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Aircraft Painting Mismatches  
User currently offlineBALandorLivery From UK - England, joined Jan 2005, 360 posts, RR: 1
Posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 7383 times:

We sometimes see photo's where aircraft have had panels or radomes swapped with other aircraft for whatever reason.

One of the few ways we can tell is that there is a mismatch with the paintwork even though they have the same livery.

Does anybody know how/what templates are used to align up the stickers/paint?
Is there a start pont/datum on the aircraft to which it's referenced and all paint applied from that point.

Are lasers used to line things up?
Any painters out there?

Here's what I'm talking about.


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Photo © Jeff Miller
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Photo © Ryan C. Umphrey


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Photo © Ben Wang
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Photo © Sergio Domingos



55 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 7225 times:

The randoms and cowling are interchangeable. So they have been removed from one aircraft and installed on another. There will always be slight verations in the paint between aircraft.

User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15719 posts, RR: 26
Reply 2, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 7211 times:

Quoting 474218 (Reply 1):
The randoms and cowling are interchangeable. So they have been removed from one aircraft and installed on another.

I think that in at least some cases the radomes are detached and painted separately, which is how one got turned upside down and ended up on a UA plane. Also, it isn't uncommon to see radomes in completely different schemes on regional planes which of course keep a common spares inventory.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineRJ111 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 7197 times:

That UA 767 photo will have a radome from a 777 - they're interchangable.

User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3402 posts, RR: 26
Reply 4, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 7144 times:
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initially all painting is indexed to water line zero.

User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9511 posts, RR: 52
Reply 5, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 7124 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 4):
initially all painting is indexed to water line zero

To add some explanation to that, there is a three dimensional grid to which airplanes are built with waterline and stationline being used to index paint. While they are not labeled on the outside of the aircraft, each of the points are identifiable and can be used for reference.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineB727LVR From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 630 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 7125 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):
which is how one got turned upside down and ended up on a UA plane.

Can you explain this one a litle bit more. Most if not all radomes I have worked on only go on one way, or did you mean the paint scheme was applied upside down?



I'm like a kid in a candy store when it comes to planes!
User currently offlineBALandorLivery From UK - England, joined Jan 2005, 360 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 7110 times:

Waterline & Stationline.....now we're getting somewhere.

Can someone explain how painting/preparation begins at these points. Where are these points usually located?

How are radomes painted seperately if, like on some liveries, you have to line up the stripes exactly?


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15719 posts, RR: 26
Reply 8, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 6978 times:

Quoting B727LVR (Reply 6):
Most if not all radomes I have worked on only go on one way, or did you mean the paint scheme was applied upside down?

Right. The radome was on the plane the right (and only) way. It was just that it was painted upside down, so the top of the radome was dark blue and the bottom was grey.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 6970 times:

Quoting BALandorLivery (Reply 7):
Waterline & Stationline.....now we're getting somewhere.

Can someone explain how painting/preparation begins at these points. Where are these points usually located?

How are radomes painted seperately if, like on some liveries, you have to line up the stripes exactly?

The following may help in understanding "Water lines/Butt lines/Fuselage Station lines:



Water lines, start below the surface and extend up. Example: the ground is waterline 19 (19 inches above WL 0), the cabin floor is WL 200 (181 inches above the ground).

Butt lines start at the center of the fuselage and extend out left and right. Example BL 0 is the middle of the fuselage the outer fuselage skin is BL 115 left or right (or 115 inches from the middle of the fuselage).

Fuselage Stations start forward of the nose run to the end of the fuselage. Example FS 83 is the tip of the radome, FS 2215 (or 2132 inches from the radome) is the end of the fuselage.

As you can see by the lists of abbreviations there are may other parts that have their own station lines.


User currently offlinerolypolyman From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 159 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 6851 times:

I'm actually wondering how they get the logos, shapes, and polygons painted so precisely... do they spray against plastic stencils? I can't even picture how a painter decides exactly where to hold the stencil and at what angle. If I was given a 777 to paint, I'd take an LCD projector and cast a template against the fuselage to use as a guide and use that with stencils. Funny how the whole process is so mysterious.

User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 6830 times:

Quoting rolypolyman (Reply 10):
Funny how the whole process is so mysterious.


Not mysterious at all. A base coat is applied then the areas that are going to get details are masked off and painted.

These pictures are of a BWIA TriStar having the new scheme in 1999.



Removing old scheme.





Base coat and masking.



Final result.


User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 12, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 6742 times:

Quoting rolypolyman (Reply 10):
I'm actually wondering how they get the logos, shapes, and polygons painted so precisely... do they spray against plastic stencils?

A lot of them are decals, not painted, in which case it's just a matter of positioning, rather than precise painting. However, for the painted stuff, you use big stencils.

Quoting rolypolyman (Reply 10):
I can't even picture how a painter decides exactly where to hold the stencil and at what angle.

Lasers.

Quoting rolypolyman (Reply 10):
If I was given a 777 to paint, I'd take an LCD projector and cast a template against the fuselage to use as a guide and use that with stencils.

Replace the LCD projector with a laser and you've got an OEM paint system.

Tom.


User currently offlineBALandorLivery From UK - England, joined Jan 2005, 360 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 6633 times:

And why do we see rudders being painted seperately on new a/c?

User currently offlineboeing767mech From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1025 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 6617 times:

Quoting BALandorLivery (Reply 13):
And why do we see rudders being painted seperately on new a/c?

Because the rudder is balanced. So it is painted and balanced before being fitted to the airframe. Then it is masked and then the rest of the airframe is painted. Most of the time the ailerons and elevators get the same treatment.

David



Never under-estimate the predictably of stupidty
User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3402 posts, RR: 26
Reply 15, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 6249 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

If you can find it on Utube there was a good vid of the last Southwest state special being painted...

User currently offlineBraniff747SP From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 2967 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 6078 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 15):
If you can find it on Utube there was a good vid of the last Southwest state special being painted...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKnsyYbfC60



The 747 will always be the TRUE queen of the skies!
User currently offlinesccutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 5491 posts, RR: 28
Reply 17, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 5982 times:

I once saw an amusing picture, taken by a NWA Flight Attendant friend; it was an NWA DC-10 with a UAL radome on it. The radome had been damaged in a birdstrike, and a parts loan was organized.

Funny-looking, but it got the job done.



...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
User currently offlineBALandorLivery From UK - England, joined Jan 2005, 360 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 5889 times:

So it's safe to say that mis-matches occur due to different paint shops not quite starting the job at exactly the correct datum?

What do the painting instruction documents look like?

I assume they need to be carefully studied before applying a paint job?


User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 19, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 5803 times:

Quoting BALandorLivery (Reply 18):
So it's safe to say that mis-matches occur due to different paint shops not quite starting the job at exactly the correct datum?


Yes.

Quoting BALandorLivery (Reply 18):
What do the painting instruction documents look like?


They are just standard blueprints (CAD drawings). I have several L-1011 customer liveries blueprints, I know one is BA, but not Landor.

Quoting BALandorLivery (Reply 18):
I assume they need to be carefully studied before applying a paint job?


No more or less than any other job.


User currently offlineMender From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 240 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 5743 times:

Quoting rolypolyman (Reply 10):
If I was given a 777 to paint, I'd take an LCD projector and cast a template against the fuselage to use as a guide and use that with stencils. Funny how the whole process is so mysterious.

How far away from the aircraft would you have to place you LCD projector? Would it be bright enough to be visible when it's that far back? Think about this as well. If you have a 1" mis-match on a 100" surface you only have an error of 1%. Whilst a radome may not be 100" high I bet it's at least 50" and 1" in 50 is only 2%

I'm not trying to ridicule you, I'm trying to point out it's not as easy as it first seems.

Even if you were to use a laser you'd have to ensure the first aircraft was exactly as high as the second aircraft or have a trick laser. In a manufacturing environment you could do this but it would be a lot harder painting an Airbus then a Boeing back to back.


User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 21, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 5635 times:

Quoting Mender (Reply 20):
Even if you were to use a laser you'd have to ensure the first aircraft was exactly as high as the second aircraft or have a trick laser.

No need for constant height, just need known reference points on the aircraft so the laser knows where it is in relation to the aircraft. Then it can project any shape on to any surface with very high accuracy, assuming it's got line-of-sight. Fortunately, aircraft are full of known reference points already (jack pads, major structure points, tooling references, etc.), so it's just a matter of choosing which one(s) you want to stick the laser marker on.

Quoting Mender (Reply 20):
In a manufacturing environment you could do this but it would be a lot harder painting an Airbus then a Boeing back to back.

Why? As long as your laser system knows the geometry or each aircraft (which was a prerequisite to using the laser in the first place), it doesn't care.

Tom.


User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 22, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 5605 times:

Quoting boeing767mech (Reply 14):
Because the rudder is balanced. So it is painted and balanced before being fitted to the airframe. Then it is masked and then the rest of the airframe is painted. Most of the time the ailerons and elevators get the same treatment.

I want to clarify boeing767mech's explanation.... This is done on the Boeing aircraft. Airbus does not balance their rudders, hence why you see a full tail painted on a brand new airplane vs. only rudder is painted on a Boeing aircraft.



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 23, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 5514 times:

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 22):
Airbus does not balance their rudders,


How does Airbus prevent flutter in the case of multiple hydraulic system failure?


User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 24, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 5459 times:

Quoting 474218 (Reply 23):
How does Airbus prevent flutter in the case of multiple hydraulic system failure?

What does that have to do with painting rudders??    Stay on topic.



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
25 boeing767mech : To quote the D & O of the flight controls, in AMM 27-00-00-0 on the A300-600 " All surfaces are actuated by irreversible hydraulically powered ac
26 AirframeAS : Since we are now talking about the semantics of how rudders work (which is off-topic).... IIRC, on the A320, there are back-up actuators on the rudder
27 tdscanuck : It is on topic...it's why Airbus paints their rudders along with the rest of the plane and Boeing doesn't. This has obvious implications for paint mi
28 AirframeAS : Alright, fair enough.... Thanks for the explaination.
29 474218 : Your the one that brought up that Airbus rudders were not balanced (off topic?), all I did was ask about question how they can get away without balan
30 kanban : OK we got pictures of radome mis-matches... anyone have some of tail feather mis-matches or airline swaps.. The closed I ever saw was a flap wrapped w
31 boeing767mech : There are pictures of a NWA 757-200 with a UPS rudder that was taken here in Boston when the highly skilled replacement workers the NWA hired ran the
32 AirframeAS : I brought it up for a reason, so that people here don't get confused that all rudders are balanced regardless of aircraft type. I know Boeings have t
33 474218 : I take it you don't know why Airbus doesn't balance their rudders, so I looked it up. Now I am sorry I did.
34 Braniff747SP : I must be missing something blatantly obvious here.... Please explain.
35 474218 : And get in trouble for going "off topic" again. I don't think so. I suggest you start a thread asking why Airbus does not "mass balance" their contro
36 AirframeAS : No worries. Its my fault. I thought you were challenging me to see if I knew what I was talking about. I share the blame. My bad, sir.
37 alwaysontherun : To go back to paint: are there many aircraft paint manufacturers like you have in the Marine Industry?--> Sigma, Jotun, International for instance.
38 Post contains images JT8DJET : Mind if I add a picture to your quote?
39 kanban : Boeing buys to a BMS specification from several suppliers for basic standard paint schemes.... I just don't remember who (of course with mergers and
40 B727LVR : I wonder if UPS leased the rudder to them?
41 474218 : The OEM's have there own specifications for things like paint. They then will approve the suppliers that are authorized to produce to that specificat
42 tdscanuck : Really duct tape, or speed tape? PPG Aerospace coatings is one...I'm pretty sure DeSoto was another, although they've been bought so many times I can
43 okie : Or off a leased or retired plane sitting in the desert to be parted out. Okie
44 Post contains links tdscanuck : There's an excellent video available on Youtube that shows how this is done (and, judging by the number of views, it's gone viral). http://www.youtub
45 kanban : duct tape.... had two engineers on board that confirmed it was not speed tape ... Those things happen on a 6am flight from Seatac to DC... for the le
46 Post contains links and images BALandorLivery : What about painting the window blinds? Is it standard to paint them or just to pick a neutral colour for them all? If they are painted to match the li
47 kanban : the blinds are in the interior side walls and one would have to strip the interiors, disassembly each blind, and for those that roll up, figure out h
48 TZTriStar500 : You actually named too that are actually now one. PRC-Desoto is now part of PPG. Akzo-Nobel is another large paint supplier as well. Window blinds ar
49 C5202QMX : Its not always just a radome that can be mismatched. There will always be slight variations from paint job to job. A lot of the time MX will rob a par
50 MrFord : Are we looking at the windows (in that case, you've got me there, as I can't make out which blinds are down heh), or at the window plugs (the beige-c
51 musang : Agreed. I can see 4 blanked window apertures and no blinds down on the 330. Regards - musang
52 Braniff747SP : Those are window plugs, probably covering a galley/WC on the a/c.
53 maddog888 : (I tried asking this in a new thread because I consider it off topic but the moderators disagree and deleted the post so I will try again here) With
54 boeing767mech : The company repairing the damage rudder deside how long you have a leased or rented on your airplane, Most of the time the company leasing you the ru
55 kanban : unless you're leasing from Boeing while they are repairing yours... anyway when the leased unit comes back, it is stripped and zero timed for the nex
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