A Mississippi pilot recently completed a new hangar where he paints aircraft with his own specially developed ceramic coatings and sealants.
John Mosely of Clinton, Mississippi, began his career by following in his father’s footsteps, painting cars in his dad’s autobody shop. That eventually led to painting aircraft, then developing his own line of products called John’s 360° Coatings.
“Being a painter by trade, I like everything I own to be slick and shiny, and I like customers’ cars and planes to be slick and shiny,” Mosley says.
The result of his success in business has led to the recent construction of a 100-foot by 150-foot hangar at John Bell Williams Airport (KJVW) in Bolton, Mississippi.
Inside the hangar are offices, a pilot lounge, briefing room, receptionist’s desk, and two office desks made out of a DC-10 engine cowling.
Mosley earned his pilot’s certificate in 1992 and now has multi-engine and instrument ratings. One aircraft you’ll find in his new hangar is his Grumman TBF Avenger, an American bomber developed initially for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, similar to the Avenger future-President George H.W. Bush was shot down in over the Pacific Ocean during World War II.
“The reason I even entered that field is because we wanted a coating we could put on our round engine airplanes that would stand up to the engine oil, smoke, and all that with the cleaners we had had to use constantly,” Mosley says. “Anytime we used degreasers, it would take the wax off. We wanted a coating we could put on our airplanes, coat them one time, clean them as often as we needed, knowing that they would still be protected. You couldn’t do that with conventional waxes or sealants, so I started experimenting with a ceramic field which worked better than wax, but it didn’t hold up for a long time. Then I started researching polymer science.”
The coating he came up with was the result of a lot of work by himself and a group of chemists for more than a year. He settled on a company that mostly developed different types of coatings using nanotechnology. They said they could develop something, but it was going to be a two-part coating that had to be mixed together, causing a reaction that would latch that coating to the surface and withstand cleaners that were being used on airplanes. Because the coating is very hydrophobic and oil phobic, water and oil hardly stick to it, according to Mosley.
“We worked hard to come up with a formula that I feel is the best formula and the only one of its kind that I know on the market,” he says. “It’s not a simple ceramic, one-step coating like some coatings on the market. The advantage of ‘The Avenger’ two-part activated coating is that when you mix Part A and Part B together in equal amounts, a reaction is going to take place. The beauty of that reaction is that it helps our coating to actually bond to the surface you put it on, so it’s a versatile coating different from any other product that you’ve probably used on your car, boats or aircraft before, but its also superior to any product you’ve used before.”
Before building the new hangar at KJVW, Mosely spent a lot of time at other people’s hangars.
“I’ve been to so many different airports and to Oshkosh every year but one since 1992,” he says. “I actually own three hangars. When we got ready to build this hangar, I looked at everybody’s doors again. I have several friends that have hydraulic doors and I like the operation and looks of them better than bifold doors. I just kind of settled down on Schweiss Doors because I like the look of the door and when I called and talked to Brent at Schweiss, I was satisfied with everything he told me. I like the size of the door because I can move the airplanes in and out without having to move a lot of stuff. I like the quietness and smoothness and looks of it.”
The hangar has a double-truss 115 foot wide, 23 foot tall one-piece hydraulic door. The specially engineered all-steel door, which weighs 37,472 pounds, is equipped with a centrally located walk-through door, two exterior trusses for added strength and is insulated and painted a bright white inside with red trim detailing on the lower exterior truss and interior trim of the hydraulic door.
ACI Building Systems of Batesville, Mississippi, supplied the metal and beams for the hangar, built by Davis Constructors of Florence, Mississippi. Davis also installed the hydraulic door.
“The install went great,” Mosley says. “The contractor had never put up a big door like this before. He said he appreciated that whenever he called, the guys at Schweiss were very good to work with.”
The red curtained-off area within the hangar is where aircraft are painted. There are three large areas in the hangar where they can spray airplanes at the same time. Two large 60-foot by 60-foot areas allow painting of airplanes side-by-side within the curtained-off individual rooms. The third 20-foot by 50-foot area is used to spray control parts such as ailerons, elevators, cowlings and rudders. All the 360° Coatings are done in a sanitized clear area out front.
The popularity of Mosley’s various products has blossomed from employing two or three people to 37 at both locations. He has a waiting list for about four months at his hangar and his products are now available through his website.