Aviation: Renewal of Airplane and Helicopter Seating
From private aircraft to government, military and commercial aircraft our master craftsmen specialize in repairing, reconditioning, and the color restoration of leather for the aviation industry.
5 Ways to Keep Your Airplane Seats New Without Replacing Them
After years of experience in the aviation industry, I’ve learned that one of the most costly aspects of operating an aircraft is replacing things you never thought would need replacing. After all, no one really considers switching out their seats when they buy a car, but this is all too common of an occurrence when it comes to leather or vinyl aircraft seating. Fortunately, there are a few ways to add years to your seats without replacing them.
1. Clean Seating on a Regular Basis
Perhaps the most efficient step a person can take to keep their airplane or helicopter seating looking new is to periodically perform cleanings. While the owner of a small personal plane may not be too worried about the aesthetics of their seating, especially if they typically fly solo, airports and aircraft dealers have more concerns.
This is why periodic cleanings are so important. Aircraft seating doesn’t tend to get dirty or cracked overnight. This is often due to a prolonged lack of maintenance or cleaning. And while many don’t realize it, a lack of cleaning can do more damage than just a few stains. Body oil and dirt can both cause leather and vinyl seats to crack.
Once this happens, it becomes much more difficult to keep seats looking new. This is why everyone should use appropriate cleaners to keep their aircraft seating oil- and dirt-free.
2. Have a “Fly-Away” Kit on Hand
Even if an airplane or helicopter has the most studious passengers, accidents are going to happen. Just because someone gets on the aircraft nice and clean and doesn’t allow their bare skin to touch the seating doesn’t mean they won’t get it dirty. Spilled wine, dropped food and a variety of other accidental occurrences can lead to damage. That’s why a “fly-away” kit is necessary.
Typically, a fly-away kit contains special tools needed to maintain an aircraft, and they’re kept on board in case they are needed while away from the hangar. These kits don’t have to be anything fancy, and pilots should also ensure that they have leather or vinyl cleaner packed away in them.
The most important thing is to make sure the cleaner is approved for its intended use. Having the appropriate spot cleaner on hand can take care of a stain as soon as it happens — rather than chancing a permanent blemish by waiting until landing.
3. Condition Seats Periodically
Regular wear and tear along, with sun exposure, can slowly degrade aircraft seating over time. This is the case even if someone is strict with their cleaning regimen. Just imagine the combination of frequent use and the heat at LAX. Unfortunately, this wear and tear can lead to deterioration, which makes seating more likely to rip. Purchasing the appropriate conditioners can minimize these effects.
Leather cream and vinyl conditioners can both prolong the life of aircraft seating. They’re capable of strengthening the material and helping it maintain its original luster. Luckily, conditioners don’t need to be used as frequently as cleanings are performed. If done once or twice yearly, the seats will look new longer.
It’s always important to test these conditioners on a small and inconspicuous spot first. This ensures they are appropriate for a seat’s upholstery. It’s also necessary to clean the seating prior to applying any conditioning.
4. Reduce Overall Wear and Tear
Periodic cleaning and conditioning of aircraft seating certainly go a long way in reducing wear and tear, but there are several other easy tips that can assist in accomplishing this goal. With sunlight being one of the main causes of degradation on airplane and helicopter seating, it’s simple to purchase a sunshield to place in the windows of the aircraft. For commercial airplanes, this can be as easy as closing the shades on every window when not in use.
Of course, this can also be accomplished by keeping the aircraft in a hangar when not in use. While many pilots only do this if a storm is coming through, keeping a plane stored in a hangar can reduce sun damage to seats. Remaining vigilant will also protect the aircraft’s exterior from unnecessary wear and tear.
5. Repair Instead of Replace
Make a note somewhere in the section that the dyes we use have a burn certification and are approved by the FAA. This is extremely important. Legally airplane seats are not supposed to be repaired using dyes that are not burn certified.
Whether someone wasn’t schooled on the proper maintenance of aircraft seating or they’ve simply owned the craft so long that wear and tear was inevitable, every seat will eventually be damaged. On large planes, this either means replacing every seat at the same time — even if it’s not damaged — or having to continuously buy new seats and pay for shipping each time one is “too far gone.”
Instead of going through this hassle, aircraft owners can simply get their current seating repaired. This can include reconditioning, repair of torn seats, color restoration and overall renewal of both leather and vinyl seating. Considering the fact that reports show that a single business-class seat on an airplane can cost upward of $80,000, hiring someone to renew the seating seems like a far more economical choice.
Our Dyes are FAA Approved and Burn Certified
If you want to keep your aircraft seating looking new, contact us today. We provide mobile aircraft seating renewal services across Los Angeles. The dyes we use have a burn certification and are approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Whether your plane is in the hangar, on the tarmac or down for maintenance, we can come to you and make your seating look as good as new. From Burbank Airport to LAX, we’ve got your aircraft seating needs covered.
Why Use LA Leather For Your Leather Care and Cleaning
Los Angeles customers absolutely love that they can call us and have our leather experts come to their location. Whether it’s a leather-covered desk at your office, your airplane hangar, boat harbor, or your home, we are more than happy to come to you.
Here’s why that’s important: transporting your leather goods to us is impossible, like in the case of a boat interior. But even more importantly, you take a huge risk in causing more damage to your leather my loading in on a truck and driving it over.
Give us a call at 213-500-6220 and make sure you send us some pictures of your leather so we can give you a more accurate, free quote.
We have over 25 years of experience working on all types of high-end, luxury leather. Many of our customers tell us that they are amazed and stunned by the results that they get. We can’t wait to hear from you so get in touch with us today.
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Here are some before & after photos of our leather furniture repair work.