From: USA Me-FL-DC-Guam-WS-NE-IL-?
Spent today pulling apart more of P7350's Merlin. Took out the camshafts, manifold, flame traps and ignition harness. She's looking a bit forlorn now, no panels, no cockpit seat, no undercarriage, big chunks of the engine gone and sat up on trestles. The fuel tank will be coming out in the next week or so as well. The Lanc has three of her props off, iirc she'll be getting two new engines and LF has no prop either. The two MkXIX Spits have had their wing tanks removed. In fact, in a complete reversal of the usual situation TE311 is the only fighter in one piece
Somewhere during the process I managed to rip some chunks out of my hands Including one nice cut on my finger that just reopens whenever I move it. Bugger.
Tetanus shot needed (you know all that old rusty metal)?
How dare you!?! There's no rust on any of our kites. There is a lot of dirty oil though, but mineral oil doesn't seem to cause the same reaction that the synthetic stuff we use on jets does.
I'm sure that's why they used to paint them so often. And one reason why the USAAF went to bare skin as soon as they felt able.
Weight savings and extra speed. Generally speaking bare metal would create less air resistance than paint. The effect of drag is greater with matt paint and less with gloss. Matt paint also picks up dirt and suchlike easier. Bare metal wo0uld corrode easier, but at the time most WW2 aircraft would have been considered disposable, no need to worry about your fighter rusting after 12 months if the life expectancy is six months. It's a similar thing with the exhaust staining on most WW2 aircraft, the gasses are corrosive so we scrub them off. The paint is an extra barrier for the corrosion.
MK, our MkIX Spit, is painted silver to represent a Spitfire that was in Italy. The original was natural metal but we had to paint ours to resist corrosion.
IIRC the Beaufighter suffered around 15-20 mph speed reduction when painted with the matt black paint in use during the early part of the war when compared to the use of the usual camo paints.
And the new "lowviz" paints are really a pain to keep clean. In my last squadron we had just gone over to it when our skipper put his hand on the fusalage when going thru the over-wing hatch during "egress training". The hand print remained despite all efforts to clean it. It required repainting. Neither our skipper , nor maintainance were please!
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