747400sp
Topic Author
Posts: 3832
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 7:27 pm

Why Do Airbus Test A380 Unpainted Before Delivery

Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:57 pm

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?
 
fritzi
Posts: 2598
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2001 2:34 am

Why Do Airbus Test A380 Unpainted Before Delivery

Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:58 pm

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 avatar
Starlionblue
Posts: 17051
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

Why Do Airbus Test A380 Unpainted Before Delivery

Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:21 am

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." - John Ringo
 
User avatar
Stitch
Posts: 22927
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:26 am

Why Do Airbus Test A380 Unpainted Before Delivery

Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:32 am

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).
 
tdscanuck
Posts: 8572
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:25 am

Why Do Airbus Test A380 Unpainted Before Delivery

Fri Aug 05, 2011 2:10 am

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 avatar
autothrust
Posts: 1455
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2006 8:54 pm

RE: Why Do Airbus Test A380 Unpainted Before Delivery

Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:09 pm

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.”
 
boeingfixer
Posts: 573
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 2:02 am

RE: Why Do Airbus Test A380 Unpainted Before Delivery

Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:31 pm

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 avatar
exFWAOONW
Posts: 362
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 10:32 pm

RE: Why Do Airbus Test A380 Unpainted Before Delivery

Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:19 am

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 avatar
Stitch
Posts: 22927
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:26 am

RE: Why Do Airbus Test A380 Unpainted Before Delivery

Sat Aug 06, 2011 3:52 am

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 avatar
autothrust
Posts: 1455
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2006 8:54 pm

RE: Why Do Airbus Test A380 Unpainted Before Delivery

Sat Aug 06, 2011 11:04 am

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.”
 
bond007
Posts: 4423
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 2:07 am

RE: Why Do Airbus Test A380 Unpainted Before Delivery

Sat Aug 06, 2011 11:48 am

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!
 
Quokka
Posts: 1315
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:26 pm

RE: Why Do Airbus Test A380 Unpainted Before Delivery

Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:44 pm

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?
 
474218
Posts: 4510
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2005 12:27 pm

RE: Why Do Airbus Test A380 Unpainted Before Delivery

Sat Aug 06, 2011 5:44 pm

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.
 
Lufthansa411
Posts: 345
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 12:54 am

RE: Why Do Airbus Test A380 Unpainted Before Delivery

Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:40 am

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.
 
Quokka
Posts: 1315
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:26 pm

RE: Why Do Airbus Test A380 Unpainted Before Delivery

Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:57 pm

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.
 
wn700driver
Posts: 1475
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2001 10:55 pm

RE: Why Do Airbus Test A380 Unpainted Before Delivery

Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:48 am

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?...
Base not your happiness on the deeds of others, for what is given can be taken away. No Hope = No Fear
 
yeelep
Posts: 724
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:53 pm

RE: Why Do Airbus Test A380 Unpainted Before Delivery

Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:46 pm

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.
 
474218
Posts: 4510
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2005 12:27 pm

RE: Why Do Airbus Test A380 Unpainted Before Delivery

Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:47 pm

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.
 
EMBQA
Posts: 7795
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 3:52 am

RE: Why Do Airbus Test A380 Unpainted Before Delivery

Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:43 pm

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"
 
SchorschNG
Posts: 259
Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2010 11:40 am

RE: Why Do Airbus Test A380 Unpainted Before Delivery

Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:13 pm

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]
 
bonusonus
Posts: 228
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2009 3:49 pm

RE: Why Do Airbus Test A380 Unpainted Before Delivery

Wed Aug 17, 2011 8:26 pm

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?
 
EMBQA
Posts: 7795
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 3:52 am

RE: Why Do Airbus Test A380 Unpainted Before Delivery

Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:16 pm

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 avatar
exFWAOONW
Posts: 362
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 10:32 pm

RE: Why Do Airbus Test A380 Unpainted Before Delivery

Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:43 am

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 avatar
exFWAOONW
Posts: 362
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 10:32 pm

RE: Why Do Airbus Test A380 Unpainted Before Delivery

Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:16 pm

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?
 
474218
Posts: 4510
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2005 12:27 pm

RE: Why Do Airbus Test A380 Unpainted Before Delivery

Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:47 pm

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

 
EMBQA
Posts: 7795
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 3:52 am

RE: Why Do Airbus Test A380 Unpainted Before Delivery

Tue Aug 23, 2011 11:13 pm

Quoting 474218 (Reply 24):
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.

..and that is removed prior to painting. The bonded primer is not
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
474218
Posts: 4510
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2005 12:27 pm

RE: Why Do Airbus Test A380 Unpainted Before Delivery

Tue Aug 23, 2011 11:45 pm

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 25):
..and that is removed prior to painting.


Which is ... after ... transportation and assembly!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 19 guests