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  #1  
Old 10-06-2017, 08:19 AM
rvanstory's Avatar
rvanstory rvanstory is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: New Braunfels
Posts: 73
Default Black Paint Advice

I am working with Scheme Designers on a paint scheme for my RV10. I REALLY like a particular design, but there's a catch. The top 1/3 of the plane over the cabin is black (which looks great) but I'm worried about the heat it will trap in the cabin.

Here's my questions:
1. Anyone actually have a black plane top to know from experience how much extra heat it will generate? If you did do this, would you advise me to avoid it?
2. Since 2/3's of plane is white, will heat from black top "dissipate" to other areas of plane? In other words, will all of plane be slightly hotter, or will only the black area be much hotter? Since there are so many engineers on this site, thought someone would know this answer.

I know there will be many opinions about "visibility". Not really asking about that. My concern is about heat. Really like the style, just want it to be functional too.
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  #2  
Old 10-06-2017, 08:32 AM
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Mel Mel is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Dallas area
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Default Black absorbs heat. It does not dissipate it.

Keep in mind that the top of the cabin is fiberglass. Fiberglass does not play well with very dark colors.
At one time Lancair painted one of their aircraft red and embedded thermocouples within the fiberglass. The results were not good for the longevity of the structure.
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  #3  
Old 10-06-2017, 08:36 AM
WAM120RV WAM120RV is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Coventry. England
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Default Heat Abosrbtion

There are loads of graphs on the net about colour heat Abosrbtion. Black absorbs all colours if light and relents none so will result in a much hotter surface than all other colours.

Black is not a good idea, and a bad idea on fibreglass which is why most glass aircraft are painted white. I don't like white for an aeroplane because it can make an aeroplane disappear against a whit cloudy background.

I painted a Tailwind fuselage black and regretted it because of how hot it got inside even in cold England. It was ok in the winter but in the summer in 27 c oat, it as like a sauna inside.
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Steve Arnold
England

In completion stage of Loehle P5151
Built and now Flying G.BVLR Vans RV4
Rebuilt G.BDBD Tailwind
Rebuilt G BVTN Kitfox
Built G CDCD RV9A with WAM120
Riveted wings on Glastar G.LEZZ Now (G. SKUA)
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  #4  
Old 10-06-2017, 08:46 AM
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rvanstory rvanstory is offline
 
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by WAM120RV View Post
Black is not a good idea, and a bad idea on fibreglass which is why most glass aircraft are painted white.
Is black on fiberglass worse than on metal for any reason other than heat?
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  #5  
Old 10-06-2017, 08:46 AM
Tom Martin Tom Martin is offline
 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
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My RV4 was painted black and I really liked it. It was warmer on the ground but in flight there were no issues. It was VERY visible in the air, many pilots noted that.
There are thousands, likely millions, of black cars and trucks and they do not melt away.
I had a lot of people tell me it was a bad idea but I liked it and had no problems with the black fibreglass or paint. None of the folks who said it was a bad idea had ever owned a black plane so their opinion carried no weight with me.
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  #6  
Old 10-06-2017, 09:00 AM
WAM120RV WAM120RV is offline
 
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Location: Coventry. England
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Martin View Post
My RV4 was painted black and I really liked it. It was warmer on the ground but in flight there were no issues. It was VERY visible in the air, many pilots noted that.
There are thousands, likely millions, of black cars and trucks and they do not melt away.
I had a lot of people tell me it was a bad idea but I liked it and had no problems with the black fibreglass or paint. None of the folks who said it was a bad idea had ever owned a black plane so their opinion carried no weight with me.
An RV 4 is a very different animal to a 10. The 4 does not have a fibre structure for the roof and door frames. None of the fibre on a 4 is structural. Comparisons with cars is only relevant for the non metal parts.

I actually love black, both of my cars are black, but again there is significant heat increase in the cab of a car because of the black colour in the summer, an RV 4 has a clear bubble canopy where it can get pretty hot, but nothing like the black painted fuselage on the tailwind I had.

I would have liked black on my 4 but my experience on the tailwind made me decide on a bright yellow, very conspicuous but much cooler on hot days.
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Steve Arnold
England

In completion stage of Loehle P5151
Built and now Flying G.BVLR Vans RV4
Rebuilt G.BDBD Tailwind
Rebuilt G BVTN Kitfox
Built G CDCD RV9A with WAM120
Riveted wings on Glastar G.LEZZ Now (G. SKUA)
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  #7  
Old 10-06-2017, 09:07 AM
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snopercod snopercod is offline
 
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Location: Asheville, NC
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What Mel Said. Light colors only on fiberglass or you will exceed its Glass Transition Temperature on a sunny day on the ramp.
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  #8  
Old 10-06-2017, 10:20 AM
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rleffler rleffler is offline
 
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Location: Delaware, OH (KDLZ)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rvanstory View Post
Is black on fiberglass worse than on metal for any reason other than heat?
The issue is that with any fiberglass that the epoxy is room temperature cured, it will get soft as you heat the surface. Heat it enough and the structural integrity may be impacted.

Ever wondered why all the Rutan designed aircraft are all white?
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Last edited by rleffler : 10-06-2017 at 01:11 PM.
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  #9  
Old 10-06-2017, 11:03 AM
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fl-mike fl-mike is offline
 
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Default

You might find this interesting:
http://www.paintsquare.com/news/?fus...=view&id=13869

I've been casually looking into Paliogen pigments and the technology of heat reflective dark colors.
http://www.dispersions-pigments.basf...ursor=1_559806

There are two approaches:
A black appearing pigment that passes through the IR spectrum to a reflective color under the top coat, i.e. black over white.
A black appearing pigment that reflects the IR directly. It seems these may not appear as "black" though.

So, it looks like it could be done with a bit of personal work, since I doubt your local paint shop will have any clue about these pigments. Pretty leading edge paint science for the automotive world anyway.

and you though building airplanes was just learning about riveting and deburring!
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  #10  
Old 10-06-2017, 09:34 PM
mciaglia mciaglia is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 71
Default Black Eagle

My Christen Eagle II is all black with the feathers in various shades of purple, blue and pink. I love it. My cowling, wheel pants, canopy skirt and various fairings all in fiberglass or carbon fiber have been fine over 30 years. I live in Houston, TX where the heat / sun / humidity is scorching. Paint it the way you want. I am sure the life of your aircraft will not be compromised by black paint. Hugh Heffner's plane was all black (except for the little white bunny on the tail)

Just put a light color primer underneath
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