In our April/May issue, we travel to Antarctica with Enterprise Aviation Group, go behind the scenes with Air Transat, and deliver an update on the CH-148 Cyclone maritime helicopter!
Even the least expensive business aircraft costs serious money to buy and fly. So if you’re going to make this kind of investment, it only makes sense to have an aircraft with a pristine paint job; one that makes you as proud to be seen with your aircraft as you are to own it.
This kind of thinking underlies Innotech Aviation’s state-of-the-art painting facility at its established Montreal plant. Located at 10-225 Ryan Avenue, next to Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, Innotech Aviation provides painting and finishing services to Bombardier’s family of new business aircraft, including the Bombardier Global Express 6000 (formerly XRS) twin-jet.
“Innotech is dedicated to making business aircraft look their very best, and stay looking good for years to come,” said Rob Brooks, the company’s vice president and general manager.
“Since we installed our painting facility 10 years ago, we have consistently upgraded the quality and precision of our process.”
The Innotech paint facility is comprised of two bays, each of which is big enough to accept aircraft as large as the Global Express 6000. The company provides painting and refinishing services to all comparably-sized aircraft, regardless of make or model.
“The first bay is where we strip and prep the aircraft, removing all vestiges of its old paint job, and make it ready to look new again,” said Brooks. “The second bay is where the magic happens, because this is where we apply the paint.”
The reason Innotech’s paint facility can do such fine work is due to science, not magic. “It all starts with the cross-draft airflow, which works with the aircraft’s aerodynamic shape,” said Brooks. “Because aircraft are built to go through air, our cross-draft moves air horizontally through the booth from tip to tail.”
Thanks to this cross-draft approach, Innotech’s paint sprayers are able to apply an even, smooth coat on all exterior surfaces of the aircraft.
“We work with the aircraft’s shape, rather than fighting it by applying paint downwards,” said Brooks. “The spraying-downwards model, which other paint shops have adopted from the automotive industry, isn’t well-suited to painting aircraft.”
The speed of the cross-draft can be varied as needed, which eliminates the need to pressurize the paint bay.
“Either way, we can deliver a cleaner paint application to your aircraft, with better adhesion and substantially less paint waste than with conventional spray methods,” said Brooks. “There is so little overspray, in fact, that people can walk through the booth during painting with no ill effects–but of course, our expert technicians are properly suited and masked.”
Worth noting: Innotech’s “Super Clear Coat” provides superior adhesion and longevity for aircraft painted in its facility. This is because the first layer of clear coat is applied when the last level of paint is still tacky, allowing the two to blend together to form a more durable transition coat.
“By allowing these two layers to chemically bond to each other, you end up with a much stronger and [more] resilient surface … one that can more readily resist impact damage and scratches,” said Brooks. “The successive layers of clear coat then bond to the first level, resulting in a dazzling exterior coating that is as tough as it is good-looking.”
Then there’s purity: The outside air that is drawn into Innotech’s paint bay is thoroughly filtered before entering the room, preventing dust and other contaminants from getting into any fresh paint jobs. The exiting cross-draft is then progressively filtered so that the exhaust air is cleaner than when it came into the facility. The same is true for any wastewater, which is treated before being released to the plant’s drain system.
“Anything we release to the world outside is cleaner than when it came in,” said Brooks.
Innotech even goes as far as to control the paint facility’s humidity. This is no small feat for a hangar large enough to handle two Bombardier Global Express 6000 business jets, each of which has a fuselage 30.3 meters long with a wingspan of 28.7 meters.
“Paint needs a high level of humidity to bond and cure properly on an aircraft,” said Brooks. “The trouble is that gas heating in the winter results in very dry air, which can cause adhesion issues, plus a bumpy surface that resembles the skin of an orange. Innotech avoids this by having consistent humidity at all times.”
All told, Innotech Aviation’s new paint facility gives business aircraft the quality of eye-catching, durable paint treatments they deserve.
“If you’re going to invest in an aircraft, you deserve to have your investment look its very best,” said Brooks. “Innotech can do that for you.”