Justin Labato, Owner of Showroom Detailing Inc., Heads to Seattle for 3rd Year On Prestigious Air Force One Detailing Team as Project Leader of Largest Team on Record at Museum of Flight
Justin “JL” Labato of JL’s Showroom Detailing makes his 3rd trip to Seattle’s Museum of Flight later this week (July 24-30) as a member of the elite Air Force One Detailing Team; but this time, he will hold a supervisory role as a Project Leader for the renowned Detail Mafia, whose new Board of Directors is for the first time, managing and supervising the prestigious Air Force One Detailing Project at the museum.
Labato is a national leader in the detailing industry – Vice President of Operations for the International Detailing Association (IDA) and global detailing consultant and spokesman for Buff & Shine Manufacturing, who is a major sponsor of the Air Force One Detailing Project.
The Team is led by Master automotive and aircraft detailer and trainer Renny Doyle of Detailing Success, but his Detail Mafia has existed within the network as the most accomplished and technologically-advanced senior-level team of automotive detailers in the U.S., known for their exceptional skills and for their appearance at prestigious national, regional, and voluntary community detailing events and projects.
This is the first time the Detail Mafia with Labato as a Project leader, will oversee the 50-member team, which is the largest team in its history. They will not only continue their role as caretakers to the first presidential jet Air Force One with whom they have been restoring for 14 years, but they will also clean, polish, and apply protective coatings to 16 additional aircraft on display at the museum including the now retired supersonic Concorde Alpha Golf; a remarkable WWII B-52 Stratofortress Bomber; and for the first time, polish the engine rings on the first “Jumbo Jet” Boeing 747 christened in 1969.
“I am as excited to attend this year as I was the first year as a rookie,” says Labato. “I well remember how honored I felt the first time I polished the bright work and paint on Air Force One, but I am happy to pass along that experience to younger team members, and help them hone their already vast skills, so it can be as memorable an opportunity for them as it has been for me. Besides,” Labato continues, “I have a new adventure this year, finally polishing those engine rings on the 747. We detailed the Jumbo Jet a couple of years ago – it is perhaps one of the most recognizable planes in the world because it was the first mainstream passenger jet – but we did not have time to polish the engine rings. This year, we feel like we are getting a chance to finish the job!”
Air Force One
Known as Special Air Missions (SAM) 970, the first Air Force One presidential jet lived for more than a decade on the open tarmac exposed to Seattle’s notorious climate. In spite of the team’s initial success back in 2003, it has taken more than a dozen years to restore it to as close to its natural glory as possible.
In just the last year, the plane has been relocated under a covered hangar in the new open-air Airpark Pavilion, but it is still exposed to Seattle’s dampness. The team has entered into a “preservation” rather than restoration stage with the plane, and it still requires an annual cleaning and polishing – a responsibility assigned exclusively to Doyle’s Air Force One Detailing Team until 2020.
WWII B-52G Stratofortress
Last year, the Team, polished the WWII B-29 Superfortress “T-Square” and received commemorative mission patches from a WWII widow whose husband flew the plane. This year, they will polish an all-aluminum WWII B-52G Stratofortress, America’s first long-range, swept-wing heavy bomber that began as an intercontinental, high-altitude nuclear bomber. The US Air Force deployed the plane in 1955 and it saw active duty during the Vietnam War as part of operation Bullet Shot/Linebacker. It spent its entire life in-service with Strategic Air Command.
Supersonic Concorde Alpha Golf
The 2014 Team was the first to detail the supersonic Concorde Alpha Golf since its retirement in 2003. Due to its substantial length and the iconic shape of its slender delta wings and fuselage, the 204-foot luxury jetliner has always presented huge challenges for the Team.
Boeing 747 “Jumbo Jet”
The team has cleaned the Boeing 747 “Jumbo Jet” in the past but this will be the first year they have polished the engine rings on the 300-ton jet. Standing taller than a 6-story building, the 747 is one of the most recognizable jets in existence and answered one of the first calls for the growing demand for air travel and the need for a large, mainstream passenger jet.
For more information about Justin Labato’s supervisory position with the Detail Mafia and his participation in this year’s Air Force One Detailing Project at the Seattle Museum of Flight, contact him at (321) 722-2255, or Kimberly Ballard at (256) 653-4003. High resolution pictures available from past year’s events as well as live shots from this year’s July 24-30 event!