Question? Aircraft camouflage?

muck

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By the way, I seem to remember that airlines usually try to avoid colorful liveries because the added weight of the extra paint makes itself felt in terms of decreased fuel efficiency and (presumably) a payload slightly decreased. Having said that, airlines do count in seconds and cents; militaries don't necessarily. Do you think a painted camouflage pattern would make an impact on a military aircraft's perfomance?
 
According to this page, paint coatings of aircraft may even be beneficial by reducing the drag coefficient through increased smoothness. At least that is what the producers like to promise. On the other hand, there is certainly a weight factor. E.g. the Airbus A380 gets a total of 650 kg of paint put on for just a plain livery.
 
Well, that's what I meant. 650 kilos, that's like six to eight passengers plus luggage. An airline wouldn't necessarily want to stand for that. Would an air force, though?
 
I seem to remember several comments in Airpower magazine that described performance loss, specifically a decrease in speed capability, when some night fighter aircraft were painted in all-black paint. I think the aircraft described in the article was a P-70 or maybe even a Black Widow. I don't remember if it was due to weight or drag. For some reason, I was thinking it was due to drag.
 
The problem with aircraft paint is that it adds weight and any color other than white increases the temperature of the fuselage and surfaces. Its prefferable to have the aircraft unpainted performance wise (as long as surface is smooth and polished and rivets dont portrude creating additional drag) , but it increases the mainteinance costs because you have to give extra maintenance to the fuselage and surfaces that a polished aircraft requires in comparision with a painted aircraft.
Would like to hear JungleJim opinion regarding this issue.
 
A quick thought on aircraft camouflage… saw a USAF C-17 last night. All the markings were of the low-vis variety, I could barely discern the American roundel. Somewhat ironically though, the tail sported a huge, colourful American flag and a very bright blue stripe containing a name. That combo doesn't seem to make a lot of sense.
 
Yeah, military aircraft camo in early days were bright and colorful so that we know who is who later on with the progress of technologies the way aircraft are painted.
 
Depends on the role of the aircraft and if there is a concept behind its scheme in some regards. The green/grey of the Lynx & Gazelle was for when it was mooching around behind trees looking for russian tanks. The grey of the Wildcat helps it get lost in the sky/ocean schemes. The reason they were never repainted for subsequent operations, with the exception of Gulf 1 was cost.
 
From what I hear the best pain for camo are pastel as it blends with the atmosphere with the worst being black. However "The USAF wont be flying pastel colored planes anytime soon." When flying it is very hard to spot white airliners versus colored ones, so I can see where the pastel colo comment came from.

Airlines prefer white because it is cheaper to maintain and keep clean. Paints faid, the more colorful you are the more you fade,white you can keep on and all it takes is a washdown... not like some airlines even wash their planes :( everything about airlines is keeping cost down, if you can prove to them that a rainbow plane is cheaper to operate, it would be pride day everyday at the airports
 
From what I hear the best pain for camo are pastel as it blends with the atmosphere with the worst being black. However "The USAF wont be flying pastel colored planes anytime soon." When flying it is very hard to spot white airliners versus colored ones, so I can see where the pastel colo comment came from.

There are a couple of preserved photo reconnaissance Spitfires that I see from time to time in my area. One is pastel pink, the other baby blue. It certainly works when they're in the distance and I presume that the colour schemes are historically accurate. The SAS Pink Panther Land Rovers from the 60s and 70s are another example of the same effect.
 
Imagine me replying "Visual with traffic" when ATC mentioned same direction opposite traffic on the radio and my Captain complementing me for my quick scan and eagle like vision when I saw its contrails from over 20 miles away. Only to have another one pass as by in less than 7 miles away and telling my Captain "he probably meant that one, oops."
 

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