October 22, 1997 (by Lieven Dewitte) - A U.S. Air Force/Lockheed Martin team recently completed a series of F-16flight tests demonstrating the potential benefits of using appliques instead of paint on military aircraft.
An F-16 partially coated with an adhesive, paint replacement film was used for the tests. Approximately 600 square feet of the aircraft, including all of the upper fuselage and wing surfaces, was treated with the pressure sensitive, adhesive applique. The color scheme was chosen to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Air Force, similar to other Air National Guard F-16aircraft.
The aircraft exceeded 5 g's and speeds of Mach 0.85 during portions of the testing. The F-16 tests were funded by the Air Force's F-16 System Program Office at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The aircraft was furnished by the F-16 Combined Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base, California.