Who do you turn to when you need to detail one of United States most iconic jet airliner’s? Well the head honchos at the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona enlisted the help of the nations top detailers from Meguiars et al., including Larry Kosilla of AMMO NYC to bring one of our nation’s most famous planes back to its former glory. And today, (Feb. 25, 2015) AMMO NYC dropped a 26 minute long video on the Drive Network detailing (no pun intended) the step by step process that the detailing team went through.At “144 feet long and a wing span of 139 feet” they had a lot of work ahead of them.
The Boeing C-137 Startoliner was a VIP transport aircraft derived from Boeing’s 707 jet airliner. It was most famously used as the plane that brought home 52 American hostages from Iran in 1981 (the story behind the academy award winning movie Argo.) 10 years later it was used to repatriate 20 American POW’s taken during the Gulf War in Operation Desert shield. After that, it gained the distinction of being Air Force Two when vice-president Al Gore used the 707 on various media tours before finally coming to its resting place in Tucson. Originally it was going to be stripped for parts, but it was kept as a historical aircraft worthy of being kept fully intact and displayed.
Under the sage instruction of Kevin Brown, a pioneer in the detailing world, the detailing team went about determining the best process to handle what is termed as, “paint correction” to the planes exterior. Through a preliminary test spot, Brown found that the 707 didn’t need a full paint job, and through the proper paint correction techniques, the existing paint could be restored. With a team of 15 of the world’s best detailers, it took the crew an additional 5 days to get the job done. The first step the team took at every panel was a preliminary cleaning using a waterless wash. They didn’t run the plane through a giant jet wash as you would’ve imagined. Then using a rotary buffer, the cleaned area was leveled using a liquid polisher. Finally, a quick spritz of a spray wax applied a layer of protection that would protect the paint underneath. Working methodically, the team knocked out the entire plane piece by piece.
To give you an idea of how much work was being done, every hour over 85 detailing pads and 500 microfiber towels were cleaned and readied for reuse. The video goes into much better detail of the process, so do yourself a favor and carve out a half-hour of your day to enjoy this epic detaling feat. The results are nothing short of extraordinary.