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View Full Version : When did USAAF aircraft change to bare metal skin instead of camo?



Dunkelgrun
01-08-2004, 03:08 PM
Was it a general order? Did it take a while for squadrons to change, leading to mixed formations of green and silver a/c? Did the fighters go to bare metal before the bombers?
What a lot of questions. Any help greatly appreciated.
Cheers!

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Dunkelgrun
01-08-2004, 03:08 PM
Was it a general order? Did it take a while for squadrons to change, leading to mixed formations of green and silver a/c? Did the fighters go to bare metal before the bombers?
What a lot of questions. Any help greatly appreciated.
Cheers!

http://www.danasoft.com/sig/stripy.jpg

horseback
01-08-2004, 03:56 PM
It started in the spring of 1944, or at least that was when natural metal (NM) planes arrived in the ETO. Some efficiency whiz in the States pointed out how much all that paint weighed on a bomber (around 500lbs) and how much the flat paint added to drag on a fighter, plus the time and expense of painting in the factory and touching it up in the field. GEN Arnold, a former fighter pilot, probably started reminiscing about how cool those prewar NM paintjobs looked (and cool is very important to a fighter jock) and the order was signed.

Chances are that the bombers (which were being replaced at a faster rate than the fighters) appeared to effect the changeover first, but the change for all types took place at the same time. Since razorback Mustangs were delivered both ways, it was definitely well before May of 1944.

Cheers

horseback

"Here's your new Mustangs, boys. You can learn to fly'em on the way to the target. Cheers!" -LTCOL Don Blakeslee, 4th FG CO, February 27th, 1944

EPP-Gibbs
01-08-2004, 06:27 PM
I thought they changed to bare metal to aid friendly aircraft recognition. They had air superiority by then so cammo wasn't so important.

LEXX_Luthor
01-08-2004, 06:56 PM
They wanted the Luftwaffe to see them. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

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VonShlagnoff
01-09-2004, 02:39 AM
Horseback is right, it was done to save weight, drag and about three days off the production time. When you think that the average B17 was about a year old when it was scrapped whats the point in corrosion prevention!!!!!

madsarmy
01-09-2004, 02:51 AM
The B17s were left bare metal when they finaly had fighter support into the heart of Germany.
As LEXX said: They wanted the Luftwaffe to see them.
Get the German fighters up and let the USAAF fighters shoot them down.

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WhiskeyRiver
01-09-2004, 05:11 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by madsarmy:
The B17s were left bare metal when they finaly had fighter support into the heart of Germany.
As LEXX said: They wanted the Luftwaffe to see them.
Get the German fighters up and let the USAAF fighters shoot them down.

http://mysite.freeserve.com/fbscreenshots/images/0-picture.jpg

"LOOK MUM NO HANDS!"<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

No camoflage is going to hide 500 B-17's each trailing 4 quarter mile long contrails each in broad daylight. Germans also had early warning radar (Freya and Wurzburg). USAAF went to bare metal finishes for the performance benefits.

To kill me you've got to hit the heart Ramon--Clint F*cking Eastwood

Dunkelgrun
01-09-2004, 09:07 AM
Thanks guys, that's a help.
Cheers!

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