F-35 Paint / How they Do It

Unread postPosted: 16 Apr 2012, 23:00
by fox18fox

RE: F-35 Paint / How they Do It

Unread postPosted: 24 Apr 2012, 15:05
by spazsinbad

April/May 2012 AUSN Magazine (Assoc. USN) PDF 6Mb

http://www.ausn.org/Portals/0/pdfs/maga ... y-2012.pdf

How the F-35 is designed to work By CASEY W. COANE

"...AUSN: In my time on a carrier, we had 70 some aircraft in close quarters on the roof and in the hangar. From time to time, we were banging something into something. In the F-22 world that would be prohibitive. You can’t fix that stealth technology if you scrape it like that. My understanding is that with the F-35, the technology is part of the skin so we can get into the complicated carrier environment and get away with it so to speak. Have we got that right?
Lt. Col. Taylor: You’re very close. One of the factors the airplane was designed to meet is a certain radar cross section standard at the end of its life. When a brand new airplane rolls off the line, it will be better than the requirement. I do know that they have taken Marines and Sailors and literally had them beat on the airplane to [simulate] a worst case of what you would [encounter] on the ship. They have tested that and accommodated that in the design. There are some things that have to be done to maintain the stealth technology. But it is fair to say that it is a leap over any of the legacy stealth airplanes.

AUSN: How does it compare with the F/A-18 radar cross section?
Lt. Col. Taylor: That’s really classified, but it is a marked improvement...."

RE: F-35 Paint / How they Do It

Unread postPosted: 24 Apr 2012, 18:31
by structuresguy
Its going to be very interesting to see a health comparison between the services 35's when they reach the fleet. When it comes to maintenance the only true trial of how bad the jet will get beat on is by giving it to the field. The AF has been doing this a long time and still makes mistakes at times. The Navy/Marines will figure it out eventually but the change that they are trying to go through right now does not instill confidence. Its also interesting how they refer to the LO aircraft in service as Legacy LO platforms. I hope that makes the customers feel warm inside.

RE: F-35 Paint / How they Do It

Unread postPosted: 27 Apr 2012, 04:36
by spazsinbad
Advanced Photonix Receives $1.5M THz Contract 26 April 2012


"ANN ARBOR, Mich., April 26, 2012 — Advanced Photonix Inc. announced Wednesday its receipt of a follow-on, 21-month, $1.5 million contract from the US Air Force to provide terahertz process control instrumentation to support F-35 joint strike fighter production.

The contract is a commercialization pilot program award to ensure the quality of specialty stealth coatings applied by Northrop Grumman to a subsystem on the F-35. The commercialization pilot program will accelerate the transition of small business innovation research (SBIR) funded technologies to Phase III production and deployment purchases by the Department of Defense.

The two previous phases demonstrated feasibility in the lab and in Northrop Grumman’s facility. This contract funds further application and system development, which will culminate in the delivery of two production units for deployment on the manufacturing floor by the end of 2013.

Once completed, the system will consist of the T-Ray 4000 control unit, which is connected to a miniature terahertz transceiver via a flexible umbilical up to 100 m in length mounted onto an existing robot arm within a paint booth. A handheld version that will allow measurement on cured coatings without the robot is also planned...."

RE: F-35 Paint / How they Do It

Unread postPosted: 27 Apr 2012, 04:47
by spazsinbad
'structuresguy' [are you USAF?] I think you have the wrong end of the stick regarding the F-35 stealth coatings. After all they were or will be replicated on the F-22 eventually. Must be something good in it.


http://www.jsf.mil/news/documents/20080 ... ARRIER.rtf

"...The package is designed to remain stealthy in severe combat conditions, and tests have validated that capability. After obtaining baseline radar cross section (RCS) measurements from a highly detailed, full-scale Signature Measurement Aircraft (SigMA), a team of Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman engineers intentionally inflicted extensive damage – more than three dozen significant defects – on the model. The damage represented the cumulative effect of more than 600 flight hours of military aircraft operations. RCS measurements taken after the damage showed
that the stealthy signature remained intact.

“Even operating in harsh carrier-deck conditions, the F-35C will require no special care or feeding. In fact, its stealth adds very little to the day-today maintenance equation,” O’Bryan said. “We’ve come a long way from the early stealth airplanes, which needed hours or even days of attention and repair after every flight. The F-35 not only avoids that intensive level of upkeep, it will require significantly less maintenance than the
nonstealth fighters it is designed to replace.”

The F-35 Low Observability’s Lifelong Sustainability: A Revolutionary Asset for 21st Century Combat Aviation


"...SLD: So this [stealth] must have a significant impact on maritime operations. For example, the future of the F-35Bs and Cs should be a significant improvement over legacy aircraft, shoulden’t it be?

Bill Grant: Absolutely. The Navy and Marine Corps have set the benchmark for the LO repair facility program and approach. They work in the worst maintenance environments. It was the challenge we had to meet. So our material development effort and material qualification program was predicated and populated by requirements that were specifically suited for the Navy and Marine Corps.

We have the most extensive and aggressive material qualification in our history, probably in industry history. We have as many as ten times more coupons per materials being tested. We have engaged in a very aggressive approach to testing which has been developed with the military labs and the program office. We have worked with them to shape the most aggressive and most challenging test regimen from all of their different programs and their experience, and thereby compiled those experiences into our test matrix.

And the testing process has led to changes in the repair approach as well as the manufacturing approach for the program. Obviously, when we found deficiencies, we suggested changes to the manufacturing processes, which in turn were adopted. Indeed, the interaction between maintainers and designers has been followed throughout the F-35 program in shaping the manufacturing approach...."

Lots o' good stuff in this long article. There is a better reproduction of the graphic from this article in another forum thread but anyway here 'tis.

http://www.sldinfo.com/wp-content/uploa ... ce-360.jpg

RE: F-35 Paint / How they Do It

Unread postPosted: 27 Apr 2012, 04:55
by spazsinbad
Objective 1: F-22 Lessons Learned
Study documents several steps taken by F-35 program to control and prevent corrosion based on F-22’s problems


"• The DOD corrosion study identifies several areas where the F-35 program has incorporated lessons learned from the F-22’s corrosion problems; examples follow.

• The F-35 program is mitigating corrosion risk associated with conductive gap filler3 and paint by using a gap filler that is less galvanically dissimilar from aluminum, an alternative to the conductive paint, a design with fewer seams that require gap filler, and more representative verification and qualification testing. Many of the F-22’s corrosion problems were linked to problems with gap filler materials and paint.

• The F-35 program made organizational changes that integrated the personnel working within the corrosion materials and processes functional area and the low-observable (i.e., stealth) functional area. In contrast, personnel working within these areas for the F-22 program were “stove-piped.”

• The F-35 drainage design is significantly improved with more, adequately sized drain holes. Drain holes in the F-22 were found to be too small to enable good water drainage.

3 Gap filler is the sealant between exterior panels that is required by low-observable aircraft."

"“...lessons learned from the F-22 program, the study identifies several important differences between the programs. For example, the F-35 program:
• has several technical performance metrics, such as sortie generation rate, that are indirectly driving actions to improve supportability, while the F-22 program did not;

• has a more robust corrosion design largely due to inclusion of more stringent Navy corrosion qualification tests;

• has a longer service life requirement (30 years vs. 20 years for the F-22); and

• has a Corrosion Prevention Advisory Board where corrosion issues are discussed in detail and both the contractor and the government display a willingness to address these issues.”