SXDFC
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Re-polishing Of A/C Leading Edge

Fri Nov 08, 2013 4:49 am

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.
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LH707330
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RE: Re-polishing Of A/C Leading Edge

Fri Nov 08, 2013 5:46 am

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  
 
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larshjort
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RE: Re-polishing Of A/C Leading Edge

Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:01 pm

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
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DL_Mech
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RE: Re-polishing Of A/C Leading Edge

Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:37 pm

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]
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MrBuzzcut
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RE: Re-polishing Of A/C Leading Edge

Sat Nov 09, 2013 12:20 am

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.
 
EMBQA
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RE: Re-polishing Of A/C Leading Edge

Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:44 pm

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
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longhauler
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RE: Re-polishing Of A/C Leading Edge

Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:47 pm

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.
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KELPkid
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RE: Re-polishing Of A/C Leading Edge

Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:57 pm

Oh how I miss these days at WN:


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DocLightning
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RE: Re-polishing Of A/C Leading Edge

Sun Nov 10, 2013 12:31 am

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?
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KELPkid
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RE: Re-polishing Of A/C Leading Edge

Sun Nov 10, 2013 12:50 am

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  
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mad99
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RE: Re-polishing Of A/C Leading Edge

Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:18 pm

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
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Re-polishing Of A/C Leading Edge

Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:55 pm

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.
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BravoOne
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RE: Re-polishing Of A/C Leading Edge

Thu Nov 14, 2013 3:17 pm

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...
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Re-polishing Of A/C Leading Edge

Sat Nov 23, 2013 8:39 pm

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