New coating & look for F-35s coming later this year

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quicksilver

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Unread post18 Apr 2017, 23:49

archeman wrote:
krorvik wrote:Gah. And I just spent two nights masking a model, using all variants of Tamiya tape... Oh well, need to get another ;)


But now you'll have a (soon to be) rare F-35 'Classic' Paint Scheme


Given they've DD-250'd over 200 jets...not so rare.
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Dragon029

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Unread post27 Apr 2017, 08:07

The news has been confirmed in the latest (albeit dated 13th of April 2017) General Manager weekly update: https://a855196877272cb14560-2a4fa819a6 ... _13_17.pdf
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aw2007

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Unread post10 May 2017, 01:58

Dragon029 wrote:I was alerted to a post on a DCS forum where a guy who claims to work for Lockheed has shared some news from the LM intranet - based on the text and graphics, it looks legitimate to me:

Image

There is a new look coming to the F-35 later in the year! With a sleeker, more uniform coating system, F-35s are saving time in Aircraft Final Finishes (AFF) and saving dollars. The design and new look didn’t happen overnight, but rather was the effort of many people over the last five years.

In 2012, James Thistle came to Fort Worth from F-22 in Marietta as the Production Operations Senior Manager in AFF. He quickly recognized the need for improving the throughput of AFF, which at the time was operating at almost double the scheduled span and cost budgeted for the area. After pitching a potentially significant opportunity to his then-director, Tom Carrubba, now vice president of Aeronautics Quality Transformation and Enterprise Integration, he was able to gain the initial support for changing the engineering design, coatings material and the application process used in AFF.

“What resulted in the end was several days of span time saved in AFF and one of the most positively impactful affordability projects on the F-35 to date. It saves significant hours per unit, defects and rework and improves the aircraft sustainability in the field. It also changes the exterior look of the aircraft to a more uniform coating,” said Carrubba.

“The Aircraft Finishes configuration required the preparation and applications of various materials, which aesthetically appear as jig saw panes of various shades of gray across doors, panels and control surface edges. The manufacturing process to yield a complying product are extremely labor intensive and requires unique skill sets and more so concentrated attention to detail, which meant more labor and processing span in AFF," said Thistle. "Despite the immense efforts amongst the F-35 Finishes organizations, the process often yielded escapes and as a result contributed towards the organizations number one driver for quality defects."

The idea to optimize the process by eliminating multiple masking operations and the need to manually hand spray various top coats by using robotic application during the final top coat application; or “Z13” overcoat as it is more commonly known, was conceived. The project will reduce the cost of an F-35A by $16,000 per aircraft and will save $49 million in the total life of the program.

Chad Wemyss, Delivery Operations Manufacturing Engineering (ME) manager, has been working on the project since picking it up as AFF ME Lead in 2012. “This has been one of the most intense collaboration efforts I’ve taken part in. It has involved several years of testing by the Signature Integration and Materials and Processes (M&P) teams, as well as close teamwork with Production Operations, Finishes Engineering, Sustainment, the Affordability team, the F-35 Program Office and the customer, Joint Program Office (JPO). There have been a lot of stakeholders with different aspects of project inputs and requirements and keeping the whole thing moving forward has been challenging, but also extremely rewarding,” he said. The team kept with it and the results were evident when AF-104, the test aircraft for this project, finished its final coatings in AFF. Implementation of the change is expected in the 2nd quarter of 2017.


I don't think they're using a lighter shade of gray for the "new look" coating. What we are seeing is probably the effects of lighting. making the paint appears lighter. Check out the pics of the Israeli F-35 roll out and you will see the same lighting effects:

http://aviationweek.com/defense/lockhee ... es-1471901

http://aviationweek.com/defense/lockhee ... es-1471901

http://aviationweek.com/defense/lockhee ... es-1471901

What do you guys think ? It appears to me that they are using a darker gray to paint the jig saw panels to match the color of the rest of the fuselage so the overall finish will appear more uniformed
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Dragon029

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Unread post10 May 2017, 02:41

While the lighting is different, as I understand it, the light-grey seams are a tape rather than a coating; as such this line wouldn't make sense if that was what was changing:

The idea to optimize the process by eliminating multiple masking operations and the need to manually hand spray various top coats by using robotic application during the final top coat application; or “Z13” overcoat as it is more commonly known, was conceived.
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aw2007

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Unread post10 May 2017, 11:57

Dragon029 wrote:While the lighting is different, as I understand it, the light-grey seams are a tape rather than a coating; as such this line wouldn't make sense if that was what was changing:

The idea to optimize the process by eliminating multiple masking operations and the need to manually hand spray various top coats by using robotic application during the final top coat application; or “Z13” overcoat as it is more commonly known, was conceived.


Ok, if those are tapes they put on the edges of the panels then what you said makes sense. I tend to agree with what BELA remarked earlier that the panels are not likely to change but the new finish will have one tone instead of 2 or 3 shades of gray to give a more uniformed look. In this case, the zig zag panel lines will still be visible up close, but with the same color as the rest of the jet ? What BELA wrote

"Perhaps the detail remains the same but the lighter tape color is just now matching the darker base? cant imaging the panel lines and screws changing. monotone is definitely the word that comes to mind now."
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Dragon029

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Unread post10 May 2017, 16:27

What I was trying to point out is that the only thing that's changed is a sprayed-on coating, which means that it is the panels (rather than the tape) which has changed its shade of grey. Either way, we'll see soon enough what the new coating looks like.
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krorvik

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Unread post10 May 2017, 17:34

aw2007 wrote:I don't think they're using a lighter shade of gray for the "new look" coating. What we are seeing is probably the effects of lighting. making the paint appears lighter.


There are a lot of pictures around where you see light and reflection giving the panel line bands a darker look than the main color too - probably an effect of different matteness and different angles and reflecions. I'm doing a 1/32 model, and it really takes quite a few checks of reference pictures to get it right....

So yeah, light can fool the eyes with ease.
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aw2007

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Unread post11 May 2017, 16:02

krorvik wrote:
aw2007 wrote:I don't think they're using a lighter shade of gray for the "new look" coating. What we are seeing is probably the effects of lighting. making the paint appears lighter.


There are a lot of pictures around where you see light and reflection giving the panel line bands a darker look than the main color too - probably an effect of different matteness and different angles and reflecions. I'm doing a 1/32 model, and it really takes quite a few checks of reference pictures to get it right....

So yeah, light can fool the eyes with ease.


Things can get complicated when you have fifty shades of gray LOL
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krorvik

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Unread post11 May 2017, 16:23

It's not that surprising though, the F-35 is designed to be hard to observe at other wavelengths too ;)
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aw2007

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Unread post29 Oct 2017, 10:55

Dragon029 wrote:What I was trying to point out is that the only thing that's changed is a sprayed-on coating, which means that it is the panels (rather than the tape) which has changed its shade of grey. Either way, we'll see soon enough what the new coating looks like.


Ladies and gents,
Apparently, 15-5134 is one of the newer jet that sports the new look and coating:


https://www.ksl.com/index.php?sid=46187 ... six-months
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Unread post29 Oct 2017, 11:32

Attachments
F-35AnewPaintSide.jpg
F-35AnewPaintSideFront.jpg
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
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sferrin

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Unread post29 Oct 2017, 14:56

Heh, I was headed up north a few days ago on the highway, heard a jet go ripping over head, and looked up just in time to see a Hill F-35 fly across my sun-roof. :drool: Wish I still lived up that way so I could see the jets every day.
"There I was. . ."
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wolfpak

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Unread post29 Oct 2017, 16:51

Has to be the most boring paint job on any U.S. aircraft! Makes the F-15E look glamorous!
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steve2267

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Unread post29 Oct 2017, 22:32

wolfpak wrote:Has to be the most boring paint job on any U.S. aircraft! Makes the F-15E look glamorous!


Dunno how much the paint job figures into the VLO of the F-35... but if I were an F-35 pilot, I'd rather be invisibile, than glamorous...
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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ricnunes

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Unread post29 Oct 2017, 23:27

steve2267 wrote:
wolfpak wrote:Has to be the most boring paint job on any U.S. aircraft! Makes the F-15E look glamorous!


Dunno how much the paint job figures into the VLO of the F-35... but if I were an F-35 pilot, I'd rather be invisibile, than glamorous...


LoL yeah :mrgreen:

The "Flying Circus" in WWI was surely "glamorous" with their "paint schemes" but yet no-one else (or no other military unit) ever dared or desired to replicate their "paint schemes" :mrgreen:
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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