Sponsor Message:
Aviation Technical / Operations Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Why Do Airbus Test A380 Unpainted Before Delivery  
User currently offline747400sp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3301 posts, RR: 2
Posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 6428 times:

I notest, that before delivery, Airbus will test fly an A380 with no paint on the body, but the livery is painted on the tail. So here is my question, why do Airbus do this action?

26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinefritzi From United Arab Emirates, joined Jun 2001, 2762 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 6364 times:

The aircrafts is assembled in Toulouse, France and after the initial flight testing flown to the paint shop in Hamburg, Germany for the body paint.

User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16908 posts, RR: 67
Reply 2, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 6354 times:

IIRC the reason the tail is painted before the first flight is that is requires delicate balance, including the paint.


"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 29690 posts, RR: 84
Reply 3, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 6348 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting 747400sp (Thread starter):
So here is my question, why do Airbus do this action?

Boeing do so, as well.


If the plane is ready for a first flight, there is no reason to wait for it to be painted or the interior installed.

The airline will perform their own test flight prior to delivery once the plane has been painted and the cabin has been installed (though some carriers - like BA - prefer to perform some or all of the interior installation at their own facility after delivery).


User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 4, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 6300 times:

Quoting 747400sp (Thread starter):
I notest, that before delivery, Airbus will test fly an A380 with no paint on the body, but the livery is painted on the tail. So here is my question, why do Airbus do this action?

As noted, it's not just Airbus. A paint hanger, especially one large enough to paint an A380, is an expensive and rare capital asset. Scheduling them is usually very tightly coordinated; if the plane is ready to fly before the paint hanger is ready to receive it, best to get on with the flying.

The tail is painted because the paint is significant enough to alter the rudder balance, so it's painted first, then balanced, then mounted to the aircraft.

Tom.


User currently offlineAutothrust From Switzerland, joined Jun 2006, 1546 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 6074 times:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 4):
The tail is painted because the paint is significant enough to alter the rudder balance,


Not that i doubt that but i don't understand how a tail is balanced? Its a rigid structure fastened to fixed points on the aircraft.



“Faliure is not an option.”
User currently offlineboeingfixer From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 525 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 5959 times:

Quoting Autothrust (Reply 5):
Not that i doubt that but i don't understand how a tail is balanced? Its a rigid structure fastened to fixed points on the aircraft.

You're talking about the vertical stabilizer.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 4):
The tail is painted because the paint is significant enough to alter the rudder balance, so it's painted first, then balanced, then mounted to the aircraft.

Tom.

What Tom is talking about is the rudder itself. Being a dynamic flight control surface it requires careful balancing prior to installation. That is why the rudder is seen painted before the rest of the airframe on the assembly line.

Cheers,

John



Cheers, John YYC
User currently offlineexFWAOONW From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 383 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5774 times:

And I thought it was the same reason doctors told their patients to take off their clothes, so they could see any cracks in the skin better.


Is just me, or is flying not as much fun anymore?
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 29690 posts, RR: 84
Reply 8, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 5749 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting exFWAOONW (Reply 7):
And I thought it was the same reason doctors told their patients to take off their clothes, so they could see any cracks in the skin better.

If you have fatigue cracks appear after the first flight...   


User currently offlineAutothrust From Switzerland, joined Jun 2006, 1546 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 5631 times:

Quoting boeingfixer (Reply 6):
What Tom is talking about is the rudder itself. Being a dynamic flight control surface it requires careful balancing prior to installation.

Thanks for clarification. Now i understand.



“Faliure is not an option.”
User currently offlinebond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5343 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 5612 times:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 4):
As noted, it's not just Airbus.

Most likely all manufacturers. I know it's true for Beech, Cessna, Bombardier, and even the F-18s out of STL.

I'm assuming it's also a lot less hassle if there are problems found that need to be fixed ... i.e. you don't have to re-paint if panels etc. had to be removed.

The completion process for corporate jets is a time consuming process and the aircraft ends up in pristine condition ... something you don't want to do twice.


Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlineQuokka From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 5534 times:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 4):
The tail is painted because the paint is significant enough to alter the rudder balance, so it's painted first, then balanced, then mounted to the aircraft.

This is something that as a lay person I have not considered. While I recognise that rudder balance is significant, is there a great variation in how paint applications affect balance? Would not an effort be made to ensure an equal application of paint to each side of the tail, if even for aesthetic reasons (let alone costs)?

For example (and no indication of airline preference), why would it make that much difference if LH applied the paint to the tail before or after the initial flight? Would not the tail paint weight and distribution be of similar measure?


User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 5518 times:

Quoting Autothrust (Reply 5):
Not that i doubt that but i don't understand how a tail is balanced? Its a rigid structure fastened to fixed points on the aircraft.


The vertical stabilizer (the fixed part) and the rudder (the movable part) are not built as one unit. After they have each been built the rudder is installed and the entire unit painted together so the pattern (logos) match.


User currently offlineLufthansa411 From Germany, joined Jan 2008, 692 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 5181 times:

During the factory tour in Hamburg, our tour guide mentioned that the painting schedule had been changed to better accommodate the interior fitting issues that Airbus was having during the production ramp-up. The first few A380's were painted when they first got to Hamburg and then given their interiors. However, with the delays in the interior installation, it was decided that they would wait to paint the aircraft until right before delivery. This way, the paint was fresh when handed over to the customer. At the time, there were 380's sitting outside for several months (6 or more if memory serves) waiting for interiors, and the paint was not up to quality control's delivery standards after sitting for so long.


Nothing in life is to be feared; it is only to be understood.
User currently offlineQuokka From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 5041 times:

Quoting Lufthansa411 (Reply 13):
During the factory tour in Hamburg,

Interesting point about the paint quality deteriorating before it can be applied. Is this a common problem, not just at Airbus but industry wide?

As an aside, how long ago was your visit to Finkenwerder? In all my visits to Hamburg I have not managed to fit in a tour because of other commitments.


User currently offlinewn700driver From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4851 times:

What I always wanted to know about rudder balancing is what happens when the plane changes owners or liveries... Is the balance process largely the same after a new application of paint as it was in the factory, or less stringent?...

User currently onlineyeelep From United States of America, joined Apr 2011, 632 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4757 times:

Quoting Quokka (Reply 11):
Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 4):
The tail is painted because the paint is significant enough to alter the rudder balance, so it's painted first, then balanced, then mounted to the aircraft.

This is something that as a lay person I have not considered. While I recognise that rudder balance is significant, is there a great variation in how paint applications affect balance? Would not an effort be made to ensure an equal application of paint to each side of the tail, if even for aesthetic reasons (let alone costs)?

For example (and no indication of airline preference), why would it make that much difference if LH applied the paint to the tail before or after the initial flight? Would not the tail paint weight and distribution be of similar measure?

The balancing of the rudder is done in the fore/aft direction perpendicular to the hinge line. The paint application to each side of the rudder doesn't effect the necessity to balance it. Even if the rudder wasn't painted it will still have to be balanced.
The manufacture could choose to fly the plane before painting the rudder, but the extra cost and time makes it uneconomical. The rudder would have to be balanced, installed, flown, removed, painted, balanced, installed, flown.

Quoting Quokka (Reply 14):
Interesting point about the paint quality deteriorating before it can be applied. Is this a common problem, not just at Airbus but industry wide?

The point was not to paint the aircraft and then let it sit outside, exposed to UV light and other environmental damage, for up to six months before delivery.

Quoting wn700driver (Reply 15):
What I always wanted to know about rudder balancing is what happens when the plane changes owners or liveries... Is the balance process largely the same after a new application of paint as it was in the factory, or less stringent?...

The same...at least for the 737.


User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 17, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4757 times:

Quoting wn700driver (Reply 15):
What I always wanted to know about rudder balancing is what happens when the plane changes owners or liveries... Is the balance process largely the same after a new application of paint as it was in the factory, or less stringent?...


The repaint requirements are specified in the SRM. Usually two complete repaints are allowed (with additional incremental weights added). But once you reach as specific point you can not add additional incremental weights and stripping repainting and complete re-balancing is required.


User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 18, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 4731 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 3):
If the plane is ready for a first flight, there is no reason to wait for it to be painted or the interior installed.

Flying without the interior would be a weight and balance nightmare. You would need to do one before and after the interior is installed.

Quoting Autothrust (Reply 5):
Not that i doubt that but i don't understand how a tail is balanced? Its a rigid structure fastened to fixed points on the aircraft.

Rudders are balanced to reduce flutter. You balance on the hinge line.. and the water line.



"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlineSchorschNG From Germany, joined Sep 2010, 500 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4693 times:

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 18):
Flying without the interior would be a weight and balance nightmare. You would need to do one before and after the interior is installed.

I guess a balance load could do the job.
Also, the interior is usually quite well arranged about the center of gravity.



From a structural standpoint, passengers are the worst possible payload. [Michael Chun-Yung Niu]
User currently offlinebonusonus From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 403 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 4229 times:

The unpainted aircraft usually look green and yellow. Is that a primer applied to the aluminum in the factory? At what point in the fabrication process does this happen?

User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 21, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 4213 times:

Quoting bonusonus (Reply 20):

Airbus uses a process in manufacturing their aircraft called Bonded Primer. This is a chemical process done to the raw aluminum sheet at the mill. It can not be removed or it will induce corrosion. This is why you see no bare metal skinned Airbus aircraft. It is also what gives their aircraft that yellow-green look you're talking about. It is a process very common in Europe and done with Airbus, ATR and Saab. Many might remember the big skin corrosion issue Saab operators had 8 or so years ago when many were found to have had the bonded primer removed during re-paints not done to the SRM.

Boeing uses AlClad Aluminum in their construction and do not need this process. That is why you'll see bare metal Boeing.



"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlineexFWAOONW From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 383 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 4151 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 8):
Quoting exFWAOONW (Reply 7):
And I thought it was the same reason doctors told their patients to take off their clothes, so they could see any cracks in the skin better.

If you have fatigue cracks appear after the first flight...

Ya don't want to waste paint...   



Is just me, or is flying not as much fun anymore?
User currently offlineexFWAOONW From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 383 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (2 years 8 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 3766 times:

If you ever get past security into the restricted section, be sure to watch when they make the plane turn and cough to see what falls off.   


Is just me, or is flying not as much fun anymore?
User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 24, posted (2 years 8 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3716 times:

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 21):
Airbus uses a process in manufacturing their aircraft called Bonded Primer. This is a chemical process done to the raw aluminum sheet at the mill. It can not be removed or it will induce corrosion.

Boeing uses AlClad Aluminum in their construction and do not need this process. That is why you'll see bare metal Boeing.


Boeing uses a spray-on plastic coating on the alclad skins to reduce the damage during transportation and assembly. You can see coating which is blue/green in the attached photo.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Royal S King



25 EMBQA : ..and that is removed prior to painting. The bonded primer is not
26 474218 : Which is ... after ... transportation and assembly!
Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic Why Do Airbus Test A380 Unpainted Before Delivery
Username:
No username? Sign up now!
Password: 


Forgot Password? Be reminded.
Remember me on this computer (uses cookies)
  • Tech/Ops related posts only!
  • Not Tech/Ops related? Use the other forums
  • No adverts of any kind. This includes web pages.
  • No hostile language or criticizing of others.
  • Do not post copyright protected material.
  • Use relevant and describing topics.
  • Check if your post already been discussed.
  • Check your spelling!
  • DETAILED RULES
Add Images Add SmiliesPosting Help

Please check your spelling (press "Check Spelling" above)


Similar topics:More similar topics...
Why Do Airbus Elevators+Ailerons Droop Down? posted Sun Jan 7 2001 23:47:20 by Olympic A-340
Why The Airbus A380 Has Only Two Thrust Reverser? posted Sun Jul 2 2006 14:26:20 by 747400sp
Why Do Boeings Have Yokes And Airbus's Joysticks? posted Mon Mar 5 2001 03:52:07 by 9V-SPJ
Why Do Airports Use The Smaller Runway? posted Sat May 7 2011 11:01:04 by Jonathanxxxx
Why Do Airlines Change Flight Numbers? posted Sun May 1 2011 13:12:10 by SyrAlex
Why Do Some Airports Only Have 1 Runway? posted Fri Feb 25 2011 16:35:32 by goblin211
Why Do Cargo Operators Use Old Planes? posted Sat Jan 29 2011 01:39:03 by DocLightning
Why Do Aircraft Still Use Hydraulics? posted Sun Nov 14 2010 10:56:18 by DocLightning
Why Do A345s And A346s Use So Much Runways Length posted Mon Oct 4 2010 12:13:18 by dennys
Why Do Jetbridges Have That Magnetic Suction Part? posted Fri Jul 30 2010 16:15:17 by 777way

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format