory boards as suitable and safe for use on both commercial and private planes. This means that the polish stamped with this special certification is superior in its ability to do its job without causing damage or compromising the performance of the plane.
Polish and Plane Safety Considerations
In 2008, the FAA issued prohibitions against commercial flight take offs with polished frost. This notice came during on of the harshest winters when pilots were smoothing down frost on their planes in order to get the green light for take off. Apparently the FAA decided that even polished frost was too much of a safety risk for the type of high performance needed for commercial flights.
Similarly, a debris-ridden, unpolished plane can threaten safety and heighten risks for aircraft. For instance, the carcasses of bugs allowed to accumulate over time can actually cause chemical deterioration of a planes surface as the acids from the insect decay begin to cause unnecessary wear and tear on the plane’s’ exterior.
Neglected brightwork can be a risk to the longevity of a planes highest performance, especially. Much of the brightwork on the exterior of a plane is located in key areas, near engines and landing gear. Its crucial that these areas remain free of debris and corrosion on a regular basis in order to meet most safety standards.
Similarly, scratches and corrosion can cause certain flight fixtures, joints and screws to dysfunction over time and leave a plane in a less than safe state. Regularly scheduled cleanings and polishing to prevent stress, strain, wear and tear of a plane’s surfaces often prevents disasters from arising unexpectedly. Maintaining airworthiness could be as simple as paying close attention to the key polishing areas of an aircraft.
Key Polishing Areas For Top Safety
Windshield & Windows
Remember that aircraft windshields must be maintained often for optimal clarity which is essential for safe flying. It’s also important to keep cabin windows cleaned. two of the most risky occurrences with windshields and windows are scratches and abrasive grit or dirt. Most aircraft windows are made of a thick Plexiglass or acrylic plastic. Definitely stick with polishes that are safe to use on such surface materials and that do not contain substances such as ammonia that could cause sever damage over time.
Grease, grit and dirt can easily collect on a plane’s underbelly. Too much grease and grit can weigh down the plane and negatively affect flight performance. Keep underbellies clean and well polished with an abrasive, yet effective, polish cream suitable for the acrylic paint that covers most aircraft underbellies. Keep in mind that the underbelly of a plane can contain some of the toughest grit of an aircraft, so be prepared to put some muscle into the polishing process.
Corrosion and cracking around landing gear can be a huge issue if left unchecked. Regular polishing helps ensure that landing gear is constantly maintained and monitored for safety risks. Keep in mind that the metal and metal alloy surface of metal gear with need special attention using polishes capable of addressing oxidation and corrosion.
Engine housing often called cowling, can be exposed to high temperatures and too much grease and grit in this area can affect the plane’s ability to keep cool under pressure. Regularly cleaning and polishing ins this are can improve performance levels as well as keep the aircraft safe and secure for miles and miles.