wilcharl
Posts: 1153
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2000 11:19 am

Manufactur Painting Tails First

Mon May 27, 2002 12:52 pm

okay guys.. here is a quesiton that has intriged me for years..


when you see aircraft being manufactured and they have they are unpainted/puke green primerd the veritcle stabalizer is always paitned... i never understood why... is this because of the high use of composisits and requries the paint to be cured in a special manner or something... i really cant figure out a logical reason short of aircraft identification... but who cares while they are rolling down teh line... i have seen airbus and boeing do this... i would think that during the instalation the paint would get damaged and then it would have to be masked and overspray problems etc.etc..etc..

anyone know
 
PW4084
Posts: 287
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2001 7:31 pm

RE: Manufacturer Painting Tails First

Mon May 27, 2002 1:04 pm

Wilcharl,

I've been told that manufacturers do this so they can balance and fine-tune the plane's aerodynamic characteristics earlier in the manufacturing process. If I recall, it has something to do with the weight of the paint and getting a baseline reading of the vertical stabilizer's effect on the airplane...from a flying and a CG standpoint. I learned that during a tour of the Everett Assembly Plant. I know I'm forgetting a bunch of details and there should be more people that can provide better info. But that is what I remember.

PW4084
 
wilcharl
Posts: 1153
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2000 11:19 am

RE: Manufactur Painting Tails First

Mon May 27, 2002 1:10 pm

makes enough since for me to buy it

thanks
 
jetdoctor
Posts: 220
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2001 2:16 pm

RE: Manufactur Painting Tails First

Mon May 27, 2002 1:57 pm

PW4084 you are correct.
The rudder is a flight control that has to be balanced. Manufacturers will paint these seperately from the aircraft, as diferent airline logos require more or less paint.

RT
Break ground, and head into the wind. Don't break wind and head into the ground.
 
PW4084
Posts: 287
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2001 7:31 pm

RE: Manufactur Painting Tails First

Mon May 27, 2002 2:10 pm

Thanks for confirmation Jetdoctor, I took that tour about two years ago and that question came up. It probably does often because the newly painted tails do stand out, as Wilcharl can probably attest. It's not just airline vanity  Smile
 
VC-10
Posts: 3546
Joined: Tue Oct 26, 1999 11:34 am

RE: Manufactur Painting Tails First

Mon May 27, 2002 2:27 pm

Airbus do not currently paint the vert stabs until the rest of the a/c is painted
 
wilcharl
Posts: 1153
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2000 11:19 am

RE: Manufactur Painting Tails First

Mon May 27, 2002 2:45 pm

VC-10,

did they? the photo i have of hamburg shows the tails painted...


change in sop!??!
 
VC-10
Posts: 3546
Joined: Tue Oct 26, 1999 11:34 am

RE: Manufactur Painting Tails First

Tue May 28, 2002 8:12 am

When I was on the A340 production line at TLS in Jan, none of the a/c had their tails painted
 
peterba69
Posts: 147
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2002 9:31 am

RE: Manufactur Painting Tails First

Tue May 28, 2002 8:42 am

It may have been hard to notice, but they have to be aerodynamically balanced before installation. Therefore painted completely. Rudders aren't that big anyway compared to the V/fin. Ailerons and elevators have to be balanced as well.
 
Duncan
Posts: 134
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2002 1:14 am

RE: Manufactur Painting Tails First

Tue May 28, 2002 8:56 am

It's not the full vertical stabilizer that is painted as the Aircraft rolls down the line, it's just the rudder. If an airline has a fairly simple paint scheme and the rudder is all one colour, it may not be noticeable that it is even painted.

As mentioned by Jetdoctor, the rudder is a flight control surface and has to be perfectly balanced for it to operate correctly. The hinge line of the rudder is held horizontally in a tool (after painting) and if it doesn't lay level, then counter weights located forward of the hinge line are either added or subtracted until it does lay level. It's a very precise procedure, so much so that placing a penny on the surface of the rudder while it is in the tool and moving it an inch forward or aft can change the balance of the rudder.

I used to do this procedure on the BAe Hawk military trainer in production, the same principle applies to large commercial aircraft. Since the counterweights are close to the hinge line they are made from very dense material (I forget the name of the exact alloy, but it's something that when you pick one of these up, you think "Wow, heavier than I thought"). One of the few applications when heavy material is prefered in aircraft manufacture. The same kind of counterbalances can also be found in other locations on various flight controls systems depending on the a/c type and system involved.

Ailerons also require the same kind of balancing procedure before installation.

Also after repairs to the structure in service, these flight control surfaces should be re-balanced.

Duncan
 
VC-10
Posts: 3546
Joined: Tue Oct 26, 1999 11:34 am

RE: Manufactur Painting Tails First

Tue May 28, 2002 9:35 am

Not even the rudders were painted in TLS

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