Once every four years an F-16 from the Dutch Air Force is selected to give a solo display at air shows around the world and made-over with a unique and striking new livery to add to the impact.
Not only does the design need to reflect national pride and catch the eye, but the livery needs to be as fresh at the end of its four-year life as it was at the beginning. To make sure, the Dutch Air Force turned to AkzoNobel Aerospace Coatings for its products and ability to create colors and special effects that bring challenging designs to life.
The latest design is a two-color version of the Dutch national symbol, an orange lion. Working with the designer and coatings contractor, Stork Fokker Services of Hoogerheide, Netherlands, AkzoNobel recommended Alumigrip coatings developed for the general aviation sector to obtain the high reflective special effect that gives the orange lion its unique image. Alumigrip coatings were also used for the previous show model "The Sonic Boom," and proved performance on both durability and visual excitement.
The system selected was a combination of MIL specified black topcoat and Alumigrip 4250 for the two shades of orange, with a clear overcoat of Alumigrip 4300, products typically used by the general aviation sector.
"Special designs like this are always challenging to execute however the vast experience of our team not only extends the boundaries of what is possible, but also delivers incredible results that even surprise the designers when they see the finished aircraft," says Robert Rijnsburger, International Technical Sales Manager for AkzoNobel Aerospace Coatings.
The aircraft can be seen at displays across Europe, Scandinavia and the US during 2009 including the Rome Air show in May. For more information click here.