World War Two aircraft Re-finish – Selemix has it covered
PPG’s Light Industrial Coatings brand SELEMIX® has been selected as paint supplier for the re-livery of a WW2 aircraft.
The P-40 Kittyhawk was a ruggedly effective and potent fighter during World War two. Supplied to the air forces of America, Britain, Australia and New Zealand, the P-40 served extensively in all the major theatres of conflict during WWII. This example is one of only four currently in Europe, originally manufactured in October 1943 and to date having only 732 flying hours following retirement from military service in 1950. Today, based at North weald in Essex, the P-40 (registration G-KITT) is operated by Hangar 11 Collection.
Over the 2012/13 winter the P-40 was paint stripped of four layers of paint (dating back to the 1980’s) and recently emerged with an eye-catching new paint scheme representing a P-40 operated by the USAAF’s 80th Fighter Group in India, using PPG’s Light Industrial Coating Selemix. As well as an overall re-livery of the outside of the aircraft the team at Hangar 11 also undertook a complete cockpit make-over and installation of an original instrument panel.
Steve Atkin of Hangar 11 comments “The Kittyhawk project was very much a team effort between us and RAS Completions based at Biggin Hill who applied the base colours for us. Stripping the aircraft took six months of weekends but we wanted the best possible base for the new paint. Matching of original US Army Air Force colours was greatly assisted by the Selemix system and the results speak for themselves.”
“The skull artwork on the front of aircraft was a big part of it and it took a lot of work to create the mask for it working from period photos – we were very keen to make the scheme match as closely to the original as possible. We used the Selemix System supplied by Leonard Brooks because its both very hard wearing and highly ‘tuneable’ in terms of exact colour and surface finish matching which is of great importance to us. With the support of Leonard Brooks we were able to achieve a perfect matt finish which matched to the original historic appearance – whilst still being easy to maintain and clean”
All in all, the project took eight months to complete. The aircraft will now spend its time touring the UK, with several airshow attendances planned this summer.
Hangar 11 Principal Peter Teichman comments “We are really pleased with the new look! The finish quality of the P-40 Kittyhawk is great and the Selemix System has really helped to bring this historic scheme back to life. We look forward to displaying her at Sunderland International Airshow, Eastbourne and Dunsfold plus many more”.