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ougoah

Brigadier
Registered Member
Probably new metamaterials for Raptor MLU seeing as the original design and implementation hailed from the 1990s. Certainly wouldn't have been as capable as the J-20's and F-35's skins.
 

Gloire_bb

Senior Member
Registered Member
Probably new metamaterials for Raptor MLU seeing as the original design and implementation hailed from the 1990s. Certainly wouldn't have been as capable as the J-20's and F-35's skins.
If I am not wrong, it's just a normal raptor.
Just half-naked.
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
It’s not the normal coatings. We know from times when We have seen F22 in need of a reskin that those are not a metallic. Most of the airframe is coated in layers of composites from the surface down. Some of those materials are translucent to radar.
 

Gloire_bb

Senior Member
Registered Member
It’s not the normal coatings. We know from times when We have seen F22 in need of a reskin that those are not a metallic. Most of the airframe is coated in layers of composites from the surface down. Some of those materials are translucent to radar.
We never saw all of the layers, though, and the understanding was that it is a complex and fairly thick "cake".
We saw either a completely naked birds(on the production line), partially damaged, or ones in primer.
And IMHO - completely bare nosecone&sensor apertures point that this is how she looks without upper layers.

Of course, that's just a guess.
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
Yes we never saw completely naked however, a lot of the materials used are shaped for the aerodynamics of the aircraft. Removing those materials and not filling would result in something that can’t fly. The Raptor’s ram isn’t skin deep it is the skin.
The nose cone has a radar under it as such it has to have materials that are transparent to the X band radar. As such those are left in the standard.
Whatever they are testing this isn’t a stripped bird it’s had her skin replaced.
 

Andy1974

Junior Member
Registered Member
Yes we never saw completely naked however, a lot of the materials used are shaped for the aerodynamics of the aircraft. Removing those materials and not filling would result in something that can’t fly. The Raptor’s ram isn’t skin deep it is the skin.
The nose cone has a radar under it as such it has to have materials that are transparent to the X band radar. As such those are left in the standard.
Whatever they are testing this isn’t a stripped bird it’s had her skin replaced.
We have seen this mirror coating on experimental planes before, by scaled composite.

Could it be to reflect directed energy?
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
We have seen this mirror coating on experimental planes before, by scaled composite.

Could it be to reflect directed energy?
That was the guess on those craft, as was testing new IRST technology as an alternative theory.
I guess vs microwave it might be more effective yet lasers able to damage aircraft are out of the visible light spectrum. If you fired an industrial laser at a mirror the backing paint would burn. In a modern mirror that’s aluminum in a vintage mirror it would be silver.
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Don’t get me wrong I love the old school aluminum look on any aircraft (same for nose glazing on bombers or airliners) yet that’s the aesthetics. It’s the same side of me whom drools over classic American Cars. Those old land yachts like the Cadillac 62 series Sedan De Ville or who fauns over Art Deco and Victorian architecture.

I mean it could be anything they are testing however there is a reason why the bare aluminum look was only common in commercial aircraft post 1960s. It’s since fallen out there as the Aluminum surface sections are now either composite or aluminum alloy that is more corrosion resistant but doesn’t polish was well (another reason I say it’s not stripped of Ram but sporting some kind of replacement skin).

Pilots still use vision on occasion to look for targets. Highly polished surfaces reflect light making them easy to see at greater distances (see signal mirrors). Most military aircraft moved to subdued and matte finish livery even camouflage by the 1940s in war time. Sure there were some polished mustangs, B29, Me 109s but operationally they got painted real fast once fighting started. In the 50s it was back in silver but again o moved back to matte and camouflage. By the 1970s only VVIP military aircraft and some occasional special livery aircraft sport the bare metal.
Stealth Aircraft like F22 Generally are exceptionally hard to find on radar and IRST have short ranges unless you happen to get on the 6 o’clock of a stealth in burner. But the sky is massive. Making the fighter flashy seems like it would defeat the whole point. if you look at the current fifth Gen fighters in service they all sport standardized camouflage patterns meant to make it just that much harder to see at range.
 

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