Tailhook Topics Drafts

Friday, March 8, 2024

FS 12197 International Orange

 FS 12197, International Orange, has been used on U.S. Navy aircraft for high-visibility markings. It can be confused with other colors also used for that purpose. Also note that it is more red-orange than orange...

For example, Robert Thomas, a volunteer at the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, provided this synopsis:

"For the high visibility markings the USN originally used the Orange Yellow color (think the SNJ, etc.). In the early 1950s they started using International Orange on some aircraft. The Naval Air Training Command in 1952 tested various colors in hopes of better visibility. In September 1952 "Day-Glo" paint had been developed. It was labor intensive, as it had to be applied over a White lacquer finish, needed two coats, and started dulling after one to two months. After trying other paint designs, they went back to the Orange Yellow overall markings. In 1953 the USN discontinued all use of Day-Glo paint.

In 1956 International Orange paint began to be used on tactical aircraft in the continental U.S. due to the increased chance of air-to-air collisions with civilian aircraft. In 1958 Fluorescent Red Orange replaced International Orange as the standard high-visibility paint on non-training aircraft. 
In 1959 the Training Command went completely to an International Orange and White paint scheme.

In May 1964 the Navy discontinued use of fluorescent Red Orange. It also required high upkeep due to fading issues. At that point all high-visibility paint markings were to be in International Orange only, which is still used today on training a/c and where necessary on other types.
The FS numbers appear to not have changed over the years. International Orange is FS12197 and Fluorescent Red Orange is FS28913. Orange Yellow is FS13538."

A color in a published illustration or on a computer screen is not always rendered accurately so even the color above is not necessarily true. It may not even appear to be consistent in the same picture: 

Note that the color on the top of the left wing appears to be more orange than the bottom of the left wing or vertical fin (which both appear to be more red than the sample above) and the horizontal stabilizers appear to be somewhere in between.

Even a direct comparison with insignia red in a pretty good photo isn't necessarily helpful:

 Of course, the underlying prime coat or adjacent color to the International Orange may affect its appearance:

Available 12197 paints also vary in color. Paul Boyer recommends Testor Model Master “Chevy Engine Red” (if you can find it) especially under artificial light; in his opinion, Testor Model Master “International Orange (FS12197)" was too dull in artificial light. Others have found Model Master Acrylic 4682 and XtraColour X104 to be too orange.

Other recommendations found on line:



 https://www.truenorthpaints.com/paintstore/international-orange (looks too orange on my screen)

https://www.arizonahobbies.com/US-Air-Force-INTERNATIONAL-ORANGE-FS-12197-2-oz-bottle_p_4600.html (looks good on my screen)

 Rustoleum "Allis Chalmers Orange”

And probably as good as any, "red with some yellow added".

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Grumman S2F Bomb Bay

 From Grumman Archives:

Friday, June 30, 2023

A-6A versus A-6E Inboard Wing Fence Locations

 1 July 2023: It turns out that there is the same drafting error on two different Grumman drawings with respect to the location of the inboard end of the leading edge slat. I've corrected it.

A question arose about the the location of the inboard end of the wing slat on the A-6A versus the A-6E with the inboard wing leading edge ECM antennas. The answer is that it was not changed. Note however, that the inboard wing fence location did change: it was moved inboard of the inboard pylon.

All dimensions shown are "wing stations" measured from the fuselage centerline.

For more on the major configuration differences between the A-6A and A-6E, click here: https://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2015/09/grumman-6a-vs-6e-intruder.html

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

McDonnell F2H Banshee Canopy Actuation

The F2H Banshee canopy was actuated by a rack and pinion mechanism. The rack was mounted fore and aft on the canopy, attached at its aft end and underneath the cross brace. The pinion was driven by an electric motor mounted on the deck under the canopy. The rack was angled slightly upward going aft so as the pinion turned, the aft end of the canopy moved upward as well as aft. The forward attach points of the canopy were in a track that caused the front end of the canopy to go up as well as aft also for clearance of the pilot's helmet. The -1/2 and -3/4 canopy actuators are very similar if not identical. 

The F2H-2 canopy:

Closed (early windscreen):


Friday, March 24, 2023

Douglas A3D-2P/RA-3B Skywarrior Cockpit

 As with most photographic-reconnaissance airplanes, the pilot was provided with a periscope so he could  orient the airplane for pictures taken by his downward-oriented cameras. The A3D-2P had two periscopes, one for the pilot to position the airplane over the area of interest and one for the photo-navigator in the right seat to trigger the cameras to take pictures of it.

 The viewfinders were large and prominent on the instrument panel:

The cylinder below the viewfinder for the photo-navigator was a radar scope.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Miscellaneous Paint and Markings Notes - U.S. Navy Aircraft

 This is a work in progress and to paraphrase Captain Barbossa, specifications are more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual "rules". For example: https://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2012/06/markings-cautionary-example.html and https://tailhooktopics.blogspot.com/2019/05/grumman-f9f-8-upper-control-surface.html

Summary, 1940 to Gray/White: 




F4U-2: https://tailhooktopics.blogspot.com/2013/06/f4u-2-color-scheme.html

Blue Angels: https://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2011/04/blue-angel-blue-and-gold-draft.html 

Bombs (WW II): https://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2010/01/us-navy-bombs-up-through-wwii.html

Bomb bays:

As of 5 February 1951, bomb bays are to finished with zinc chromate tinted to match nonspecular interior green (before then, a color wasn't specified).

As of 7 July 1955, the interior of bomb bays was to be glossy insignia white.

See https://www.flickr.com/photos/wbaiv/29623364988/in/photostream/ for pictures of the interior of a KA-3B that appears to be unchanged from when it was in service. Note that there is a rubber fuel bag in the upper part of the bomb bay resting on tinted zinc chromate support structure.


General: http://tailhooktopics.blogspot.com/2015/04/cockpits.html

F9F Panther: https://tailhooktopics.blogspot.com/2012/12/f9f-panther-cockpit-color.html


Overview: https://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2012/01/corogard.html 

A4D/A-4: https://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2017/01/corogard-on-a4d-4.html

Red Edges and Interior Surfaces: https://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2012/10/painting-crush-points-red.html

Rescue Arrow: https://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2014/04/a-brief-history-of-rescue-arrow.html 

Sea Blue vs. Insignia Blue: https://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2012/06/sea-blue-vs-insignia-blue.html

Wheel Wells: 

Note: wheel well color was NOT specifically specified before 23 February 1955

General: https://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2018/07/what-color-are-wheel-wells-on-insert.html


Grumman F8F Bearcat: https://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2014/07/f8f-bearcat-wheels-and-wheel-wells.html

FJ-2/3:  https://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2021/08/north-american-fj-23-cockpit-and.html

World War II Norfolk Scheme:



Cold War Unit Markings: 



Still to come: radomes...

Thursday, February 16, 2023

DIY North American A3J-1 Conversion from RA-5C

 If' you're tired of waiting for an injection-molded kit... Good luck!

The red line shows the RA-5C upper fuselage line. The canopies in red are from a North American RA-5C three-view drawing compared to the shape of the North American A3J-1 drawing.