Glamming Up the Plane
Iconography Studios livens up a Pulsar.
After flying around in a Pulsar airplane with nothing but a primer-coat finish for more than four years, retired World War II Navy aviator Alex Kozloff decided he wanted to make his plane the “belle of the ball.”
At 85-years young, Kozloff began researching vinyl-application technologies for airplanes. Having individual graphics scattered along the plane was not an option – Kozloff wanted his Pulsar covered in graphics from nose to tail. Nor did he want his plane hand-painted or airbrushed: “It would have cost me $25,000 to $30,000, and that’s a price I wasn’t going to pay.”
After pitching his plane-wrap project to several print shops in the Los Angeles area, Kozloff found Iconography Studios in Los Alamitos, California. And although he had initially planned for just a single-color wrap, it didn’t take much convincing for him to go for a more glamorous look. Together, Iconography and Kozloff came up with the idea to honor his pet cockatoo with a flashy yellow, black, and gray bird-inspired design.
Iconography created the design in Adobe Illustrator, then output the graphics using its Roland SolJet Pro III XC-540, onto approximately 600 square feet of 3M Controltac Graphic Film IJ380. To finish the wrap, the shop took to its Royal Sovereign laminator with 3M Scotchcal Gloss Overlaminate 8580. Combined, the printing and finishing took two days.
While the printing was relatively easy for Iconography, the installation was far trickier because of the aircraft’s delicate frame. “It took three of our installers three days to wrap the plane. Our installers likened it to wrapping an egg,” says Sarah Naccarato, Iconography president. The wrap added 15 pounds to the weight of the airframe, but luckily didn’t result in any problems, she says.