News Search

B-2 Wrap-up: Static gets wrap finish

The mini B-2 static display before low observable maintainers from the 509th Maintenance Squadron used the vinyl-wrap technique to restore it at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. This technique is an environmentally friendly process that saved the Air Force $18,000. (Courtesy photo)

The mini B-2 static display before low observable maintainers from the 509th Maintenance Squadron used the vinyl-wrap technique to restore it at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. This technique is an environmentally friendly process that saved the Air Force $18,000. (Courtesy photo)

The mini B-2 static display after low observable maintainers from the 509th Maintenance Squadron used the vinyl-wrap technique to restore it at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. This technique is an environmentally friendly process that saved the Air Force $18,000. (Courtesy photo)

The mini B-2 static display after low observable maintainers from the 509th Maintenance Squadron used the vinyl-wrap technique to restore it at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. This technique is an environmentally friendly process that saved the Air Force $18,000. (Courtesy photo)

The mini B-2 static display after low observable maintainers from the 509th Maintenance Squadron used the vinyl-wrap technique to restore it at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. This technique is an environmentally friendly process that saved the Air Force $18,000. (Courtesy photo)

The mini B-2 static display after low observable maintainers from the 509th Maintenance Squadron used the vinyl-wrap technique to restore it at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. This technique is an environmentally friendly process that saved the Air Force $18,000. (Courtesy photo)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- Refinishing a static display is a lot like detailing a car.

While Senior Airman Courtlin Rowland, a low observable (LO) maintainer with the 509th Maintenance Squadron (MXS), spent a week in the cold polishing and waxing the mini B-2 static display at the entrance of Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, he started brainstorming a long-term fix for the sun bleached paint.

Three times a year the mini B-2 is refinished, which takes five Airmen about five days to complete. However, during this particular session the paint would not harden and dry completely due to the weather ranging from 30 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

“I realized the paint we were using wasn’t going to cure so I decided to try something I used to detail cars,” said Rowland, who is a car enthusiast in his off-time.

Rowland pitched the idea to use a vinyl-wrap technique, which is an environmentally friendly process. It eliminates polyurethane paints, which become atomized and potentially harmful to lodging and base housing.

Once the wrapping process was started it only took one and half days to complete with just one Airman and the two members of the Gator Graphics company.

“The results are impressive,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. John Biery, an LO flight chief with the 509th MXS. “Rowland saved $18,000 and may have revolutionize how we look at reducing manpower and cost to sustain static displays.”

Thanks to Rowland’s efforts, the mini B-2 static display was ready to welcome distinguished visitors to the base during the Air Force Global Strike Command’s 2017 Senior Leader Conference.