Ho do you effectively repair an Aircraft Radome?

” How and were to get an Aircraft Radome Repair Training?”  Owl-icon


To all Aircraft Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO stations) and composite repair technicians in the maintenance of Aircraft Radomes:
An Aircraft radome is more than just a cover for your aircraft’s radar unit for an MRO composite repair station. It’s an integral part of your avionics system and some aerodynamics of the aeroplane.
The radome is one of the essential parts of the aeroplane. It must be able to withstand the wind-, rain- and hail- forces of routine flight while providing a window through which the radar sents a signal. That is why a  radome is made from composites only glass fiber. NOT from carbon fiber

That is also why all radomes are repaired by very skilled and well-trained Composites Repair Technicians They all have to follow approved OEM repair specifications by Boeing or Airbus and others

To repair damaged radome (s) by OEM specifications, you need to be skilled with many years of repair experience; you can do the job accordingly. This is where we EFC come in to provide you or your technicians with the best skill training and knowledge there is!

Composite Shop Managers and composite Shop leads need to understand that Advanced Radome Repair requires far more added skills from an actual Composite Repair Technician than they already have.
In our facilities in Amsterdam The Netherlands, Leipzig and Frankfurt in Germany, we can hands-on train you as a Composite Repair Technician to become very skilled in Advanced Radome Repair. Learning you all the tricks and tips in the book we gained from over more than three decades in the repair of composites.

To Aircraft Maintenance Repair & Overhaul MRO stations, Composite shops composite managers in the maintenance of Aircraft Radomes the following:

  • An Aircraft radome is more than just a cover for your aircraft’s radar unit for an MRO Composite repair station.
  • It’s an integral part of your avionics system and some aerodynamics of the aeroplane.
  • A radome is one of the essential parts of the aeroplane.
  • It must withstand the wind, rain and hail- forces of routine flight while providing a window through which the radar sents a signal.
  • That is why all radomes are repaired following approved OEM repair specifications by very skilled and well trained Composite Repair Technicians preferably with over more than five-year experience in composites repair.

To repair damages on a Boeing 787 Aircraft Radome by Boeing specifications, or Airbus A350 by Airbus specifications radome you have to be skilled with 3 to 5 years of repair experience before you can do the job as it should on old but also new generation aircraft like the Boeing 787 and Airbus 320, 350 and more. 50 to 55% of the new generation Aircraft contains advanced composites
There is where we at EFC come in and we will and can provide you,  a composite technician with the best skill training and all the knowledge there is! 

Composite Shop Managers and Shop leads need to understand that Advanced Radome Repair requires far more added skills from an actual Composite Repair Technician than they already have.

BRadome Structural Design

The structural design requirements for Radomes are similar to most other fairings.

The Radome must withstand air loads, inertial loads, possible impacts, such as hail and bird strikes.

Radome Purpose

A Radome is an essential part of the aeroplane. It must withstand the abuse of routine flight while providing a window through which the radar signal is sent.
If a pilot has issues with an inaccurate radar signal, most likely, the cause of the problem is the Radome and not the radar system itself
Materials (Skin Core Paint) Storage conditions, traceability, Paint, Fluted core, Honeycomb core, core type & density

Radome repair
Radome transmissivity is also sensitive to the finish system applied. Using the wrong finish or applying too much finish or coating can cause Radomes to fail transmission tests.

Beware: When repairing Radomes, check the OEM manuals for the use of filler plies or extra plies; they may NOT be used. Even one extra ply of fibreglass (.0045 to .01 inch thick) can adversely affect radar

Performance.
Similarly, the repair core must be cut to the exact specified thickness specification.

Fibreglass and Nomex are transparent to radio energy. Graphite and aluminium are not.

Note: Carbon fiber  and aluminium honeycomb core must NEVER be used in a Radome or repair of a radome

The Radomes of a Boeing 787, Boeing 777 or Boeing 737 or  Airbus-320 and Airbus 350 and many more types and brands must always allow the transmission of radar signals for the proper functioning of the radar systems.  The transmissivity of the Radomes all depends on the Radome thickness and the materials used in the repair.
Radome transmissivity is very sensitive to the overall thickness of the Radomes and if repaired wrongly making a repair too thick you have to repair  it again

In design, the total thickness of the sandwich construction is controlled by the honeycomb core and the number of surfaces inner and outer plies and surface protection coatings
Overall, a paint thickness of more than .01 inches can reduce transmissivity.
All old finishes must be removed before the application of new finishes and paints.
The rating of the Radome may change based on the repair that is selected.

If the rating is below the required rating for the Radar, a transmissivity check has to be performed to check if the Radome still meets the set requirements:.

  • Production method
  • The electrical and mechanical requirements

The structural requirements for Radomes design are conveniently divided into two types;

  • Electrical
  • Mechanical

Electrical requirements are any design problems that have to do with the function of the Radomes as a window transparent to the electromagnetic energy of the desired frequency range and intensity. 

Mechanical problems are included in the design of the structure and all other requirements that have to do with the ability of the Radomes to withstand the desired environmental conditions. These include:

  • Wind loads
  • Internal loads
  • High temperature due to aerodynamic heating or proximity to the jet exhaust
  • Low temperature
  • Moisture resistance
  • Resistance to; rain, erosion, shock and vibration, nuclear radiations, dust erosion, and icing
  • The ability to withstand damage from lightning strikes

These two sets of requirements are hopelessly interrelated; i.e., the electrical design may not be changed without affecting the mechanical design and vice-versa.

Electrical requirements

Static electricity: The friction of high-velocity air passing over a large surface electrical insulator such as a plastic Radomes result from the build-up of static electricity, which periodically discharges by arcing to a metallic portion of the aircraft

This discharging can result in interference with the aircraft’s electronic equipment. The use of an anti-static coating having an electrical resistance low enough to allow the static charge to bleed off gradually provides a solution to this problem

In our training facility nearby Schiphol Amsterdam Airport and our other training facilities in Leipzig and Frankfurt Germany, or onsite at your facility we can train you or your technicians as an individual or company in Advanced Radome Repair.

For Hands-on training, click the following link:  TECH-120 Radome Repair course  and make a choice to go to one of our locations and enrol for our Radome repair course. 
For online e-learning training courses, and Radome tooling fabrication please go to this elearning link Radome tooling splash  OLMS-055

We can provide Worldwide Composite Training.
Let’ us know when and where, and we can perform any training onsite at your company facility!
We also provide training services to support you or your company. Bespoke course tailored to your company needs, and we also have a whole range of SAE-CARC standard courses designed to give your company and as participants the best knowledge and skills that you or your company is looking for.
Please contact us to see if EFC can help you get you or your company the front row in the best performance.