Soon after purchasing NC17634, a decision was made to make it “different” that what it had been in recent years. The changes include: a new registration number, a different exterior color, a different paint design, new avionics, replacement of the green windows with clear (solar gray) and a new interior.
This section of the website will focus on the new exterior color and design. Most of the polished Spartan survivors have trim in either the red and green color palettes. Other than NC17634, only one other has blue trim, so blue was the obvious choice. Although no two Spartans left the factory with identical paint designs, most of the survivors tend to be quite similar. When a new Spartan came off the production line, the only item with paint on it was the nose ring. The reason was quite simple, the nose ring design requires that it be painted before it is installed and it must be installed before the propeller. All subsequent paint trim was added after it came off the production line, which provided the ultimate purchaser an opportunity to personalize the airplane.
In keeping with what occurred at the time Spartans were being built, I started with just the nose ring being painted and then added the “Executive” script, a feature that was on both the prototype Spartan and Arlene Davis’ Spartan Executive that was flown in the Bendix Air Race in 1939.
The following pictures will provide an overview of the process of changing from green to blue.
Painting the nose ring
Removing the green and the monumental task of polishing the etched areas under the paint
New number on the rudder, logo on the tail and hand painted script on the cowling
Color and design transformation is complete