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Why Is This 777 So Dirty? Problems With The Flaps?  
User currently offlineWitticism From Australia, joined Jan 2008, 46 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 21448 times:

G'day All,

I'm new to Airliners so I'm hoping this q is in the correct forum.

Anyway was just spotting (and walking my dogs) when I took a few shoot of this China Southern 777 (B-2055)

There was a lot of rain around that day (it was only raining lightly when the AC landed) however it would've flown through some serious showers about 5km out ... however the flaps on this AC were very dirty! See pic;

Big version: Width: 1600 Height: 718 File size: 264kb


What is the dirt?
Why are the flaps so dirty? [Hydraulic fluid perhaps?]

As a comparison here are two AC [VH-OGC and 9M-MPN ] that followed and their flaps were resplendent

Big version: Width: 1600 Height: 764 File size: 288kb
Big version: Width: 1600 Height: 945 File size: 305kb


I'm just curious.

Thanks for your help.
Cheers
Sean
Ps. Hope this is the correct forum for these type of q's. If not please let me know and I'll remove and post where appropriate  Wink


"A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new." - Albert Einstein
25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBill142 From Australia, joined Aug 2004, 8440 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 21415 times:

I would imagine it's one of two things:

A) Not a priority during maintenance.

or

B) Air conditions in China aren't known to be great. The amount of smog it would be flying through and parked in, in China would easily cause such build up.


User currently offlineOly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6688 posts, RR: 11
Reply 2, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 21393 times:



Quoting Witticism (Thread starter):
What is the dirt?

Have you seen the air/smog/pollution in China? Lots of it will come down in the rain.



wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offlineKtachiya From Japan, joined Sep 2004, 1792 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 21230 times:



Quoting Witticism (Thread starter):
Why are the flaps so dirty?

Maybe the AF ground crew touched this aircraft? Or maybe went to YVR on a rest flight? Just jk.

But on the other side, there was a video of an NH landing as well in HND and its flaps were super dirty as well. I thought it got burned or something until I took a closer look to see that it was dirt and debris.

Quoting Witticism (Thread starter):
[Hydraulic fluid perhaps?]

Well I was on a CX B777 a couple of weeks ago and it wasn't that dirty. And although a Special Administrative Region, HKG is still China.



Flown on: DC-10-30, B747-200B, B747-300, B747-300SR, B747-400, B747-400D, B767-300, B777-200, B777-200ER, B777-300
User currently offlineQantasHeavy From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 379 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 21086 times:

I think planes that spend a lot of time flying in China and staying on the ground (especially PEK, PVG or CAN) get sooty smog and filth on them. Flew a CA A340 and the engines looked like a chimney inside, as did the 777's on the stand next to us. Lots of dirty air.

Or, as has bene suggest, AF's painting crew got hold of it  duck 


User currently offlineWitticism From Australia, joined Jan 2008, 46 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 20854 times:

Thanks guys ... that makes sense.

Only part of China I've been to is Hong Kong .... 4 days of fog on my last trip! (But no Smog!)



"A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new." - Albert Einstein
User currently offlineKissK From Malaysia, joined Aug 2007, 196 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 20777 times:

Who cares about how the plane looks from outside....

My concern is the comfort inside!!


User currently offlineE195 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2007, 190 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 20558 times:
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Quoting QantasHeavy (Reply 4):
the engines looked like a chimney inside

does this effect the aircraft at all?



Nikon D90 & D50 Sigma 70-300mm, 50-500 mm Lens :) oh yea Baby!
User currently offlineJogales From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 437 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 20164 times:

Dirty flaps are very common on 777s:


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Josh



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User currently offlineCmoltay From Turkey, joined Jun 2007, 132 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 20100 times:

Very probably it is because the only time they're out in the open is while the aircraft is cruising at lower altitudes where there's more pollution and lower air speeds that cannot clean the accumulated dirt. Also probably during cleaning they're not deployed.

Regards,


User currently offlineGr8Circle From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 3097 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 20062 times:



Quoting Jogales (Reply 8):
Dirty flaps are very common on 777s:

That's interesting.....any specific reason for this...?


User currently offlineGabo787 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2006, 154 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 18962 times:



Quoting Jogales (Reply 8):
Dirty flaps are very common on 777s:

Actually are very common to all aircrafts types.


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User currently offlineAndrewUber From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2528 posts, RR: 41
Reply 12, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 18639 times:

Flaps get dirty very quickly on most aircraft. There are several reasons for this. First - flap mechanisms are lubricated fairly generously, and the extra lubricant and grease tends to get pushed back in flight. Then on landing, with the engines and reversers kicking up so much dust and dirt, that dirt sticks to the grease and you start seeing more and more crud building up. Then there's soot from the engines (just behind the engines, obviously). Add it all up - and flaps really take a beating when it comes to dirt.

If you look at other control surfaces, you will notice the same thing going on. One of the photos Gabo linked doesn't show dirty flaps - it shows a dirty aileron. The same reasons that get the flaps dirty apply to ailerons as well. Other control surfaces, such as rudders and elevators, get filthy too. 737 rudders have a PCU valve that tends to leak a bit of hydraulic fluid over time, and you'll notice the bottom third or so of the rudder is usually dirty.

On virtually all aircraft dirt - you can usually trace the stain to the source. Whether it's a leaky actuator, or a fuel leak, or some 5606 lubricant, SkyDrol, Exxon 2380 (on engine cowlings), coffee from drain masts, brake dust on landing gear doors - it all comes from a specific source on the aircraft.

Drew  wave 



I'd rather shoot BAD_MOTIVE
User currently offlineAF1624 From France, joined Jul 2006, 654 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 17329 times:



Quoting Ktachiya (Reply 3):
Maybe the AF ground crew touched this aircraft?



Quoting QantasHeavy (Reply 4):
Or, as has bene suggest, AF's painting crew got hold of it duck

I was expecting that ...  Angry .....  Big grin

Quoting Gabo787 (Reply 11):
Actually are very common to all aircrafts types

Yes, and common to all airlines too I might add...  Cool



Cheers
User currently offlineSmokinL1011 From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 125 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 14697 times:



Quoting AndrewUber (Reply 12):
a fuel leak

 Wow! Is that so common??? I don't think it would help most passangers' nerves if they hear, "Oh, that's nothing, it's just a stain from fuel leaking out of the wing..."


User currently offlineAF1624 From France, joined Jul 2006, 654 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 13131 times:



Quoting SmokinL1011 (Reply 14):
Is that so common??? I don't think it would help most passenger's nerves if they hear, "Oh, that's nothing, it's just a stain from fuel leaking out of the wing..."

I think he means "leak" as in tiny drops of fuel thrown out during the refuelling process. Like when you take the hose out of your car and some fuel drops from the hose and stains the paint. And no, there is no sexual allusion in that sentence. Please, grow up  bouncy  !



Cheers
User currently offlineDIA From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 3273 posts, RR: 28
Reply 16, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 12965 times:

These dirty flap photos remind me of the look of most highway/freeway signs in L.A. area.  Silly


Ding! You are now free to keep supporting Frontier.
User currently offlinePalladium From Indonesia, joined Apr 2005, 270 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 12881 times:

so this is probably a very stupid question that I am gonna ask anyway....

Do they clean the flaps with just regular water and soap the same as we wash our car?

or is there any special liquid / water or type of soap that they need to use to clean them?

Are those stain really hard to clean?

how long does it take to clean those off?


User currently offlineAndrewUber From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2528 posts, RR: 41
Reply 18, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 12456 times:



Quoting SmokinL1011 (Reply 14):
Is that so common??? I don't think it would help most passangers' nerves if they hear, "Oh, that's nothing, it's just a stain from fuel leaking out of the wing..."

I should have clarified that - there are small fuel leaks in every airplane, believe it or not. It is not dangerous most of the time, and it just makes a bit of a mess on the underside of the wings.

Quoting AF1624 (Reply 15):
I think he means "leak" as in tiny drops of fuel thrown out during the refuelling process. Like when you take the hose out of your car and some fuel drops from the hose and stains the paint.

More or less, that is correct.

Quoting Palladium (Reply 17):
Do they clean the flaps with just regular water and soap the same as we wash our car?

Some crews do, but my crews use other methods.

Quoting Palladium (Reply 17):
is there any special liquid / water or type of soap that they need to use to clean them?

No chemical can touch an airplane until it has been approved by Boeing (D6 or equivelant) and usually the airline. Sometimes the FAA even has to approve products used on aircraft.

Quoting Palladium (Reply 17):
Are those stain really hard to clean?

If they are maintained fairly well, no. If the aircraft hasn't been cleaned in a year or two - yeah.

Quoting Palladium (Reply 17):
how long does it take to clean those off?

A flap wash can range from one to eight hours, depending on how dirty the flaps are, which wash method is used, how many wash crew members are performing the wash, and which process / products they use.

Drew  wave 



I'd rather shoot BAD_MOTIVE
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19413 posts, RR: 58
Reply 19, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 8370 times:



Quoting Witticism (Thread starter):
As a comparison here are two AC [VH-OGC and 9M-MPN ] that followed and their flaps were resplendent

 mischievous  You know you're an aerogeek when flaps can be "resplendent."  rotfl 


User currently offlinePalladium From Indonesia, joined Apr 2005, 270 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 7994 times:



Quoting AndrewUber (Reply 18):
A flap wash can range from one to eight hours, depending on how dirty the flaps are, which wash method is used, how many wash crew members are performing the wash, and which process / products they use.

wow...8 hours... I never thought it's gonna be that long. That's almost like doing a detail wash service for a single car.


User currently offlineMr.BA From Singapore, joined Sep 2000, 3423 posts, RR: 22
Reply 21, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 7345 times:

Just wondering, for this amount of lubricant or dirt to build up on the wings like this, how significant would it affect the aerodynamic characteristics of the wing?


Boeing747 万岁!
User currently offlineJasondn From South Africa, joined Nov 2007, 206 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 6965 times:

I also think alot of it is due to de-icing. I was on a MD80 the other day, and the wings were clean when we boarded. After de-icing, and later in flight, the were almost black.

User currently offlineGiosetti From Germany, joined May 2007, 82 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 5841 times:

I wonder at what point the dirt starts to affect the air stream?


I play all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order
User currently offlineKtachiya From Japan, joined Sep 2004, 1792 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 5741 times:



Quoting Mr.BA (Reply 21):
how significant would it affect the aerodynamic characteristics of the wing?

I don't know about this, but if they left it for too long, there might be some weight issues and so on.



Flown on: DC-10-30, B747-200B, B747-300, B747-300SR, B747-400, B747-400D, B767-300, B777-200, B777-200ER, B777-300
User currently offlineArcrftLvr From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 825 posts, RR: 0
Reply 25, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 5492 times:

Also, de-icing fluid causes this type of residue.

Couldn't that also be brake dust that accumulates after quite a few landings? I imagine all the dust and crap that gets kicked up everytime it lands, would leave some residue as well.


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