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Visor painting


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#1 Guest_deweygcc_*

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Posted 11 October 2004 - 11:50 AM

I've recently taken an interest in designing patches and had some great ideas for painting the leather visor cover.

I know patches are not terribly sanctioned... in regard to not being brutally obvious or sexual.

However I have seen SOME leather visor covers painted, how is this looked on? I know the helmet itself "isnt" painted unless you are a T-bird.
I could be all wet but does anyone have an AFI or anything on this?
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#2 Hacker

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Posted 11 October 2004 - 12:55 PM

Most visor covers are embroidered with callsign and sone kind of squadron emblem...at least that's my experience in the last three squadrons I've been in.
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#3 Guest_deweygcc_*

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Posted 11 October 2004 - 03:09 PM

why dont they allow painting of helmets? I think the USN gets the same hgu-55 we do yet they paint theirs.
And who does the work?

[ 11. October 2004, 15:10: Message edited by: deweygcc ]
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#4 Hacker

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Posted 11 October 2004 - 05:05 PM

I am pretty sure that there is a Life Support tech order that restricts the painting of the HGU itself. I don't know what it specifically is off hand, but I can go look it up if you're really that interested. It was never an issue when I was an LSO, so I have never looked it up that I can remember.

That being said, I've seen numerous "special" squadrons that painted helmets, most significantly the F-117 squadrons used to have black-painted helmets with special aftermarket black leather (purchased by their Life Support accounts!). There was also a Group Commander at SJAFB when I was there who flew F-15Es with a red-painted HGU...I know *I* certainly didn't have the balls to tell him he couldn't wear it anymore, especially since I believe it was a gift from the life support folks at his previous base when he left there.

My understanding on the painting issue (as explained to me by my life support NCO) is this: Some types of paints can damage/degrade the fibreglass shell of the helmet and the USAF didn't want to have to regulate what kinds of paints were being used by billy-joe-bob on his helmet. This one always sounded a little fishy to me, since Gentex has no problem painting the base HGU in almost any color, but I'm sure there are some solvents and types of paint that could potentially damage the shell.

Also (and more importantly, depending on who you ask) since the helmets are the responsibility of the life support techs in your squadron, a painted helmet becomes a liability for them. How pissed would you be if a 2-striper put a big-assed scrape through your airbrushed helmet while they were changing out your bayonet holders or your leather edge roll. They don't need that kind of baggage while working on government equipment. Would they be responsible for touching up the paint? What if they didn't fix it to your satisfaction? Would you fly into combat with your fancy-painted helmet, or would you ask for a "sterile" one when the balloon went up?

See where this is going...it was just FAR easier to say "no" and not have to deal with painted helmets all together, since there is really no benefit to it.

As far as the Navy goes, that's a whole different ball of wax. They actually require a certain percentage of their helmet to be covered with reflective tape, and thus the white base color of many Navy helmets is actually white reflective tape. Since they don't abide by AFIs, they can do what they want, I guess. The Navy HGU helmets that I've seen that appear to be "painted" are actually colored tape or latex graphic stickers applied over the reflective tape. I don't know how they deal with damage to those graphics through use...perhaps they just suck-it-up fatty if their enlisted tech alters it when they do their work.

I've tried lots of different times to put something on my helmet, getting rebuked every time -- one time I wanted to put a little UW Husky sticker back by the nape of my neck on the shell, and it was removed the next day by the LSO.
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#5 P-3FO

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Posted 11 October 2004 - 05:50 PM

For the Navy helmets, Hacker is correct that it is mostly white reflective tape. There are some squadrons that affix reflective tape logos onto the helmet. This is normally done by a PR (parachute rigger) in the PR/AME shop (para loft and aviation life support equipment).

When I was the PR/AME Division Officer we had a really talented E-5 that affixed large tiger paws to the backs of our helmets using orange reflective tape and not so reflective black tape. It looked great, but he has since transferred and the new check-ins don't get design on their helmets.

It's too bad the AF does not allow this, would be a great squadron morale booster if all the aviators had decorated helmets.
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