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Mysterious Boeing 737- It's still green

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No one seems to know who exactly owns the plane and what its purpose is. Never painted, it's still in its green zinc chromate coating. To the uninformed, it looks like it's held together with duct tape. Probably our tax dollars at work, maybe. (www.thedrive.com) Altro...

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SpaceRanger
I don't know, but flight crew were seen boarding the aircraft wearing tinfoil hats.
21voyageur
and apparently rubber underwear!
ROBERTMILLSJR
That would be rubber shorts as well.
I have a pair that I use when climbing steep roofs.
If I slip on a steep roof, the rubber shorts naturally create much drag/friction to slow or sometimes stop my rapid decent, with or without my arm flaps deployed and flailing.
If you tighten the bottom parts of both of the leg portions, they act an adult diaper.
I've not tested that yet, but, I could be motivated by any amount of flattery.
jptq63
jptq63 3
Amount of flattery or flatulence on that diaper test?
ROBERTMILLSJR
Excellent question jptg63!
The greater the amount of concentrated flatulence provided, the greater my commitment to quality adult diaper test data results.
Those that also provide excessive flattery with the most odiferous flatulence will be elected to my Executive Committee, and, provided stipends comparable to that of the Royal Family.
gincor
And if you do go over the edge...maybe you'll bounce!
tbpera
Tom Pera 4
Sierra Nevada Corp into a lot of stuff we'll never know about
a1brainiac
a1brainiac 3
Alien spacecraft made to look like a normal airplane....loaded with sophisticated alien technology.....or...just a USAF 737
bigdog10
The Boeing engineer is incorrect. The Top protective green coating as called is a protective coating sprayed on after fuselage assy in KA. Protects the aluminum clad panels of aircraft. IN WA. surface is washed off with fire hoses and scrubbed with scotch bright. This process finds defects and tool marks. Did the engineer get a degree from Harvard or Embry Riddle. Prob Embry Riddle. This aint KA city toto.
ROBERTMILLSJR
Superb comment there Mark.
Rare that Boeing engineers at the Lazy B are caught with their pants down.
mckenzie2525
good old fallon nas
CookinAK
Pat Cook 4
Very obvious. AF is testing the 5th generation of 100 mile-an-hour tape. It's called 500 mile-an-hour tape.
21voyageur
Proof once again, that ANYTHING can be done with duct tape!
djames225
djames225 1
Except this "duct tape" can't be bought at Lowes, Ace etc
21voyageur
Are you sure of that? Looks very, very familiar to what I have seen in Aisle 13 at my local Lowes!
tomasz2013
its aluminum speed tape, dont think they sell that at lowes
djames225
djames225 1
Right..we called it "body bandage" after similar looking autobody tape.
lynx318
lynx318 0
3M Aluminum foil speed tape 425, 2 inch by 60 yard roll, $70
tomasz2013
aluminum foil is not aircraft speed tape. aircraft speed tape comes on a roll that is 2 to 10 inches wide, 6-8 mm thick, 90% aluminum and costs $350 per roll
https://www.grainger.com/product/29WR93?gucid=N:N:FPL:Free:GGL:CSM-1946:tew63h3:20501231
ADXbear
ADXbear 2
Maybe part of the AECOM "Janet"fleet upgrade from the -600 used.

Ĺosts of secret reasons is about all i cay say..
jmt123
jmt123 3
It seems it got the Air Force gray rudder. Isn't the rudder usually painted prior to assembly for weight and balance?
jimmonti
Jim Monti 2
Yes the rudders are usually properly painted for weight and balance.
ROBERTMILLSJR
Always wondered why the anomaly of a painted rudder, but, was too timid to ask!
Thank you.
BayneJust
Bayne Just 3
They are testing the new cloaking device
cmuncy
Adding this one to my alerts to see what she's doing......
cmuncy
Looks like they are flying this morning up and down the coast, starting and ending in Santa Monica.
ROBERTMILLSJR
Sad thing is Santa Monica Airport is being piece by piece shut down based on apparent bribes from developers that want to replace it with high rises, etc.
Very disgusted, and, that's being grossly polite.
Propwash122
They’re flying out of Santa Maria KSMX, about 150 miles NW from Santa Monica.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

KatzyBaby
KatzyBaby 2
First craft of the new US Space Force
jimmonti
Jim Monti 1
Check out the Flightaware flight profile for N712JM yesterday 18 Jun 20... The flight profile was up and down from 8,000' to 200' multiple times at 115Kts... curious profile for a 3-hour flight.
Propwash122
N712JM performed a similar flight Friday 19 June....about two hours, did some racetracks over water west of SMX, up-and-down altitude profile.
sg413
I've been watching this aircraft while it is here at Santa Maria. Now I can tell my wife what the strange green aircraft is.
im2fast
Dan Noonan 1
What a neat story...I love a good mystery.
joydipsinha
Its taped up and its green, interesting indeed. Seems like a truckload of equipment and sensors here with this B737.
spdmrcht
Ron Lorenz 1
Their Looking for Flight 370!
zamecj
zamecj 1
Look at the altitude and speed returns for each flight. Lot's of possibilities as to what's being tested, but something for sure is aggressively being tested. Wonder if this has something to do with the Max return to service or a baseline comparison (I realize this a/c is not a Max). Since she's still green, and predates the Max a good bit, perhaps an unrelated coincidence. Interesting.
TonyDiBona
It's a fish spotter aircraft searching for Blue Fin tuna schools.No secret there. It's TUNA TIME in SOCAL
pietrodelai
Correct. put "Spirit Aerosystems Inc, Oliver, Wichita, KS, USA" on maps.google.com and you will get a picture of a green body plane.
TonyDiBona
I think it is Fish spotting aircraft looking for this season's Blue Fin Tuna run.(lol)
sarafinc
sarafinc 1
great analysis on the green bird. Submarine detection systems, out of the blue guess.
bbabis
bbabis 1
Clearly a lot of sensors/antennae taped all over the aircraft running to equipment inside. Possibly testing a jam proof navigation system based on sensing the Earth's magnetic field. The field is known and requires no space launches and maintenance upkeep. It could also be looking for disturbances in the field that could show areas of magnetic minerals or deep sea ship or plane wrecks yet to be discovered. Just brainstorming.
VMGR352
Isn't the SOCAL range the AO where the "gimbal" and the "tic tac" objects were recorded by the USN? Asking for a friend!
maldav115
I believe so. This was my first thought on reading the article also. My guess is the USAF is investigating the area...
bbabis
bbabis 0
Or messing with the Navy if the 737 is the mothership of the tic-tacs.
djames225
djames225 0
LOL..was reading about this thing last night..old 737-700 carrying a civilian registration, belonging to USAF and modifications out it's tailpipe
hmakav
Maybe someone wanted to collect one in "mint" condition?
nasdisco
Chris B 0
Only one way to test new systems. Thats to put them on aircraft and fly. Would be must harder to spot if it was painted.....
ko25701
ko25701 0
Probably just the new iteration of the #lolitaexpress. I think 5 hours would be just about enough time.
Viperguy46
They must be testing a new way to get Nancy's party jet to California without detection! Probably testing new freezer space for he Chocolate ice cream containers!
21voyageur
If the three stooges or Sponge Bob Squarepants had an airforce, , , , that is what the exec transport would look like.
ksbadger
And what if the last thing you want is the dampening effect of a surface protection system? (It ain't just paint anymore either).
firbal
It has the green coating that protects the unpainted skin. Boeing gets the skin sections with it covered for assembly. When the aircraft is finished being built, it goes to the paint shop and it is removed and painted. If you look at the pictures you see aluminum tape covering wiring or something for temp install for testing. Someone is useing this aircraft for testing something or other. Maybe something fixes on the 737-Max. Best guess from the pictures. Also, you can not trust what an engineer says. I have worked at Boeing and Lockheed building planes and even I know what that is.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

djames225
djames225 13
I am not even going to try and comment on the rest of your rambling, but the coating is what is on all aircraft shells post manufacture. It is a protective coating only, has been tested more times than many can count, and that gets "washed off" as the aircraft is painted.
It IS probably being used, instead of painting the craft, for 2 reasons. A: It has better adhesion quality than paint, when it comes to all the "body bandage tape" and B: paint would more than likely get damaged when trying to remove the tape from it, thereby having to go into paint works for a "touch up", thereby causing downtime.
lynx318
lynx318 2
Is there a possibility that whatever sensors they might be testing could be thrown off by normal paint? The zinc chromate might be used as a close analog to and without using a stealth coating if this is a testbed for equipment for new stealth bomber as mentioned in the article. Seems like they are using this 737 as a way of throwing off observers directly tying it to such. Civilian development techs in casual wear would make sense as not military personnel, being comfortable while testing I guess leads to better results.
djames225
djames225 1
It's possible, but it's doubtful they would be thrown off by normal aircraft coatings. Zinc chromate would not come close to a stealth coating.
lynx318
lynx318 1
I was thinking it would be definitely less reflective than a white or worse, silver coat of paint. No expert on this, just the less interference the better for results.
djames225
djames225 1
Its actually quite reflective..if they were going that route, be better placing it in that dull grey coating that use to be on many craft
Bernie20910
Bernie20910 20
Somewhere in the world is a tree. That tree's sole function is to provide the oxygen that keeps your brain functioning. Find that tree and apologize to it.
howarddp
Beautiful!
I WILL steal that and use it on a specific SJW I know.
Thank you.
bbabis
bbabis 4
Well said Bernie. TIIYT. The internet is yours today.
djames225
djames225 3
Bernie...he would need a whole forest
jbsimms
If a tree fell in the forest, would he notice it?
djames225
djames225 1
Only if it hit him on the noggen.
jbsimms
Ha. Ha. Ha LOLOLOLOLOLOL.
lynx318
lynx318 2
Perfect Confucianism.
punkrawk78
Silent Bob 7
Mr. Madison, what you have just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it.
linbb
linbb 1
No stupid statements like you just made make me think you need help or to find someplace other than the internet to troll. YOU NEED HELP

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

djames225
djames225 6
I was already awake after I spewed coffee from my nose reading your first comment. That teal zinc chromate coat is for shell protection after manufacture, for transport and a for assembly. They come straight from Spirit with that coating. Yes it makes it easier to spot fuselage distortion, but it is that colour due to it's chemical composition. And it was never intended to remain primary fuselage cover.
Also it isn't the tape residue so much as it is actual paint removal. "Body bandage" can actually damage the paint when removed.
Quirkyfrog
The Boeing engineer told me that planes never leave the factory in that green color. He said painting is part of the package. So I was really surprised seeing the picture. Obviously my limited knowledge of things Boeing are in error. I blame the expert (assumed) at Boeing for deliberately misinforming people. I guess if you want a 'naked plane', you can get a naked plane. The engineer specifically said the coating was for tool damage inspection, and about stopping corrosion.

Spirit? The airline?

As per 'tape', I remember being on a plane and someone pointed to the right wing, and laughed that there was duck/duct tape 'holding the wing together'. Others looked out at it rather panicked, and I said that duck.duct tape is what holds the universe together. I know it's 'special tape', but it *looks* like something from Home Depot. After landing, someone pointed out that 'It's still there! That's some crazy tape!' Yeah...
djames225
djames225 6
He only slightly misinformed..yes normally are painted to purchase company spec, and in this case Sierra Nevada/AECOM/USAF obviously knew they would be taping and untapping things to it, so left in in chromate teal. Boeing had purchased Wichita back in the 20's from Stearman Aircraft Company.
As Michael pointed out, and I left the companies URL, Boeing sold off their Wichita and Oklahoma fabrication lines, Oklahoma division was purchased from Rockwell, in 05 t6o Canadian Firm Onex. Onex named it Spirit Aerosystems and in 06 purchased BAE's fabrication plants in Europe. Onex sold its shares in 2014.
PKVol
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.
— ABRAHAM LINCOLN.
Quirkyfrog
So, why did you contribute?
djames225
djames225 2
https://www.spiritaero.com/ the makers of the fuselage...and no "body bandage" is no duct tape.
SpaceRanger
The Boeing engineer was correct. They normally don't leave final assembly at the factory in that coating, but are painted to customer requirements. Fuselages, however, are built in Wichita, Kansas, by Spirit AeroSystems and are transported, with the green coating, by rail to Boeing's Seattle-area facilities. You will find plenty of photos of these airplanes-on-flatcars on-line. There was a notorious rail accident in Montana or Idaho a few years back in which some of the railcars left the tracks, spilling green 737 fuselages into a river. The unfortunate airplanes were immediately christened "Salmon-thirty-salmons."

Spirit AeroSystems is what used to be Boeing's Wichita factory, but it was spun off some years ago.
arcticdodge
Jeff K 0
The Engineer is more wrong than correct as are many of the comments posted here. The Renton production site only has two paint hangars and prior to the current production line stoppage those two paint hangars can't paint 2 planes a day that rolled off the line. So, more aircraft fly away unpainted to several other locations. There are 4 paint hangars in Seattle at Boeing Field. 3rd party companies also paint 737's in Spokane,WA, Victorville, CA and New Iberia, LA. The TPC (Temporary Protective Coating)is primarily to protect the aluminum during the manufacturing process. I can assure you it does not help to identify skin defects. It hides many defects that are often found after the TPC is solvent (Alkasol 27) washed off the aircraft in preparation for paint.
This BBJ 700 was originally built for DJC (Beijing Capital Airlines Company). Why it remains unpainted and what it's current mission is very interesting.
djames225
djames225 2
I believe you have errored. This craft was never built for Bejing Capitol. Wells Fargo owned it since being built, for a leasing company/aircraft merchandiser in Dubai. But this craft sat stored for 6 years, unwanted, then Wells sold it to Denmar technical Services (US govt) in March 2019.
Quirkyfrog
Interesting.

I should note that a week after I left, there was an 'incident' there.

Apparently a 787-9 (?) actually ran over a human being on the tarmac as it was taxiing to take off on a test flight. The poor 'human' was wearing the required bright yellow jacket and matching pants, and had his radio, but it was either not working, or turned off. He was 'transported to the hospital' in bad shape. I bought one of their 'official yellow jackets'. I don't feel quite so safe after hearing about that. =8-O

So, the 'engineer' told me a line of crap, and they actually ran over someone! Not getting high marks from me.

Sure, I'm aware of Wichita being a 'finishing plant'. and I would assume that others also paint planes. But if you are going to pay that much for a plane, the least they could do is paint the damn thing. Or clear coat it? Whatever.

Boeing killed how many people because of a committee decision, and outright lies to people on special tours? Oh, okay...

I also toured the main plant, not the 737 plant. No one can get in there, the 'engineer' said. With so much being 'inaccurate', maybe he was 'inaccurate' about that too?

Boeing has a lot of issues. Treating people that want to take time out of their lives to attend 'in depth' tours, and be fed BS is an issue. Just saying. It was cool seeing the 'birth' of big planes. And the sashes on them of the intended final owner. But they need to do better to not piss all over their workers, and the public. Just saying.

But, those that want to slag me, SLAG ON!!! Party on!!!
jbsimms
He had a plane to catch
jbsimms
Either he lied (& you took it hook, line, & sinker), you misunderstood him, or you made it up. I tend to believe somewhere between 2 & 3.
Quirkyfrog
And you accuse me of being negative. Amazing how easy it is to slam people you don't know.

I'm sure that the 'engineer' that did the tour was the shortest straw loser. But the tour was still fascinating, even with the 'misstatements'. Imagining working on a 777, running wires, riveting parts, installing windows. Knowing that plane will haul hundreds of thousands of people to all sorts of different destinations. Vacations, reunions, weddings, funerals, work, home...
NigelGunn
Nigel Gunn 0
Built in 2013, owned by DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE
BOLLING AFB , DC, US

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