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PPG Aerospace donates coatings to restore V-22 Osprey aircraft for museum

January 24, 2012

One of six Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor combat aircraft used for full-scale development has been restored with coatings donated by PPG Industries’ aerospace business for display at the American Helicopter Museum and Education Center in West Chester.

PPG Aerospace donated Eco-Prime military primers and Desothane HS military and defense topcoats to create the special white, red and glossy black color scheme that met the original Federal Aviation Administration requirements.

On loan to the American Helicopter Museum and Education Center from the U.S. Marine Corps, the V-22 Osprey is full-scale development aircraft No. 3 and the only one on public display in the world, according to Amy Krize, the museum’s marketing and public relations manager. It had been displayed outside on the museum grounds since the late 1990s and showed wear.

The museum often gets offers from the U.S. military for loans of helicopters and other aircraft no longer in use, Krize said. “It’s our job to take care of them,” she said. “We wanted the Osprey to be restored and have it painted because of its historical significance.”

The museum took the request to Boeing Mobility in Philadelphia, where the fuselage, subassemblies, digital avionics and flight control systems for the V-22 are assembled. Boeing and partner Bell Helicopter manufacture the tiltrotor aircraft. Boeing took it from there, and that’s when PPG Aerospace’s Philadelphia-area application support center learned of the restoration and offered to donate coatings and painting supplies, according to Michael Ziemski, PPG Aerospace Total Service Solutions chemical manager.

Ziemski worked with Duane Utter, PPG Aerospace segment manager, military coatings and classified products, in Sylmar, Calif., who oversaw production of the primers and special-color coatings at PPG’s Mojave, Calif., aerospace plant.

Boeing employees volunteered to repaint the V-22, which included removing the 20-year-old original paint that had endured severe weathering.

Visitors to the American Helicopter Museum can now see what Gerald Garten, senior manager, manufacturing research and development, Boeing Research and Technology, Philadelphia, called “a world-class restoration of our beloved V-22.”

The V-22 Osprey is a special program also for PPG Aerospace, which supplies waterborne primers, topcoats, transparencies, and environmental and fuel tank sealants for production aircraft. Additionally, the PPG Aerospace ASC-Philadelphia in Mount Laurel, N.J., provides chemical management services to Boeing Mobility through PPG Total Service Solutions.

The V-22 Osprey is a joint-service, multirole combat aircraft using tiltrotor technology to combine the vertical performance of a helicopter with the speed and range of a fixed-wing aircraft. It is manufactured under a 50-50 strategic alliance between Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company, and Boeing.

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