Wrapping airplanes with vinyls. Did you know that is a highly specialized art?

Cuando se piensa en brandear un avión, se piensa en el uso de pinturas. Sin embargo, los vinilos son una excelente opción y un arte muy especializada.

Wrapping airplanes with vinyls. Did you know that is a highly specialized art?

Airplanes make the people think in some thoughts such as traveling, going to new places, safety and the perfect opportunity for any brand to place its image on the air.

Let ‘s see a fact. The airplane is the safest transportation around the world. The accident rate is from 1 to 2,4 millions of flights. This way, it’s the one of the ways which many companies use aircrafts to promote their logos, images, marketing and branding strategies. However, what options you have to decide the best one at the moment to brand an airplane?


Let’s start with what branding an airplane means. It’s the art of decorating it with colors, illustrations, logos, images, etc in a way that brands broadcast their escence. However, there are more than visual issues in this art. 


Some companies decide to paint their airplanes but other ones wrap them with vinyls. What’s the result of the airplane’s performance to make the decision? Let’s see:

  1. Vinyls offer aerodynamic benefits: While paints require primers, coats, and undercoats of paint that add weight to the aircraft, vinyls are much lighter, allowing for short-term fuel savings. To get an idea, the stickers add 107 grams per square meter to the weight of an airplane which is similar to the weight of paint. In addition to that, you must add a base coat and a primer to the paint, which will make the weight of the painting process heavier for the aircraft, generating greater fuel consumption in the mid and short term.

  1. The current adhesive vinyls offer stable products for high and low temperatures. In airplanes it can reach 110º C and -50ºC.

  1. The working time is much shorter compared to painting, as it does not require drying or curing time as paint that takes the aircraft out of service for 6 weeks. Using vinyl can leave the aircraft in operation just for two days.

  1. The differences in costs vary. The cost of using adhesive vinyls to decorate a small commercial aircraft can be around 6,000 USD (about 22 million pesos) compared to 25,000 USD (90 million pesos) that will cost to use paint on the same plane.

  1. The ease of removing the adhesive is another advantage, since its removal is very simple

  1. There are adhesive vinyls and polyester films that allow cost and durability options when branding an aircraft.

Of course, not everything is on the side of vinyl. Let’s see:


  1. Decorating airplanes requires a certification from 3M to handle its VS7704 and VS7322 vinyls, so the level of preparation must be higher than that of paints. The same happens for other certified suppliers like Avery Dennison.

  1. Operators must have work certificates at heighs for the Colombian case since heights greater than 1.5 m are handled (the same happens with painters)

  1. The fact of being adhesive, they sould come off, and at more than 30,000 feet, they can clearly cause a very serious accident. For this reason, they must be carefully inspected by a specialized team, which should include an aviation engineer, an aircraft inspector, and a designated navigability representative.

  1. The durability of the paint is much higher. As long as a properly applied adhesive vinyl can have a bond guarantee; according to 3M one of the main manufacturers, between 1.5 to 2.5 years. The paint definitely lasts much longer.

  1. The application of adhesive vinyls requires that the aircraft not only have a previous base but it requires that the airplane has not suffered from corrosion in some areas. If the aircraft has these corrosion, they must be corrected, which will entail greater cost to the work. Some specialized companies in the United States, such as Moody AeroGraphics, can charge prices starting at 3,500 USD for partial painting.


Now, the previous pros and contras can raise different perspectives in people regarding the preference for vinyls and paint. Undoubtedly, the use of adhesives is a fairly specialized art in which both the use of the correct material and the personnel who make the application correctly are vital for the durability and quality of the material.


You can get a better idea of the complexities of both processes with these two videos.


1. One is about the painting process of a Russian airliner MS-21-300 that was unveiled at the MAKS 2019 air show in Russia. In this you can see the complete painting with the addition of the logos which were also painted. See Video


2. The other one is about the adhesive wrapping process of Latam Airlines See Video


Remember that with our company VR MAKING ON SAS in Colombia and abroad, you have a trained team that is always ready to advise you on your branding and decoration creations of different spaces and surfaces.




Aviaton Wraps. (2021, 8 enero). Home. Recuperado 10 de marzo de 2021, de

Big Picture. (2015, 12 junio). Wraps Taking Off: Plane Vinyl. Recuperado 10 de marzo de 2021, de,to%20a%20%2425%2C000%20paint%20job.

El avión es el medio de transporte más seguro del mundo. (s. f.). Recuperado 10 de marzo de 2021, de,sufrir%20un%20percance%20en%20coche%3F

Laboda, A. (2019, 21 junio). Wrap it up? Recuperado 10 de marzo de 2021, de

RVinly. (s. f.). Rvinyl. Recuperado 10 de marzo de 2021, de other one is about the adhesive wrapping process of Latam Airlines

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *