Removing older layers of paint results in the helicopter becoming lighter, flights becoming less limited and new systems being added Because of repainting combat helicopters, it becomes difficult to install new systems. The solution is the removal of excess paint from the helicopters, which results in the helicopter becoming lighter, flights becoming less limited and new systems being added
Removing excess layers of paint from the tails of the “Apache” combat helicopters will make them lighter, allow for an improvement in flight capabilities, as well as create the potential for adding new systems.
“In recent years, we have identified a ‘fattening’ trend in combat helicopters that arises from adding new systems, improvements and installations on the helicopters. These activities have damaged flexibility and the ability to add new systems due to the increase weight of the helicopters”, explains Captain Adi Millstein, an officer in the Equipment Department. “Approaching the weight limits of the helicopter has made it difficult to install new systems and has reduced its ability to carry fuel”.
After the problem was identified, the possibility of removing layers of old paint from the helicopters, which hitherto had been repainted without removing the old paint, was proposed. After successful experiments on two helicopters, in which dozens of kilograms were shed from each helicopter, the process of stripping paint from all of the helicopters in the “Apache” Division, began.
“Stripping paint helped the balance of the helicopter, which allows us to remove the balancing weights that were on the helicopter, make space for future systems, additional fuel for the helicopters and the improvement in flight capabilities”, adds Captain Adi. “We continue searching for new ways and methods of improving and we are experimenting with expanding the process to other aircrafts and systems in the force”.