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Admark’s Middle Earth Challenge – The Largest Aircraft Wrap

28th November 2012

Admark’s Middle Earth Challenge – The Largest Aircraft Wrap in the World...

Admark’s partnership with Air New Zealand continues with the newly themed Boeing 777-300ER, designed to commemorate the release of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first movie in the trilogy.

The Hobbit imagery covers the length of the 73 metre Boeing 777-300ER aircraft – the longest aircraft in the Air New Zealand fleet. The 830 square metre graphic is the largest to be applied to any aircraft in the world.

Given the sheer scale of the graphics, the task of printing and applying it to the aircraft fuselage was planned by Admark with military precision – particularly as the entire project had to be completed to a tight deadline.

Admark had a strong team working on the graphics – from computer designers who sectioned the image into manageable jigsaw pieces, printers who produced the vast graphics onto specialised self-adhesive aircraft film, a finishing team who cut out the individual pieces, and finally, the application team who worked long hours at Air New Zealand’s engineering base in Auckland to apply the graphics to the aircraft. The application alone took a total of 400 man hours making the project a logistical as well as an artistic triumph.

The aviation marking film used on the aircraft was specifically developed by 3M and was tested by the US Air Force and approved by the US Federal Aviation Authority. It was developed to withstand huge changes in the pressurisation of the aircraft, speeds of up to 1,000 kilometres and enormous temperature fluctuations. Temperatures can fluctuate from –60oC while cruising at 35,000 feet to 60oC during prolonged spells on the tarmac mid-summer in destinations such as Los Angeles. Interestingly, although the actual film is barely thicker than cling film, the sheer size of the graphics mean that the decal actually weighs 126 kilograms.

Admark’s Managing Director, Laurie Pilling says “it’s interesting when we decorate aircrafts – people think the pictures are painted on – they’re not, they’re actually just huge sticky labels.”

Pilling also says “Admark is a world-leader in the manufacture and application of aircraft graphics and this is the largest flying billboard ever created. I’m so proud of the team at Admark, they’ve done a tremendous job on what is an extremely challenging project – they love to push the boundaries of what can be achieved in this industry”.


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