You may spend hundreds of hours constructing the airframe of your homebuilt and dozens of days tinkering with the engine for the best performance, but it will most likely be the paint job that people remember. That is certainly the case for Randy and Sandy Effinger of Watertown, Wis.
The Effingers’ amphibious float-mounted Zenith 701 drew lots of admiring looks at this year’s AirVenture. Instead of the usual combination of stripes and some nose art, the Effingers turned their airplane into a canvas for a mural depicting a Canadian sunset.
According to Randy Effinger, they built the airplane from plans, beginning construction in 1992. A trip to Canada for parts inspired the paint job. The design is a rich mix of purples, pinks and grays, with black silhouetted shapes.
“We found a postcard up there that had a sunset on it and my wife said she wanted pink on the airplane,” he explained. “Sandy wanted pink so we got pink. There was no negotiation!”
“It is a subtle pink,” Sandy chimed in.
The Effingers did the paint job together.
“It took about 300 hours to paint the whole airplane,” Randy noted. “We could have stripped and painted three Cessna 150s in the time it took to do that!”
AirVenture 2006 was bittersweet for the Effingers. Although they enjoyed the show and the reaction their plane got from visitors, they came in hopes of finding a buyer for the airplane.
“We don’t fly it enough,” Randy said with a sad shake of his head. “We hate to see it just sitting in the hangar.”