N96418 received a fresh new paint job this January! Down with the old look, in with the new! Here is the story:
Owning an airplane has more in common with owning a classic car than with owning a late model minivan. When a car gets to be 8-10 years old, many would consider it old, and in need of replacement. Not so with airplanes! Our fleet average age is around 30 years. Instead of trading them in, we strive to keep them young and useable in other ways. Our aircraft engines are overhauled or replaced every 4 years or so. Our avionics are upgraded when it makes sense. One of the most visible ways to upgrade an aircraft is with a fresh paint job.
N96418 was at the point where the old paint job was both weather beaten, and very dated. When we keep aircraft as long as we do, it is important for the health of the plane to keep the paint in good shape to protect the airframe. For this reason, we elected to strip and repaint the aircraft as opposed to doing a simple touch-up.
We looked at a number of different paint shops around the US. As is often the case with general aviation, word of mouth played a huge part in our selecting Brandis Aircraft in Taylorville, Illinois.
The Cloud 7 Board decided to stick with a similar color scheme to our other more recently painted aircraft, N761SP, but we decided not to stick to an exact copy of the paint scheme. After much debate, our members voted on the design you see below. If you look at the photo, I think you’ll agree Brandis did an excellent job turing our design into reality.
The aircraft was painted in January. I was fortunate enough to be in the crew flying down in N761SP on Super Bowl Sunday to pick her up. Mr. Brandis was kind enough to spend time reviewing their handiwork with us. He really saved our bacon when frosted plugs caused us to need a jump in our Centurion before we could start our return journey.
Come on out and take a look! Who knows, the new interior might even be installed in 418 before you get here!