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  #1  
Old 11-27-2015, 01:43 PM
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scrollF4 scrollF4 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2010
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Default Chapter 1: The Vinyl Wrap Transformation of RV-7A N260KM to KELLI GIRL

Note: This is a story told in six chapters.

Let me tell you yet another story about an RV that helped one pilot’s dream come true. As you may remember, I flew our RV-7A for the first time this spring. It took 4.5 years and 1560 hours to build N260KM, our quick-build tip-up dream machine. This fall, my bride Kelli and I took those final steps to unveil KELLI GIRL, and with her a dream that has resided in my head and heart since I was a child.

THE INSPIRATION
I grew up in Harlingen, Texas, at a time when the organization now known as the Commemorative Air Force was headquartered there. How many wee lads of the ‘70s can say they heard the growling drone of Merlins and Allisons on an almost daily basis? Until I went to college, I never missed the annual 4-day CAF Airshows. To this day, one aircraft in particular has resided solidly as my favorite:

Reg Urscher’s P-51 “Gunfighter”
Gunfighter meant business. It just looked like a fighter ought to look. I knew that if I ever had an aircraft, I would paint it in some way to match this spectacular machine.
Thirty-odd years later, at the end of a 27-year Air Force career, Kelli, Houston, Chase, and I built and flew N260KM. What a great airplane! It takes us where we want to go…FAST. I can fling it around like a fighter. Every flight reminds me that we made the best airframe choice. So late this summer, Kelli confirmed that it’s time to put clothes on our naked plane. It’s time for KELLI GIRL to be born.
Here is the bare canvass with which our artists worked their magic:


THE DESIGN
After a LOT of research on these VAF fora, I concluded that a high quality vinyl wrap is the best way to cover and protect our aircraft. (Nothing against paint. I won’t enter into the wrap vs paint debate: My mind’s made up, and that discussion lives on in a different forum). I contacted Scott Farnsworth at AircraftWraps.Com:

I described my wishes to Scott and to his design partner, Jason Knolls at Dream Scheme Designs. My concept: A P-51 motif, WW2 8th Air Force, but based on Reg Urschler’s Gunfighter. However, what’s green on Gunfighter will be cobalt metallic blue, and what’s yellow on Gunfighter would be white. The silver part will be silver metal flake, not bare aluminum. Unlike Gunfighter, I wanted invasion stripes in memory of my Dad’s service: He was an US Army artillery captain who landed with the invasion force at Normandy. I wanted my sons’ initials on the side: HHM (Houston Hunter Mayeux) and CAM (Chase Austin Mayeux). Oh, and let’s add those hi-def images of the exhaust headers and gun ports.
Jason sent the first of several designs. First we worked the left side:

Really close, but I wanted that red stripe marking the border between the blue and silver.


Better.

Now we worked the top and bottom:

This was just too busy, so I had him drop the stripes from the top, but leave them on the bottom:



I liked it. Meanwhile, while Jason and Scott worked hard on the design in the center and eastern parts of this nation, I was working with an artistic goddess on the west coast on KELLI GIRL’s centerpiece…
__________________
Scroll

Sid "Scroll" Mayeux, Col, USAF (ret)
52F NW Regional/Aero Valley Airport, Roanoke TX (home of DR's Van Cave)
"KELLI GIRL" N260KM RV-7A tipper
Catch her on YouTube's "Because I Fly!" channel

Exemption waived.
Proud and grateful 2021 -=VAF=- Contributor

PS: I am not an influencer. I have no influence. Just ask my kids.

Last edited by scrollF4 : 11-27-2015 at 05:01 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-27-2015, 01:45 PM
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scrollF4 scrollF4 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Flower Mound, TX
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Default CHAPTER 2 ? The Nose Art

CHAPTER 2 ? The Nose Art

VictoryGirl.Com is a jewel in today?s aviation and artistic worlds. Nowhere else can you find an artist dedicated to preserving the heritage of aircraft nose art. Jerri Bergen listened carefully to my wishes: I wanted to take that classic Varga Girl image of the beautiful woman in a one-piece flying through the air, arms outstretched, with my bride Kelli?s face, trailing a lacy cape in the breeze behind her.



However, don?t press boundaries beyond PG-13 (not rated R, please). KELLI GIRL will appear in a banner behind her, the phrase being a play on the classic temp agency office help and my wife?s unique name spelling. Per her request, I sent Jerri several dozen photos of Kelli to help her with the facial features.
Jerri?s first draft came close:


However, I really wanted her forward hand to look more graceful. I sent her some hand model photos:


I also wanted her swimsuit to be red:


After some more facial tweaks, and experimenting with the banner:


Kelli and I were happy. (Remember, guys: You?ve GOT to get ?her? approval before making this sort of thing permanent).
Jerri applied the mock-up to the side of photos of N260KM to see the concept:



?and we pulled the trigger.

Jerri (VictoryGirl.com) and Jason (Dream Scheme Designs) sent the final approved image files to Scott at AircraftWraps. He was ready for the airplane. All Kelli and I had to do was get N260KM to Palm Beach?
__________________
Scroll

Sid "Scroll" Mayeux, Col, USAF (ret)
52F NW Regional/Aero Valley Airport, Roanoke TX (home of DR's Van Cave)
"KELLI GIRL" N260KM RV-7A tipper
Catch her on YouTube's "Because I Fly!" channel

Exemption waived.
Proud and grateful 2021 -=VAF=- Contributor

PS: I am not an influencer. I have no influence. Just ask my kids.
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  #3  
Old 11-27-2015, 01:47 PM
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scrollF4 scrollF4 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2010
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Posts: 1,632
Default CHAPTER 3 ? To Palm Beach via Petit Jean

CHAPTER 3 – To Palm Beach via Petit Jean

The 2015 gathering at Petit Jean was FANTASTIC! Bill Schlatterer and the entire Arkansas EAA put on nothing short of a spectacular show. This was Kelli’s and my first ‘long’ trip, our first fly-in, and the first time we’d seen Paul “Bugsy” and Kathy Gardetto in over 2 years. (Read about Bugsy in my Dec 2015 “Kitplanes” article).

The plan: We fly to Petit Jean, enjoy the weekend, then on Sunday move N260KM onward the 900 miles southeast to Palm Beach. While at Petit Jean, we shared a cabin with Bugsy and Kathy and with TJ and Sara Stack. We had a BLAST!!

Much has been written already about PJ, so I’ll be brief.

Kelli and me enjoying the flight over Arkansas together:


Looking good on final:




Tying down N260KM:


…and making our way to sign in and our transpo to our cabin.




My beautiful Kelli catching the rays on the RV flightline.


Paul “Bugsy” and Kathy Gardetto (RV-7A N277KG). Kathy and Kelli have been friends for the last 8 years, including Bugsy's and my last three tours as USAF colonels. They are blond goddesses, and Kathy's Bloody Mary recipe is to die for. She brought 3 gallons to Petit Jean (yes!).


The gang (left to right): Kathy, David Nelson (RV-7A N711VZ), my Kelli Girl, and TJ and Sara Stack (RV-10 N331JH).


David and his wife Aniko (sorry, not pictured) are RV friends from near Austin. David was the first to tell us about Petit Jean. I’m glad he did, and that the two of them were there for the fun.

Friday and Saturday were tons of fun. It ended for me Sunday morning as I launched N260KM for the voyage to Palm Beach….
__________________
Scroll

Sid "Scroll" Mayeux, Col, USAF (ret)
52F NW Regional/Aero Valley Airport, Roanoke TX (home of DR's Van Cave)
"KELLI GIRL" N260KM RV-7A tipper
Catch her on YouTube's "Because I Fly!" channel

Exemption waived.
Proud and grateful 2021 -=VAF=- Contributor

PS: I am not an influencer. I have no influence. Just ask my kids.

Last edited by scrollF4 : 11-27-2015 at 04:49 PM.
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  #4  
Old 11-27-2015, 01:49 PM
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scrollF4 scrollF4 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Flower Mound, TX
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Default CHAPTER 4 ? The Voyage to AircraftWraps

CHAPTER 4 – The Voyage to AircraftWraps

Sunday was important. I had to fly N260KM from Petit Jean to AircraftWraps’ home at F45 North Palm Beach County airport, about 60 miles north of Miami. I needed to be there no later than 1400 Florida time to turn the airplane over to Scott Farnsworth, cover what business needed covering, then have time for him to drive me to W. Palm Beach for my airline ride back to Texas. This required a takeoff from Petit Jean no later than 0630L.

Bill Schlatterer and the entire Petit Jean crew are wonderful, for a variety of reasons. Vic La Roca was willing to pick me up at our cabin at 0530L Sunday morning and get me to my airplane. In the dark, Vic and I untied her, dug out and stowed the tie-downs, and pushed her up onto the taxiway. I cranked, taxied to the south end and let the oil temperature rise. Then, off I launched into the beautiful dawn Arkansas sky.



Sun rising over the Mississippi River




Needing to pee somewhere over Alabama.


The Gulf of Mexico’s in view. First gas/pee stop coming up shortly (just east of Tallahassee).


Had to duck under an overcast southeast of Orlando. First five hours were at 9500’, but the last hour was like this.


Handover complete. N260KM stayed with Scott for the next several weeks for her transformation.




Meanwhile, my bride Kelli flew back from Petit Jean to 52F with TJ and Sara Stack, wrapped in luxury in their RV-10.




Next: The transformation...
__________________
Scroll

Sid "Scroll" Mayeux, Col, USAF (ret)
52F NW Regional/Aero Valley Airport, Roanoke TX (home of DR's Van Cave)
"KELLI GIRL" N260KM RV-7A tipper
Catch her on YouTube's "Because I Fly!" channel

Exemption waived.
Proud and grateful 2021 -=VAF=- Contributor

PS: I am not an influencer. I have no influence. Just ask my kids.

Last edited by scrollF4 : 11-30-2015 at 11:23 AM.
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  #5  
Old 11-27-2015, 01:51 PM
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scrollF4 scrollF4 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Flower Mound, TX
Posts: 1,632
Default CHAPTER 5 ? N260KM transforms into KELLI GIRL

CHAPTER 5 – N260KM transforms into KELLI GIRL

“You don’t rush the roux, and you don’t serve the gumbo ‘till it’s done simmering.” That’s what my Grandma Mayeux always used to say.
So true for aviation, none the least for wrapping an aircraft in vinyl. If I had selected a basic wrap design with a primary color plus a few fancy accents and swooshes, this would be a one week job.

I didn’t pick that sort of design. I picked something much more difficult. KELLI GIRL’s design is one of the most complex that Scott and AircraftWraps.com had ever tackled. So he and his crew didn’t rush the roux. They were meticulous. They matched the blue vinyl to my panel’s cobalt metallic blue perfectly. And I didn't want it fast: I wanted it right.

The design elements were falling into place.








KELLI GIRL began to emerge.






I traveled down once to take a good look at the progress (which I know spoiled Scott’s “big reveal”), but it gave us the opportunity to tweak some features. For instance, I thought the checkerboard around the nose made the look just too busy, so we removed it. NOTE: That’s one really nice thing about working in vinyl. Don’t like it? Remove it. Jason Knoll (Dream Scheme Designs) kept pace with our adjustments with his graphics:




The time came for delivery. Given my busy schedule and the free time Scott had (momentarily), he agreed to fly KELLI GIRL back to Texas. We can’t wait to see her…
__________________
Scroll

Sid "Scroll" Mayeux, Col, USAF (ret)
52F NW Regional/Aero Valley Airport, Roanoke TX (home of DR's Van Cave)
"KELLI GIRL" N260KM RV-7A tipper
Catch her on YouTube's "Because I Fly!" channel

Exemption waived.
Proud and grateful 2021 -=VAF=- Contributor

PS: I am not an influencer. I have no influence. Just ask my kids.

Last edited by scrollF4 : 11-27-2015 at 02:23 PM.
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  #6  
Old 11-27-2015, 01:52 PM
Bevan Bevan is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: BC
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Very nice! Please tell us about the application techniques? ie Did you prime first? just alodine? or neither.

Bevan
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RV7A Flying since 2015
O-360-A1F6 (parallel valve) 180HP
Dual P-mags
Precision F.I. with AP purge valve
Vinyl Wrapped Exterior
Grand Rapids EFIS
Located in western Canada

Last edited by Bevan : 11-27-2015 at 01:57 PM.
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  #7  
Old 11-27-2015, 01:57 PM
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scrollF4 scrollF4 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2010
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Default CHAPTER 6 ?KELLI GIRL?s Voyage Home

CHAPTER 6 –KELLI GIRL’s Voyage Home

On Tuesday, 24 November, two days before Thanksgiving, Scott topped off the charge in KELLI GIRL’s battery before rolling her out for her first flight, fully wrapped in a color scheme that has lived in my mind for decades.


Note the absence of checkerboard around the nose. Scott and I agreed that running the silver, blue, and red border all the way to the nose just really makes the look sleeker and cleaner.

Scott flew KELLI GIRL to Northwest Regional Airport near Roanoke TX in three easy hops. The first gas stop was at the same field near Tallahassee that I used on the way.


They had great weather all the way. Next stop was in Louisiana:


After a short delay at the Louisiana FBO, Scott arrived at 52F and followed me in our blue F-150 ‘Follow Me’ truck to our hangar and shut her down…home at last.


Scott and I tucked KELLI GIRL into her hangar…


…did a quick post-flight walk-around, then I swept him off to DFW airport to catch his flight back to Palm Beach. Of course, we stopped by Dickey’s BBQ in Roanoke for some quick but delicious Texas barbecue.

This has been a victory in every which way. Thank you, thank you, thrice thank you, to:

Scott Farnsworth at Aircraft Wraps,
http://aircraftwraps.com

Jerri Bergen at VictoryGirl,
http://www.victorygirl.com/

And Jason Knoll at Dream Scheme Designs.
http://www.dreamschemedesigns.com/

So, yes, the dream is now reality. I loved this aircraft before, but am immensely proud to be the owner/builder and pilot of KELLI GIRL. My bride Kelli loves her too, and is demanding more weekend trips. Now, if the darned rain would just let up, Kelli and I want to take KELLI GIRL flying!



THE END (until our NEXT adventure )
__________________
Scroll

Sid "Scroll" Mayeux, Col, USAF (ret)
52F NW Regional/Aero Valley Airport, Roanoke TX (home of DR's Van Cave)
"KELLI GIRL" N260KM RV-7A tipper
Catch her on YouTube's "Because I Fly!" channel

Exemption waived.
Proud and grateful 2021 -=VAF=- Contributor

PS: I am not an influencer. I have no influence. Just ask my kids.

Last edited by scrollF4 : 11-27-2015 at 02:06 PM.
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  #8  
Old 11-27-2015, 05:00 PM
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Bugsy Bugsy is offline
 
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Talking Perfect

Very nice Scroll

It looks faster with color on it
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Paul 'Bugsy' Gardetto, Col, USAF (ret)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Timmerman Field)
N377KG - Flying (250 hrs)
RV-7A, Aerosport O-360, WW200RV
Advanced Flight 5400
Avidyne IFD440
Paint by planeschemer.com
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  #9  
Old 11-27-2015, 07:06 PM
xblueh2o xblueh2o is offline
 
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Very nice!
I agree the nose was a little busy with the checker but the end result is great. The nose art came out beautifully.
I am still plugging away on my build.
I have been thinking about schemes too. Not sure if I want some sort of military themed scheme or a civilian one. Decision decisions.
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RV-8 with the Showplanes Fastback conversion
Emp completed except for glass work
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  #10  
Old 11-27-2015, 07:09 PM
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wishing you tailwinds and sunshine with your finished ride. WOW.
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RV6-A 5,300+ hrs, R-44 1,600 hrs, Helicycle traded for 33 FFR coupe, 300 young eagles flown
Stuart, Fl / East Hampton,Ct / Virgin Gorda, BVI - villa sold.
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