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Looking at 104s in natural metal finish, and rarely are the wings left bare, they're usually painted, and often white. Any particular reason for that? TIA
 

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On 4/28/2018 at 8:08 PM, The Rat said:

Looking at 104s in natural metal finish, and rarely are the wings left bare, they're usually painted, and often white. Any particular reason for that? TIA
 

This has  been discussed recently on other forums, which might be why no one has responded before now.

 

The wings were painted White on top and ADC Gray on the bottom.  A couple of reasons were given; one was to improve the laminar flow of the wing by applying a smooth coating of paint.  The reason for the white top coat was supposedly to dissipate heat on the top surface which could interfere with the operation of flaps or other moving parts.  I can't personally vouch for either, but this seems to be the consensus among those who claim to know.

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On 5/14/2018 at 10:54 PM, Neptune48 said:

This has  been discussed recently on other forums, which might be why no one has responded before now.

 

The wings were painted White on top and ADC Gray on the bottom.  A couple of reasons were given; one was to improve the laminar flow of the wing by applying a smooth coating of paint.  The reason for the white top coat was supposedly to dissipate heat on the top surface which could interfere with the operation of flaps or other moving parts.  I can't personally vouch for either, but this seems to be the consensus among those who claim to know.

 

👍 Thanks!

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Even the NF-104 with the wing extensions and the rocket in the tail had white painted wings. Saw the NF-104 and the F-104A/D models fly at Edwards AFB when my dad was stationed there 1958-1964. 

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On 5/15/2018 at 4:54 AM, Neptune48 said:

This has  been discussed recently on other forums, which might be why no one has responded before now.

 

The wings were painted White on top and ADC Gray on the bottom.  A couple of reasons were given; one was to improve the laminar flow of the wing by applying a smooth coating of paint.  The reason for the white top coat was supposedly to dissipate heat on the top surface which could interfere with the operation of flaps or other moving parts.  I can't personally vouch for either, but this seems to be the consensus among those who claim to know.

 

IIRC, there were some early crashes attributed to hot bare metal wings cooling down very rapidly during take-off, leading to flap problems (hope I remembered that part correctly). Coupled with early downward ejection seats, that cost a few pilot lives.The white paint kept the wing temperature down.


Rob

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Never heard of the heat expansion/cooling issue with the wings before. The Thermal Expansion Coefficient of the materials used in the wing construction is pretty low. The wing skins themselves are made from 7075-T6 aluminum which has a thermal expansion of about 23 microns per meter from 20 - 200 degrees Celsius. That's smaller than the diameter of a white blood cell. 

 

There are several examples of darker paint schemes and special schemes with black wings so the heat was not an issue.

 

The main reason for painted wings in the first place is due to aerodynamics and corrosion control. All of the fasteners and screws on the wing skins were filled with aluminized putty which required a top coat of paint. The paint also protected the machined wing skins which were prone to corrosion. The Early YF/F-104A's didn't have this putty initially so the wings were left bare metal. Now the reason for the white paint was more likely to keep the surface cooler for maintainers. Nothing quite like trying to work on top of a hot frying pan in the sun.

 

Cheers,

 

John

 

 

 

 

 

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I always heard the Corrosion story as well.

as far as helping out maintainers, well I don't remember them ever doing anything to make our lives easier. 🙂

However, they did issue us gloves at Nellis to handle hot tools.

Ever grab a pair of cannon plug pliers after they have been sitting in an open toolbox on the flightline for about an hour?

yeah. 

 

Jester

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I wanted how the nose cone of F-104 was stored when removed from aircraft? Was there a support base for it? Or was it a hinging mechanism that let the technicians open the cone for access to radar. 

 

Any picture will greatly help. 

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45 minutes ago, stalal said:

I wanted how the nose cone of F-104 was stored when removed from aircraft? Was there a support base for it? Or was it a hinging mechanism that let the technicians open the cone for access to radar. 

 

Any picture will greatly help. 

 

The fiberglass radome plus the first metal section can be pulled forward for access to the radar black boxes (not the antenna). Here's one picture where you can see that somewhat.

 

f104d-08.jpg

 

Rob

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