After the global impact of the Coronavirus, nearly every industry went back to the drawing board. How could they provide a safe and clean environment for their consumers? Especially with COVID-19 in relation to air travel, many travelers are asking if it is safe to go. Therefore, it is more important now than ever to invest in premium aircraft detailing services to maintain compliance with CDC guidelines. Below, we explore the importance behind detailing both the interior and exterior of your aircraft, regardless if meant for private or commercial use.
What Is Aircraft Detailing?
Aircraft detailing consists of cleaning both the exterior and interior of an aircraft to restore it to like-new condition. Like any detailing job, aircraft detailing requires specialist knowledge, tools, and products to clean each aircraft at a professional standard.
The 6 Golden Rules of Aircraft Detailing
Regardless of what aircraft a company is detailing, there are six common rules to work in tandem with:
- Never use any type of power washer on an aircraft.
- Never use any household products, only specialty products.
- Be extremely careful with power buffers and avoid automotive orbital buffers.
- Always use the gentlest compound required to remove stains and oxidation.
- Take your time.
- Be sure to check the rules at your airport before you begin washing.
Aircraft Interior Detailing Services
Cleaning the interior of an aircraft seems simple, right? Although there appears to be few components of the aircraft cabin (seats, windows, aisles, seat buckles, etc.), you would be surprised with how many compartments are high-touch areas that require a thorough sanitation and detailing. Below is a comprehensive list summarizing all that interior aircraft detailing services encompasses.
Complete Interior Detail
A thorough interior cleaning and detailing process is truly a first-class service. To begin, all the carpeting and upholstery are both vacuumed and then dry cleaned or extracted (depending on the material.) Then, all surfaces are cleaned, sanitized, and detailed. Next, all wood and trim elements are effectively sanitized and polished.
Afterward, all leather seating and material are both cleaned and conditioned. Furthermore, galleys and lavatories, or “lavs,” are cleaned and sanitized. Finally, the cockpits are meticulously cleaned, sanitized, and detailed. Upon request, cabin entries and instrument panels can also be cleaned and detailed.
Dry Cleaning Carpet & Upholstery
Aircraft detailing involves the unique dry-cleaning process of cleaning and sanitizing carpet and upholstery without the use of steam or water, which can be damaging to some materials like wool.
Carpet & Upholstery Extraction
To help get carpeting and upholstery both deep cleaned and looking their best, detailing services also offer a steam extraction process This service is a great option for high traffic areas.
If a stain can be removed, the best time for it to happen is during an interior aircraft detailing service. Aircraft detailers are masters at stain removal, successfully removing stains and blemishes caused by spilled coffee, wine, ink, soda, food, gum, and biological fluids. However, for optimal results, time is critical for easy removal.
Wood & Trim Polishing
Simple and straightforward, wood polishing services and products help maximize the interior cabin’s shine while resisting fingerprints and dust. Although airlines love leaving a great impression for passengers, dust and fingerprints aren’t the way to go about it.
Leather Cleaning & Conditioning
Leather cleaning and conditioning services are a great way to maintain the look, feel color, and smell of an aircraft’s fine leather upholstery. Additionally, regularly scheduled cleaning and conditioning help to extend the longevity and aesthetic of your leather for years to come.
Lavatory & Gallery Sanitation
Lavatory and galley cleaning and sanitation services will ensure the safety of your passengers from illness due to spoiled food or biological contaminants.
Aircraft Exterior Detailing Services
Exterior aircraft detailing services extend far beyond a simple wash and dry. As the exterior of an aircraft faces all the elements, it deserves an expansive detailing service. Below is a comprehensive list summarizing all that exterior aircraft detailing services encompasses.
Wet washing ensures that the entire exterior of the aircraft is completely clean and free of debris. Upon completion, the aircraft is dry and spot free. This service is highly recommended for any aircrafts that have been exposed to harsh or corrosive conditions, especially saltwater areas.
As an environmentally friendly technique, dry washing completely cleans the entire exterior of the aircraft without water while leaving a beautiful shine. Due to most airport environmental restrictions, this service tends to be the most popular wash technique.
Regular exterior wax applications will not only keep your aircraft looking great and protect your paint, but it will also greatly bolster the life of the paint. All waxes applied to the exterior are both aircraft approved and silicone free.
Exterior Paint Rejuvenation (Machine Buff and Polish)
Is the exterior paint looking dull? Machine-polishing aircraft detailing services are recommended for paint that is either oxidized or faded. This service restores and seals the paint for protection and helps to reduce parasitic drag, a fantastic alternative to having the aircraft repainted.
Once the aircraft is machine-buffed, detailers will then hand-polish the aircraft to bring the high gloss finish back to the paint. Even very old paint can usually be brought back to looking like new.
Cleaning Undercarriage Bays
When considering all the components of an aircraft that require extensive cleaning, not many refer to the undercarriage bays. However, the undercarriage bays need specialist attention. In fact, they are an essential component to keep clean as they aid the detection of any hydraulic leaks and help ensure the integrity of any electrical connections.
In areas where water use is permitted, the cleaning process normally entails the use of a heavy-duty alkali cleaner. In such instances, after cleaning, it may be beneficial to treat the whole area with a water-displacing fluid such as ARDROX 3961. Doing so not only drives away any water but also leaves a protective film on the surface. To further protect the undercarriage bays, aircraft detailers would then lubricate the equipment to prevent machine malfunctions.
Brightwork Metal Polishing
Polishing Brightwork is an art that few have mastered. However, some aircraft detailing services specialize in the metal polishing process. Leading edges, Engine Inlets, Thrust Reversers and Propeller Spinners alike are all polished to a mirror finish. Furthermore, even scratches and gouges can be removed.
De-ice Boot Refurbishment
De-ice boot refurbishment consists of a 3-step process of stripping, conditioning, and sealing pneumatic de-ice boots. This aircraft detailing service will restore your boots to a high gloss shine while protecting them. Regular de-ice boot treatments will not only keep the boots looking their best but will also enhance their longevity and durability.
The Importance of Aircraft Detailing
An aircraft is a valuable investment that needs to be protected and well cared for. Keeping an aircraft’s exterior and interior clean is also an important part of maintenance upkeep. Therefore, routinely detailing your aircraft not only improves its cosmetic appearance but also provides a profitable return on investment with the following benefits:
- Prevents corrosion on an expensive paint job, extending the life of your paint
- Reduces drag which cuts fuel costs, and for some, even improves aircraft performance
- Protects your investment
- Increases resale value
Aircrafts are designed to have an in-service life exceeding 20 years. To achieve this, you must take care of every component from the overhaul and maintenance procedures followed throughout the plane’s lifetime.
Furthermore, maintaining a clean aircraft will aid in the detection of any problems, including leaks which may occur on the underside around hydraulic, water and overflow holes, and drains. Regularly scheduled aircraft detailing services will also inspire confidence in passengers about to board that the plane is well maintained.
Aircraft Detailing with J.A. Air
We understand the importance of keeping the health and safety of air crew and passengers as top priority. That’s why at J.A. Air, we strive to be your aircraft detailing and maintenance experts! Our on-demand trip ready service will ensure that your aircraft is looking great for the next flight.
After giving your plane a thorough inspection, did you find any issues that need attention? Are there parts of your aircraft maintenance checklist that you may have glossed over? Bring your aircraft to us and we will perform an in-depth inspection and repair and issues that have been found by you or us. We have a variety of parts on hand and our shop allows your aircraft to be serviced with limited downtime.
Our team is knowledgeable, licensed, and factory trained. Contact us today for any of your maintenance needs, questions, or if you are looking to have a new avionics system installed. We are excited to work with you and get your plane ready to fly the skies in no time!