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Ansett 727 & 737 nose’s

Old 28th Jan 2018, 12:09
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Ansett 727 & 737 nose’s

Can anyone tell me why some (not all) Ansett Boeing 727 & 737’s had black rings on the nose cones, and some didn't? (Talking liveries in the 80’s and beyond).
Many thanks.
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Old 28th Jan 2018, 19:44
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It wasn't black but dark blue and was part of the colour scheme. During a repair or refurb of a radome it was not always possible, time wise, to redo the second colour.
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Old 28th Jan 2018, 20:43
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From memory it was a ring of conductive paint that was necessary for the long range aircraft fitted with (?brain fade, I think it was Omega) navigation systems pre - GPS that could do the Melbourne - Perth run direct (needed to update the INS to maintain required navigational accuracy over the bight). Our original B727 aircraft didn't have the range or avionics to do direct flights profitably if at all and we were being eaten alive in the marketplace by TAA with their brand new A300 Airbus.. Those aircraft were leased from Boeing around 1977 to allow Ansett to compete with the new TAA A300 Airbus until our B767 were delivered. They had centre wing section tanks, perhaps a different dash of JT8 and I think designated B727LR. We had them for a few years until the B767 arrived. The antenna was in the radome and needed to be able to "see" out on certain very low frequencies, hence the ring of conductive paint....unless someone was pulling my leg when I asked the same question circa 1978.

I watched Boeing build the B767 prototype. I still remember it being fitted with large lumps of black painted wood mock ups for various parts yet to be delivered.

Last edited by Sunfish; 28th Jan 2018 at 21:15.
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Old 28th Jan 2018, 22:10
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Thank you for the detailed reply! Many thanks.
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Old 30th Jan 2018, 06:01
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As this image shows, the ring was black not blue which supports the view that it was not part of the livery.



The following explanation of the nose ring comes from Tony Anderson, via John Minski and Ansett historian Fred Niven:

The photos of the black ring around the radome are of Ansett 727 & 737 a/c brought back some memories of the avionic group’s early work with Omega navigation systems.

You are right, the black ring was not part of the Ansett livery, but was part of a black conductive paint scheme, that was all over the radome, so that the Omega system would operate better as it was susceptible to “p” precipitation static when Ansett use particular antennae for the system.

In theory the static discharge would stream back to the exposed black conductive surface and discharge it before it got too significant.

There was also the possibility of breakthrough through the white polyurethane over-coat, if it were a thin enough coat. Management decided that as Ansett was an all white livery they permited as a compromise, just to have a black ring showing as in the photos.

The use of H field omega antennae on some aircraft relieved the requirement, as they aren’t as susceptible to “p” static as the E field antennae that were initially installed to try to get Omega to successfully function.
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Old 30th Jan 2018, 07:47
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Re: Omega



If I'm not mistaken my mother designed the all white colour scheme (excluding tail obviously) for Ansett and it didn't include the rings.

Seems strange that you'd "design" an all white colour scheme, however back then before all white, most aircraft were predominantly darker colours all over.
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Old 30th Jan 2018, 09:23
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I almost didn't see those three gentlemen standing there... they really should be wearing hi-viz.
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Old 30th Jan 2018, 12:21
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Ok, thanks heaps for the replies. So if Ansett did that to their 727’s & 737’s....why didn’t Australian/TAA do it on theirs? Honest question....
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Old 30th Jan 2018, 17:51
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Because TAA didn't use the Omega system.
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Old 30th Jan 2018, 19:39
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I suppose the next question is did Ansett use Omega on the 737s or did 727 radomes find their way on to the 737 fleet - assuming that they were indeed interchangeable?
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Old 30th Jan 2018, 22:13
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Some of the 737-300’s had a black ring, most didn’t. There was no OMEGA system fitted on any 300 so I’d guess they were spare radomes used on the 727’s as well? .
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Old 30th Jan 2018, 22:17
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However the 737-200 ADV did have Omega, and the black ring!

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Old 31st Jan 2018, 01:44
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Yes and PDCS, A/T and the works. Quite flash for a 200 series.
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Old 1st Feb 2018, 10:11
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Originally Posted by Fris B. Fairing View Post
As this image shows, the ring was black not blue which supports the view that it was not part of the livery.



The following explanation of the nose ring comes from Tony Anderson, via John Minski and Ansett historian Fred Niven:
ahh, the 727, loved that plane
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Old 1st Feb 2018, 10:47
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The Ansett aircraft all white colour scheme was part of the branding created by Landor and Associates of San Francisco.
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Old 4th Feb 2018, 08:07
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The Ansett 727-200LR had the same engines as the standard 727-200, JT8-15's. They had the same centre tanks too but an extra forward fuselage tank, by memory 6,800lbs, a beefed up centre section and a higher landing weight. Not as nice as the straight 200 to land, a little more care with speed and sink control needed for some reason. Beautiful aeroplanes, an absolute delight to fly, like sitting on a canon ball, fast but silent. Underpowered for a hot and high max take-off in the summer at Alice but otherwise just perfect. First ten rows in the back, nothing like it. At 10,000lbs an hour doomed by the fuel price but marvellous fun while it lasted.
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Old 4th Feb 2018, 18:18
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Remember the MEL-PER-MEL daytime sequence, George? Massive first class lunch (including all that lobster) both ways!
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Old 4th Feb 2018, 20:02
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With the Omega, due to the 'H-Field' antenna (whatever that was) it often dropped out in heavy rain. The Department of Changing Names insisted on dual Omega for the Pacific flying as a result of this problem. On descent into Apia going through a heavy shower, both dropped out. Maybe we should have had three of them and three black rings around the nose.
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Old 5th Feb 2018, 17:55
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Really straining the memory cells here George, but wasn't the Cunning Plan to prevent drop-outs to supplement the "H' Field antenna with an "E" Field antenna? Given the name of an esteemed mutual colleague that caused amusement too ("come on out of the radome, Ed").

I still think the quietest ride EVER was in the first few rows of a B727.
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