Why do US fighter jets use white paint for their inlet

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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garrya

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Unread post22 Jun 2022, 20:11

I noticed that all USA fighters, whether stealthy or non stealthy, always use white paint for the internal of their inlet. By contract , other country doesn't do that.

The inlets of the Rafale for example have similar color with its outer skin. Anyone know why?
f-35.jpg

rafale inlet.PNG
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h-bomb

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Unread post22 Jun 2022, 20:52

Talking with my father old JEM and Corrosion control specialist. He thinks it may be a legacy of older engines that had generators off the from of the mail spool. You could see oil leaks better. Not needed now as the accessories are all on the side of the engines. But sometime the USAF does things since it always been done that way.

TEG mention inspections that F100-100/200/220 need, that were done on the F100-229. The newer engine did not have the issues or the parts on question.
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f119doctor

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Unread post22 Jun 2022, 23:51

F100-100/200/220/229, F110-100/129, F119 all require thruflight/postflight inlet inspection where the crewchief jumps the intake and inspects the front of the engine for FOD damage. I believe the F-35/F135 also requires this inspection, although the F135 does have a sensor in the inlet that was supposed to detect debris passing into the engine - don’t know it the operation of this sensor has ever been validated sufficiently to eliminate thru/postflight inspections.

Don’t know why the white inlet coating other than to make the bug / bird ingestion skids more visible.
P&W FSR (retired) - TF30 / F100 /F119 /F135
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garrya

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Unread post23 Jun 2022, 06:23

Thanks you guys, I was under the impression that the inlet is unpainted because they worried that the paint will crumble and drop inside the engine. So it was a bit weird that the inlet of F-22 and F-35 are also unpainted.
But yes, your explaination make a lot more sense

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