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Re-polishing Of A/C Leading Edge  
User currently offlineSXDFC From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 2351 posts, RR: 21
Posted (10 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 4275 times:

Hello All:

I recently worked an A/C that recently underwent a repaint ( N288WN ), and noticed that despite the fresh paint, its leading edge surfaces still seemed rather dull. I am curious as to why WN and other airlines do not re-polish the LE devices after a repaint. I know its a rather minor detail, however I think it always looks rather sharp.


ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLH707330 From United States of America, joined Jun 2012, 778 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (10 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 4238 times:

Quoting SXDFC (Thread starter):
I am curious as to why WN and other airlines do not re-polish the LE devices after a repaint.

Because it takes work, which is money. That said, I saw a UA 738 in PVR last week with polished intakes....

Quoting SXDFC (Thread starter):
I know its a rather minor detail, however I think it always looks rather sharp.

It does look sharp, but that doesn't sell seats. A.nutters are a small fraction of the population  


User currently offlinelarshjort From Denmark, joined Dec 2007, 1471 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (10 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 4135 times:

Quoting SXDFC (Thread starter):
I recently worked an A/C that recently underwent a repaint ( N288WN ), and noticed that despite the fresh paint, its leading edge surfaces still seemed rather dull. I am curious as to why WN and other airlines do not re-polish the LE devices after a repaint. I know its a rather minor detail, however I think it always looks rather sharp.

We did it on C-checks or if the aircraft needed it. When you are repainting the aircraft you don't really have time to do it since the leading edges are covered wwhen you are painting.

/Lars



139, 306, 319, 320, 321, 332, 34A, AN2, AT4, AT5, AT7, 733, 735, 73G, 738, 739, 146, AR1, BH2, CN1, CR2, DH1, DH3, DH4,
User currently offlineDL_Mech From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 1951 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (10 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 4061 times:

Quoting LH707330 (Reply 1):
That said, I saw a UA 738 in PVR last week with polished intakes....

USAir was known for polishing engine nose cowls. DL had a couple 733s that had flown for PI/US that still had the polished cowlings.


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[Edited 2013-11-08 06:56:03]


This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.
User currently offlineMrBuzzcut From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 64 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (10 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 3846 times:

Quoting LH707330 (Reply 1):
It does look sharp, but that doesn't sell seats. A.nutters are a small fraction of the population  

Sadly, that is true. One thing that always impressed me was the Navy and Marine Corps always had a heck of a shine on the leading edge devices of their C-9s when they came through. Even though the aircraft were pretty old, they looked pretty darn good, soot marks on the tail notwithstanding.


User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 5, posted (10 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3702 times:

One other reason would be the material used on leading edges is pretty thin and you limited as to how much you can remove. Polish it too much and you're changing the entire leading edge. I've also seen some leading edges that are treated and can't be polished


"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4982 posts, RR: 42
Reply 6, posted (10 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 3620 times:

Quoting MrBuzzcut (Reply 4):
One thing that always impressed me was the Navy and Marine Corps always had a heck of a shine on the leading edge devices of their C-9s when they came through. Even though the aircraft were pretty old, they looked pretty darn good, soot marks on the tail notwithstanding.

I remember a few years ago, there was a high profile meeting in Toronto, with a lot of country's heads of state. Air Force One and its entourage was parked in the de-icing bay, so we exited long off of landing on 24R so we could taxi past.

I have honestly never seen such a clean aircraft in my life, cleaner than brand new! But, what struck me the most was the shine on the engine cowl leading edges, they gleamed in the sun.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6385 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (10 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3567 times:

Oh how I miss these days at WN:


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And flying on the -2H4   



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19701 posts, RR: 58
Reply 8, posted (10 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3474 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 6):
I have honestly never seen such a clean aircraft in my life, cleaner than brand new!

You could eat off of any surface on AF1. Absolutely amazing.

Does polishing leading edge devices offer any drag benefit?


User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6385 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (10 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3468 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 8):
Does polishing leading edge devices offer any drag benefit?

Probably no more than regular cleaning....

but letting dirt and grime accumulate definitely causes drag. On newer wings, it can even destroy laminar flow if the accumulation is bad enough  



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlinemad99 From Spain, joined Mar 2012, 561 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (10 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 2907 times:

Quoting DL_Mech (Reply 3):
USAir was known for polishing engine nose cowls

I remember seeing that both times i flew with them.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 8):
Does polishing leading edge devices offer any drag benefit?

It'll have an effect on the separation point on the wing, might not be much tho


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31684 posts, RR: 56
Reply 11, posted (10 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 2581 times:

Looks more like a Cost/Time restriction something only that concerned Airline could answer.

Out here Check C involves polishing of the LEDs and all Powerplant cowl if not painted, this is done after the painting is completed.



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineBravoOne From United States of America, joined Apr 2013, 287 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (10 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 2570 times:

Excessive polishing of leading edges and cowls can cause significant damage to the surfaces. Corn starch is the most frequntly used product for since it reduces the chance of this kind of damage. Very labor intentsive...

User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31684 posts, RR: 56
Reply 13, posted (9 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 2112 times:

Stats taking from a dirty Airframe & after cleaning thereafter show a considerable amount of performance improvement.


Think of the brighter side!
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