Not an RV story but does relate to the vinyl discussion. I just finished wrapping my new aircraft, a SPA Panther, with the new 3M 2080 film. For size comparison, the Panther is a single seater, maybe similar to an RV-3.
It was my first experience with vinyl so I can't comment on how it compares to the 1080 product. I wrapped the entire aircraft including the cowling, canopy skirt and tail fairing. I don't have wheel fairings but I would have tried them if I had.
The color scheme is pretty simple, red over white with an accent stripe below the red.
There's not a lot online info for wrapping aircraft but there's a ton of videos about wrapping cars and I watched a lot of those. My thought was that wrapping a car was a whole lot harder than wrapping an airplane. I was mostly right but there were some areas on my plane that were difficult where there were some pretty aggressive compound curves.
The clear outer film on the 2080 product worked well to protect the colored film from being marred during installation on the flat and most curved surfaces but got in the way when stretching over compound curves.
As to cost, I spent $1300 for all the vinyl and ended up overbuying. If I were to do it again my guess is the vinyl cost would be about $1000 or so. I did a rough estimate of what the paint alone would cost and I think it would be about double that.
I spent maybe as much as $100 for tools (heat gun, squeegees, etc) and about another $200 for the Prostripe accent stripe and knifeless tape. I used the knifeless tape make ALL the cuts on the aircraft where pieces of vinyl came together. I overlapped all vinyl joints by slightly less than 1/16". Ther knifeless tape makes that easy. I used almost 165 meters of knifeless tape.
I'm sure the total cost of materials and tools was under $1500.
My rivets were mostly flush pulled rivets with some universal head pulled rivets and flush driven tossed in. They were easy but somewhat time consuming. After post-heating the vinyl and doing the final squeege I used my thumb to push down on every rivet. That seals around the rivet and makes a nice finish. Sometimes I needed to put a pinprick hole in the center of the rivet to let out trapped air.
I can't paint so I don't know how long painting an aircraft like this would take but wrapping is time consuming, at least it was for a novive like me - it took me 110 hours to wrap the Panther. I did the whole job myself - a helper would have made it very much faster.
It was an interesting experiment and I'm pleased with the result. It's not perfect but looks pretty nice if you don't know where the flaws are
. It'll be interesting to see what the durability of the vinyl is and the whole issue of corrosion is still pretty much of an unknown. I applied the vinyl directly on the aluminum with no primer. The Panther's skin is 6061-T6, somewhat less suseptible to corrosion than 2024. The vinyl's adhesive sticks VERY tightly and I think there's a good chance that it might actually peel off some primer if the vinyl is lifted to reposition it after laying it down. Not sure about that tho.
If interested, here's a link to my photo log. The vinyl photos are way down at the bottom.