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Saturday, Sep 30, 2023

Car Detailers Descend on Air Museum

Jeff Franzino has been doing detailing work since high school, but until this month he never had the opportunity to work on aircraft at the Museum of Flight in Seattle. “I have done plenty of polishing on automobiles and things like that, but no airplanes,” said Franzino, who started his business Master of Shine Detailing in Woodland Hills last year. Prior to that he had been doing detailing work on a part-time basis. Franzino and fellow detailer Chris Woolman are among the new members of the 65-member detailing crew who were at the Seattle museum July 15 to 22 to work on a number of historical planes, including the first jet Air Force One; a Boeing B-52G Stratofortress Bomber known as Midnight Express; a World War II-era B-29 Super Fortress; and the first Boeing Co. “Jumbo Jet” 747. The detailers polished and waxed the painted surfaces of the planes. “The planes are kept outdoors in a covered pavilion,” said Woolman, owner of mobile detailing business Octane Detailing in Reseda. “They are not being hit with direct sun all the time, but they are out in the weather.” Detailing professional Renny Doyle, who operates his business Detailing Success in Big Bear, puts together the team to work on Air Force One. Both Woolman and Franzino were trained by Doyle. They are volunteering their time to be part of the team to preserve the aircraft at the museum. Doyle is one of the best detailers not just in the U.S. but the world, Woolman said, adding, “He has a lot of history in detailing.” “Renny is a great mentor to have because he is always finding new things for us to do,” Franzino added. While the pair of Valley detailers have been long involved with the industry, they recognize there are challenges to working on aircraft. One is making sure the surfaces of the planes look uniform and that one spot hasn’t been polished more than another, Woolman said. “That’s where all of those things about being good at this and being professional really comes into play – to get the job done well and get it done right,” he added. Working, too, with surfaces that are raw aluminum presents a challenge because it is harder to polish and is more toxic than paint, Franzino said. “You got to make sure you wear a mask and skin protection,” he added. Both Franzino and Woolman said they felt honored to be chosen as part of this year’s team, especially as slots for new members are not plentiful. “It is super awesome to be picked,” Woolman said. “I have a good idea of what to expect – but not everything.” – Mark R. Madler

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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