[WWI] SPAD 13 Internal fitting

Douglas Anderson djandersonza at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 18 10:37:37 EDT 2007

One thought on ww2 aircraft; the movement of the pilot in the cockpit, and the maintenance crew would surely have removed the oxide from the aluminium, therefore they were painted as protection. Then again, it could simply be that bare aluminium would glint in the sun, possibly blinding the pilot during crucial stages of the dogfight or affecting his or her concentration.
  Apart from these two reasons I cannot think why aluminium would be painted.

Shane Weier <bristolf2b at hotmail.com> wrote:

>Yes, you are quite correct, the reference was to aluminium and not internal 
>fittings in general. However, if it was the case that there was no benefit 
>to coating aluminium then surely they changed their minds about this before 
>the second great unpleasantness? Offhand, I can't think of >any bare metal 
>cockpits from WWII, or even the early thirties.

(I cant't think of any flying machine built after 1918, on principle)

Reduction of reflections? On *naval* aircraft corrosion is a problem. Ditto 
any aircraft based on a small tropical island. Salt air will play merry 
hell, made worse because aluminium is an excellent conductor and galvanic 
corrosion an issue where fasteners and other fittings are dissimilar metals.

>Japanese aircraft for instance corroded very badly and relatively quickly 
>even though they were constructed of duraluminium. Even in the harsh 
>environment of the Pacific theatre the material allied aircraft were 
>constructed from fared far better.

True, though the sheet used in allied aircarft was thicker and *possibly* of 
a different composition.

How does this fit in with the change to unpainted aluminium on a wide 
variety of aircarft of both sides toward the end of the war? Was early war 
aluminium prone to corrosion and late war aluminium not?

>And I still maintain that the added weight of coating a few bits of metal 
>in OT aircraft would be so small as to be completely insignificant.

Thank God. Back to OT. And I maintain that while that may be so *why* do 
it if there's no real protective benefit and it adds some penalty in time, 
money, material or (however trivial) weight?


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