P-38 Night Fighter - Gloss Black, Why?

Anyone offer an explanation as to why a gloss black was used?
thx - Craig
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Presumably because it's both "black as midnight", and reflection from the gloss paint might be mistaken for the twinkle of a star under moonlight.
You'd have to make sure you turned the exterior lights out during ingress and attack...but that's only tactical.
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I've seen several sources that claimed flat black against a star background at night could be detected. The reflections of the gloss black masked that effect by providing star like twinkles.
Val Kraut
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Val Kraut
If you look at the colours used during WW II you'll see a turn away from dull matt towards gloss. The RAF had their first nightfighters in dull black,but the rough surface of the paint decreased the topspeed some 5- 10 miles. Later they used greys as nightfighter colours. The USN used matt colours for the tricolour scheme in early and midwar, and later gloss blue all over. The USAAC/USAF used to paint the planes, but in late war had a lot of planes in natural metal finishes.
My guess is that the glossy surface gave better speed performance and the camouflage was less nessecary in the late war where the allies had almost total air superiority.
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Claus Gustafsen
Exactly. As one who worked stealth and camoulflage technologies, I saw things changing in the 90s. As long as there is no sun out to create sunglint, a mirror like finish can reflect a uniform background.
Also, under the right conditions a gloss black can be "blacker" than a matt finish. Matt finishes quickly pick up dust and grime and are much harder to clean than a gloss finish.
Some stealth designs do not absorb radar at all, they bounce it off in directions that will not get back to radar site.
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Don Stauffer in Minnesota
in article snipped-for-privacy@i12g2000cwa.googlegroups.com, snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net at snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote on 12/30/06 2:03 AM:
I THINK it was to make the plane less visible to searchlights. A gloss surface acts more like a mirror, with the angle of reflectance equal to the angle of incidence, so unless the light is hitting a surface perpendicular to the beam, it will reflect it in a direction not directly back toward the searchlight (and the searcher). A matte surface, OTOH, scatters light in all directions, which makes it more visible under beams hitting it from other angles. You can see the same effect sometimes at night when the road is wet -- it's hard to see the road surface because less of the light from your headlight is bouncing back at you. Pip Moss
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Pip Moss
Pip Moss wrote in news:C1BBF573.1709F% snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net:
exactly what I had in mind!!
And a happy new year to y'all
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Mechanical Menace

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