F-35C External Surface

Production milestones, roll-outs, test flights, service introduction and other milestones.
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F16VIPER

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Unread post09 Nov 2014, 01:53

Hi all:
Does anyone know why the two planes on the deck of the Nimitz have different panels highlighted with a border.
Does it mean the panels have been opened up for maintenance and then re-sealed. Does a uniform colour mean that the panel has not been accessed. Also, the plane on the left has an overall lighter colour. Can this be called a different camouflage pattern.
Note that I am not after the chemical composition of the super-secret stealthy panel seal compound.
Thank you.
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spazsinbad

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Unread post09 Nov 2014, 02:22

Just off the top of my head (where else) I think you will see in any series of F-35 or F-35 variant photos - many differences, especially old ones, compared to new ones. Sorry - otherwise cannot answer your question - no information.
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netcentric

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Unread post09 Nov 2014, 04:43

I think you have the right idea. Aircraft 73 definitely looks like the Squadrons CC shop has been active. You can see areas of the wings that have been treated. I think you are correct.
I don't know the answer, but it is an interesting question. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable can say for sure.

On a personal note, I thought initially the question was sort of funny, in as much as I have never seen two NAVY planes painted the same way. I'm not making light, but you could line up 3 complete squadrons of Navy A/C and none would be painted alike. My relatives upon seeing my squadron for the first time said "Why are they so dirty, and they look like someone spray painted them with Home Depot Spray cans? "

Whereas I have always admired the paint schemes on Air Force A/C. Seems like the new surface maintenance will be a real challenge. But for the NAVY squadrons .... it has always been a challenge.

Again, good observation and question. Be prepared for the C's to look very ugly in comparison to anything else.
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zerion

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Unread post09 Nov 2014, 18:46

Here's some uneducated musing.
I've noticed some of the test aircraft have a smoother look without the borders on the panels. Why it's different I don't know, but I did notice on the F-35Bs second set of sea trials there Was one with the borders and one without. I also noticed that under certain light conditions/angles the borders almost disappear. What the case is here I don't know.
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Unread post09 Nov 2014, 19:12

Back in the day of sail - sorry STEAM AGE - exhaust gases on Naval Aircraft on deck were very corrosive, with much effort expended to solve this issue alone. Then throw in the salt spray and other effects - when at sea - you will have a nice recipe for 'odd looking paint schemes' when CORROSION CONTROL start painting in dribs and drabs over your nice new shiny (maybe not so much by then) paint scheme. I'll guess this 'lethal gas corrosion' is less of an issue these days on CVNs. :mrgreen: I have no idea what the radiation does to 'em. :mrgreen:

On USN Carriers I guess the paint shop is more amenable to better touch up resprays these days; but back in them olden tymes such things were not possible. Aircraft can look very grotty at the end of a cruise - sometimes they were even cocooned on deck for return home (because they were also 'hangar queens' by then).

And let us not forget that often fresh water was not very available - either the carrier could never make enough (bad design) or the fresh water is used for other purposes, leaving none available for washing aircraft. An aircraft carrier deck is not a pristine environment when all the other detritus there (NON HUMAN) is taken into account, grease, hydraulic fluid & fuel & STEAM being blown back by AfterBurners and MIL Power just inches from your face. HOLD ON TO YOUR HAT! :devil:
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Unread post09 Nov 2014, 23:15

Lotsa stuff gets changed over the course of a development program. CF-3 and CF-5 were ~18 mos apart in the production sequence. F-35 coatings were also retrofitted to F-22 for the purpose of reducing maintenance costs.
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Unread post10 Nov 2014, 02:51

Just a little bit of 'reamed steamed and dry cleaned' from Tiled Rockaway: http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/week-o ... 656611511/
ORIGIN:
PACIFIC OCEAN (Nov. 6, 2014)
"An F-35C Lightning II carrier variant joint strike fighter is prepared for launch aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). The F-35 Lightning II Pax River Integrated Test Force from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 is currently conducting initial at-sea trials aboard Nimitz. U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin by Andy Wolfe (Released) 141105-O-ZZ999-026"

Source" http://www.navy.mil/management/photodb/ ... 99-026.jpg (1.1Mb)
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