Air Force

April 19, 2012

D-M Airmen paint planes for protection

Airman 1st Class Michael Washburn
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Michael Washburn/Released
U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Andrew Lucas and Airman 1st Class Jonathan Hart, 355th Equipment Maintenance Squadron aircraft structural maintenance, remove tape, paper and sheets of plastic from around A-10 landing gear after painting the aircraft here. The whole process of painting one A-10 takes two weeks; one week to sand and one week to paint.

Stepping into the paint barn on D-M feels like being on the set of the movie “E.T.” or “Outbreak.” Airmen are dressed up in white hazardous material suits like the actors in those films, except they’re not looking for a candy-munching life form or trying to stop a deadly disease from spreading.

The Airmen are trying to stop the disastrous spread of rust and corrosion on the equipment the men and women of D-M use every day. They accomplish their mission by sanding, priming and painting. One of the larger projects that takes a considerable amount of time, are the aircraft D-M is known for, the A-10C Thunderbolt II.

“Painting an A-10 takes two weeks,” said Airman 1st Class Jonathan Hart, 355th Equipment Maintenance Squadron aircraft structural maintenance. “One week to sand everything and one to paint. The whole reason why we paint the planes is to protect them from corrosion. We also want to have presentable planes. We don’t want nasty looking planes flying around.”

With all the A-10s on D-M, plus all the other equipment coming in for a fresh coat of paint, there’s never a lack of work to do. It’s a constant rotation of incoming aircraft.

“We do a full paint job on a plane once a month,” Hart said. “We’ll sand it down and mask it off with tape. We always start a plane with the landing gear because it’s a different color. After that, we can cover that up, tape off the other areas of the plane and finish off with grey paint.”

With a job of such magnitude, a group of Airmen often help with the daunting task.

“There are usually multiple people working on a plane,” Hart said. “One person will work on one wing tip while someone works on the other. At the same time, an Airman is working on the front of the plane and another is at the back of it. We’ll sand toward the center, finish up and check our work over for any spots we missed.”

These aircraft are multimillion dollar machines. To get the most out of them, they need to be properly maintained. The process of adding paint to the aircraft ensures they have a long life-span.

“If we didn’t paint these planes, corrosion would set in,” Hart said. “They would rust up and the metal would begin to get eaten away. We use primer to stop that from happening. After the primer, we can then paint the planes to make them look presentable for D-M.”

Although the process of painting an A-10 may be a long endeavor, for Airman Hart, seeing the finished product makes it all worthwhile.

“After that two-week process of repainting a plane and you get to see it when it’s finished, it’s a good feeling,” Hart said. “You want people to look at it and say ‘that’s a nice looking plane.’”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

479 selected for top enlisted rank

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) —  Of the 2,525 senior master sergeants eligible for promotion to chief, 479 were selected for an 18.97 percent selection rate, Air Force Personnel Center officials announced Nov. 20. To see the selection list, go to the Air Force Portal, or myPers. Airmen will be able to access their...
 
 

Turkey Bowl

Senior Airman Philip Taylor, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base Desert Lightning Team quarterback, dodges a Black Knights defensive player during the annual Turkey Bowl at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., Nov. 14. D-M’s Desert Lightning Team scored two touchdowns in the final 45 seconds leading them to win 18-7. Davis-Monthan Air Force Base Desert Lightning Team members line...
 
 

Resolutions aren’t just for the new year

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — It’s almost that time of year when most of us will commit to reforming a habit, lifestyle or just change our lives for the better. It starts when we take a critical look at ourselves and determine what we can do, or stop doing, to make the improvements we desire. These...
 

 
DoD

AF tests first all-electric vehicle fleet in California

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Air Force officials unveiled the Department of Defense’s first non-tactical vehicle fleet composed entirely of plug-in electric vehicles, Nov. 14, at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California. The rollout of the 42-vehicle fleet marks a milestone in the DOD’s demonstration of emerging technology and the vehicles will serve as a resource to...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Jarrod Grammel)

Maintaining fitness standards during the holidays is important

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. — During the holidays, going to the gym usually isn’t on the top of most peoples’ priority list. Priority is given to visiting families, planning vacations, and most important, indulging in...
 
 

Exchange keeps the ‘Thanks’ in Thanksgiving

DALLAS – With a quarter of its work force comprised of military family members, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a true example of family serving family. As such, the focus on Thanksgiving will be on family. “Exchange Main Stores in the Continental United States will be closed Thanksgiving, but open early Black...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin