The Final Painting

Time for another Friday post to kick off the weekend, and this time the subject is the Debonair’s paint scheme. As most of you already knew, the Debonair sported a decal-festooned exterior treatment for the past 10 months. The decals, some informative, some humorous, some with historical factoids from 1963 (the Debonair Sweepstakes’ production year) were the brainchild of Craig Barnett of Scheme Designers, who also developed the airplane’s final paint scheme. Which is now being applied.

A few days after AOPA’s  San Marcos regional fly-in, Editor-in-Chief Tom Haines and I made our way to KD Aviation’s paint shop just off taxiway Lima at Newburgh, New York’s Stewart International Airport. There, we left the Debonair with KD’s Don Reese. But we began to wonder about those decals. Would they peel right off, or put up a fight, stay stuck and tear into pieces? We picked away at the edges of the decals with our fingernails, and guess what? They peeled right off. Take a look:



As we speak, the first of the paint scheme’s colors are being applied. Here’s what the process looks like:



Then the blue

First the green, then the blue

Right about now you’re probably wondering what the final paint scheme will look like. Some of you may recall that we had a poll of sorts a few months ago, asking for your opinions about various paint schemes that AOPA Design Director Mike Kline and Craig came up with. Some were way out there. One looked like a bumblebee, with black and yellow stripes. Another was dominated by a fiery red theme. Kline wanted to retain a pastel look reminiscent of the undercurrent of many of the 1960s’ prominent design themes (think “Laugh-In” for those of you old enough to remember that show). So the final paint conveys this, as well as the “arrowhead” angular elements that were used in 1963 Debonair factory paint schemes.

The final scheme

The final scheme. Hope you like it!

And for comparison here is a 1963 Debonair in its factory paint scheme,.

And for comparison here is a  historical photo of a 1963 Debonair in its original factory paint scheme.

Well, that’s it for this week. Next time we’ll see the completed paint job in some air-air photography we’re planning.

  • Michael Dunlevie

    This will be one great looking Deb. Just made the final paint scheme into my computer wallpaper, will be looking at this until the contest ends, hopefully with me replacing the wallpaper with a plane I’ve won.

  • t. h.

    my plane is looking nice

  • t. h.

    This is my plane. I will be flying this plane in Sept.2014

  • t. hunt

    me new plane. I’ve waited so long.

  • Barry A Blake

    I’ll enjoy earning my new ratings in my better than new Debonair

  • D. Howell

    Who ever wins will be one lucky pilot !

  • Barry Wood

    Again I would like to applaud all the men and women that put their efforts into making this plane what it is today, from AOPA members, to those who did the restoration. You should all be pleased and proud of yourselves

  • Gary Mader

    Never imagined the Deb would turn out as it did. Congrats to all the men and women who played a part however small in it’s restoration. AWESOME, or as my 8 yr old son said “Dad that airplane is Epic”

  • Cliff Todd

    Congratulations to ever who wins this plane. And thank you to every single person and company who contributed to this and past airplanes for AOPA.

    It makes all us have a nice day just to have two minute daydream of being the winner.

    This turned out to be a very nice cross county flying machine.