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Gloster Javelin Question


Tony Whittingham
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Hello all RAF experts,

 I’m curious about the black leading edges on the intakes of a Javelin. Are they de-icer boots? I noticed they show up on the proposed paint schemes for the TSR-2, but I haven’t seen them on any other aircraft, if memory serves me correctly. Any thoughts or clarification would be greatly appreciated.

 

TW.

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Not an airplane for which  I have a lot of references, but looking at numerous photos of different variants and from different time periods, it appears that early versions had the lips of the intakes painted in the surrounding color, but at a later date, the intake lips appear to have a matte black or gloss black coating, which I am going to guess might be to prevent erosion of the intake lips, sort of like the corogard applied to the leading edge of flight surfaces and intakes on some USN aircraft. Just spitballin' here, but I'm sure there are some Javelin  modelers on BM that are better informed.

Mike 

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Hello Tony,

 

they are not de-icing boots but a metal surface painted with black (or aluminium in some cases; not HSS though). There is however a de-icing system around the intake lips, but it is based on hot air bled from the compressors.

 

Cheers,

Antti

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2 hours ago, Antti_K said:

Hello Tony,

 

they are not de-icing boots but a metal surface painted with black (or aluminium in some cases; not HSS though). There is however a de-icing system around the intake lips, but it is based on hot air bled from the compressors.

 

Cheers,

Antti

Thanks, Antti_K!

It is a rather unusual thing to see on a RAF aircraft, at least in black. I'm resurrecting a TSR2 from the shelf of doom, and didn't want to use black if I could avoid it.

 

Regards,

TW

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If the references are correct XtraDecal sheet X48126 has it that XH889 (O of 23 Squadron and W/Crd Owen's mount) has the rings painted in post office red.  Un sure if any other individial airframe's had similar mods.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's interesting you have asked this because I'm making an Airfix 1/48 Javelin converted into a Mk.7.  If you take a look at these, images two of XH778 and one of XH774, it looks to me like silver but with shreds of black.

 

spacer.png

 

What do we think?

 

Cheers,

 

Neil

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Hello Neil and James,

 

unfortunately I don't have a definitive answer for this question. Photos show that many FAW.7s had aluminium coloured intake lips. Whether they were just bare metal, painted with HSS(?) or some protective and heat resistant paint like "Corogard" is beyond my knowledge. Earlier marks (in general) seem to have them painted with camouflage colours. FAW.8s (the last "new" Javelins) had black intake lips. FAW.9s were all "re-built" FAW.7s and they had also black intake edges. It is interesting to note, that only in FAW.7s the black "paint" seemed to peel off. James' recollection about an anti erosion coating sounds plausible.

 The intake lips encounter a severe heat stress as the de-icing was based on hot bleed air and Javelins had also problems with heat generated by compressibility. There is for example a strict restriction for firing only very short bursts with the guns as they got very hot during flight. In some cases grenades exploded in the ammunition boxes just because of the heat that compressibility generated (the muzzle temperature rose to over 100 degrees Celsius). The flash tubes were something that caused a great deal of head scratching to Gloster's engineers.

This video shows how short the bursts should be (look at 3:30):

 

 

And of course you are all invited to see my Javelin WIP in here:

 

Cheers,

Antti

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The other aspect of this is that erosion (possibly assisted by flex caused by heating and cooling cycles) would look bad on a nice polished peacetime aircraft.  Removing the paint back to a neat line would simply look better.    The other RAF aircraft with a similar effect was the Lightning.

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The Javelin at Duxford is in its original and unrestored condition. The coating on the intake rims is a rubbery compound (now taking on the black/grey of an old tyre) not paint.

Whether it's simply a protective coat or de-icing I don't know. I'll have a closer look when I'm next in to see if there's anything else obvious.

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3 minutes ago, iainpeden said:

The Javelin at Duxford is in its original and unrestored condition.

 

Hmm. It has been completely repainted at least twice. It was in standard service colours when it was delivered in 1958, was subsequently completely repainted in its A&AEE colours, and has had at least one complete repaint while at Duxford, unsurprisingly given that most of its life at Duxford was outdoors.

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The MK.8 & 9 had air intake anti-icing systems. The black intake band would be a rubbery coating that was heated by electrical wires to disperse any ice build up and prevent entering the engines. This system was not cleared of temporary restrictions until almost two years after the Mk.8 was introduced to service in 1958. 

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This is very interesting... so where do we stand on the red intake rings on XH889?

 

I can't imagine that even a wartime night fighter ace would get authorisation to paint over a coating on a jet intake!

 

Gloster Javelin FAW Mk9 Part 2 - AviationMegastore.com

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39 minutes ago, T-21 said:

The MK.8 & 9 had air intake anti-icing systems. The black intake band would be a rubbery coating that was heated by electrical wires to disperse any ice build up and prevent entering the engines. This system was not cleared of temporary restrictions until almost two years after the Mk.8 was introduced to service in 1958. 

 

Is it possible that the earlier marks had electrical anti-icing around intake lips? I've studied mostly FAW.8 and FAW.9 and at least FAW.9 had hot air anti-icing. Here is a capture from Pilot's Notes (for FAW.9):

 

spacer.png

 

Or am I talking about something else here? I understood the "air intake leading edge" meaning the black (or aluminium coloured) ring around the air intake lip. Or was the system re-placed with an electrical unit later? My Javelin PN is dated per Amendment List 2 (September, 1962).

 

Cheers,

Antti

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Antti, no you are right I maybe totally wrong.  I was thinking of the electrical ones on twin engined Piper aircraft . Looks like the Javelin had ducted hot air , but why leave patchy areas . I know the 8th Air Force  removed all B-17 de icer rubber boots from their airframe  risk of flying off and causing damage.  It could be that on the Javelin its just black paint that eroded with the weather and high speed flight. Any ex Gloster employees or RAF groundcrew that can help ?

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5 hours ago, Work In Progress said:

 

Hmm. It has been completely repainted at least twice. It was in standard service colours when it was delivered in 1958, was subsequently completely repainted in its A&AEE colours, and has had at least one complete repaint while at Duxford, unsurprisingly given that most of its life at Duxford was outdoors.

I have asked about this with a long standing employee at Duxford who is very up on these things; he doesn't think it's been repainted since arriving in the red and white scheme but is checking.

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That red and white scheme is very tempting (looking at the Airfix box...). I think I've seen decals for this, Xtradecals perhaps. Do you know whether the cockpits are standard? Or how much they differ from standard?

Cheers,

Antti

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Sorry Antii - although I spent a morning cleaning the thing in August it was from low step ladder level and that cockpit is higher than it looks. If you decide to have a go get in touch and I'll arrange some close up pictures (owl droppings included!)

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Where have all the accumulated markings gone then? When it was first at Duxford it looked like this. Note the Fighter Test Squadron arrow markings on the nose and the big cats on the nacelles above the leading edges.. This is as I used to see it every weekend when I worked there, and it did indeed have a patina. I think this shot may actually be of its arrival at Duxford

651ccfd39da3c70b6a0abe87c230fc50.jpg

 

But more recently the main colours are back to full saturation and much more even and the unique markings are gone, as have at least some of the stencils it used to wear

 

640px-Gloster_Javelin_FAW9_(5781742508).

 

I shan't embed it as embedding airliners.net pics is a big no-no for Mike but there's a good clear pic of it in external display here at Duxford pre repaint 

https://www.airliners.net/photo/UK-Air-Force/Gloster-Javelin-FAW9/1948403

Look at the wear on the fin flash in that shot

Here it is again at Duxford after it arrived in '75. Look at the erosion on the nose and the fading of the roundel

XH897

 and compare it to the one below.

 

7816995bcae98837f09b714221599dfc.jpg

 

And the fin flash here (again I shan't embed, but follow the link) is obviously repainted from the shot on airliners.net linked above

https://www.jetphotos.com/photo/6317558

 

The paint it wears today may well have a patina of its own - mit might well have been on the aeroplane for decades, the aeroplane has been at Duxford for 45 years - but it is no more the original paint for the aircraft than was the red and white paint it arrived at Duxford with. As I said, it cannot in any way be described as completely original in appearance.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Work In Progress
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1 hour ago, iainpeden said:

Sorry Antii - although I spent a morning cleaning the thing in August it was from low step ladder level and that cockpit is higher than it looks. If you decide to have a go get in touch and I'll arrange some close up pictures (owl droppings included!)

Hi Ian. If you can get a shot of the rear cockpit it would be great. I have been looking for years without success. I suspect the test equipment may have been stripped out but it would be great if it’s still there ! 

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1 hour ago, Work In Progress said:

As I said, it cannot in any way be described as completely original in appearance.

Agreed, in fact I can see the severe effects of wearing on the paint in the early shots, apart from those unique markings being missing.

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The Javelin has been repainted once since arriving at Duxford . It sat outside on the old hangar/theatre base  that was blown up in the Battle of Britain film for quite sometime and the paintwork faded. I cannot give a date but must be  around 1985 approx.

Edited by T-21
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Thank You Iain for your kind offer. And thank You Work In Progress for the photos.

 

That paint scheme looks challenging but it will be a real eye catcher in a model show. All of the sudden it isn't just a pipe dream anymore😉

 

Cheers,

Antti

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