Re: F-117

Message posted by Peter Merlin on July 12, 2006 at 8:44:26 PST:

Stealth has nothing to do with the chemicals in the radar absorbent material (RAM). The toxic qualities of the burning materials were from the plastics and the solvents used in the manufacturing and application process.

The RAM itself is simply a plastic and/or rubber coating or sheet that serves as a matrix in which to suspend microscopic ferrite spheroids of various sizes. The matrix is invisible to radar, but the ferrites are not. The thickness of the coating is generally about a quarter of the wavelength that you want to absorb.

Early RAM for the F-117A came in sheet form and was applied to the aircraft's surface with glue. As you might imagine, this added a lot of weight to the airframe. A later type was self-adhesive peel-and-stick, but I'm not sure how extensively it was used. On at least one test flight, it started peeling off in flight. RAM is now mostly sprayed onto the airplane's surface. This type is thinner and therefore lighter, plus you don't have the extra weight of the adhesive.

In Reply to: Re: F-117 posted by Viking05 on July 11, 2006 at 20:26:42 PST:


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