Pikestaff, you are absolutely correct. RAM consisting of ferrite-impregnated polymers are subject to oxidation (i.e., rust). On the F-117A, RAM
sheets were overpainted, which provided some protection against the elements. Chips, cracks, and gaps had to be sealed with liquid Ram to prevent
rusting and ensure electrical continuity. There have no doubt been many improvements over the past three decades.
When I photographed an F-22 last summer here in England I noticed missing patches of RAM. Here you can see evidence of it under the wing uppermost in
the picture, revealing the bright green that you see on pictures of unpainted aircraft.
edit on 15-1-2017 by waynos because: (no reason given)
Think it all would depend on how the RAM coating is applied.If any paint shop can spray it then local airfields can do it but if its in a specialized
shop then they have to be booked into have it done to spec.
According to sources, the RAM maintenance seen in the Middle East is no worse than they've seen in other conditions. Recently Lockheed put the first
aircraft through their new Inlet Coating Repair Speedline, replacing the inlet coating on the oldest aircraft.
What really gets me about the F-22 is that despite the huge efforts made to document and archive the parts, toolings and the processes for the
manufacture and upkeep of the planes, it seems there are big gaps...
The above and a few other stories I have heard of parts supplies drying up and especially the needed skills in ADA coding combined with the peculiar
way some of the original coding was done make software upgrades slow and costly.
They tried, they really did, but budget cuts late in the piece forced the guys to cut corners close to two decades ago. Now we pay that price.
I heard from a friend of the family that is part of an F-22 squadron last night. According to him, the coatings are coming off as a result of age. It
was fully expected, but the concern is over the coating on the front of the intake.
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