March 25, 2013
By Ian J. Twombly
If picking up a newly painted airplane from the paint shop is a wonderful experience, picking up a newly painted airplane that’s been detailed, well, that’s even sweeter. Yesterday we got to see the rebirth of the 2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Piper Archer and it’s never looked better.
A few weeks ago we mentioned the Archer was in the avionics shop undergoing some software updates. After that work was completed, we picked up 208GG from Penn Avionics and dropped it off at Oxford Aviation for a week of pampering. The results are incredible.
The work wasn’t all cosmetic. Oxford fixed a few small nagging items that we’d discovered during a year of flying 208GG to airshows. The catch mechanism on the cabin door was no longer holding the door open, and the glareshield still needed to be installed, for example. Members who saw it at Sun ’n Fun and AirVenture may also remember the defroster vents needed to be flipped around.
When we arrived in Oxford yesterday those items had been completed, and the airplane had been cleaned and polished inside and out. What was brilliant before is now spectacular. The pearl white paint is gorgeous, and the metallic fade is like nothing you’ve seen on an airplane. Oxford really went above and beyond with the detail, further proof that the employees care about what they’re doing up there.
Leaving Oxford was bittersweet. It’s been almost exactly 11 months since we first dropped off what was then 22ZT to the good folks at Oxford Aviation, and yesterday we took 208GG away for the last time. It marked the last work to be done to the airplane before it’s given away (save for a new annual for the owner), and it means this year’s project is in its closing stages. But don’t fret; there will be many more updates with lots of new and exciting information here before year-end, and of course the Archer will be the star of the aircraft display at AOPA Expo in San Jose at the beginning of November. Make sure to come and see this beautiful airplane for yourself.
It’s that time of the year again—time to answer your questions about the airplane, the sweepstakes, or anything else that’s been on your mind. If you’ve been holding back waiting to ask a question, now is the time to do it. I’ll select a few and post them as next week’s update for everyone to read. I hope to hear from you soon.
Next week: Q & A
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