ELIZABETH CITY, NC – Advanced aerospace military coatings by PPG recreate historic paint schemes for repainted aircraft commemorating U.S. Coast Guard aviation’s 100th anniversary. Thirteen helicopters comprising three types – HH-52A, MH-60 and MH-65 – and two HC-144 search-and-rescue fixed-wing airplanes have been repainted in a visual retrospective celebrating the centennial.

High-solids DESOTHANE® HS/CA 9800 military advanced performance topcoat used on the helicopters provides a buffable high-shine finish with excellent gloss and image reflection, lower weight and long-term durability for exceptional color and gloss retention. Desothane HS/CA 8201 military topcoat achieves the special-effects metallic paint scheme for the HC-144 airplanes while affording a long-lasting finish. The PPG topcoats have been applied over high-solids DESOPRIME™ HS/CA 7233 military epoxy primer on all 15 aircraft, and DEFT™ chrome-free primer was also used on the MH-65 helicopters.

According to Duane Utter, PPG Aerospace Global Segment Manager for military coatings and defense products, a PPG military coatings technical and sales team worked with the engineering and paint manager at the U.S. Coast Guard Aviation Logistics Center, Elizabeth City, NC, to recommend coatings that would provide the desired gloss, durability and ease of application.

“PPG coatings offered the performance needed, and we were awarded the contract,” Utter said. “Desoprime HS/CA 7233 primer and Deft chrome-free primer provide exceptional corrosion resistance for the tough environment in which the Coast Guard flies these aircraft. Desothane HS military topcoats afford excellent weathering durability so that these special aircraft will keep their appearance for years to come.”

Utter said PPG is pleased to be involved in the Coast Guard’s aviation centennial celebration. “PPG has a long, successful history as a coatings supplier for U.S. Coast Guard aircraft, and we salute the aviators for their service in untold numbers of heroic missions.”

HH-52A Seaguard helicopter

Perhaps the most storied aircraft of the group is a restored HH-52A Seaguard helicopter tail number 1426 painted with Desothane HS/CA 9800 military advanced performance topcoat in 1975 colors with an orange cockpit, rotor tail and banding, and white fuselage and tail. The helicopter was involved in the rescue of 22 survivors from the burning freighter Mimosa and tanker Burmah Agate that collided November 1, 1979, near Galveston, TX, which the Coast Guard describes as perhaps the greatest mission in Coast Guard aviation history. In April, the helicopter became the first Coast Guard aircraft inducted into the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, and is on display at the museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA. Coast Guard aircrews that flew HH-52As are credited with saving more than 15,000 lives during the helicopter’s 26 years of service, which ended September 12, 1989.

Two HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft have been repainted in the livery on the Douglas RD-4 Dolphin airplanes the Coast Guard flew from 1934 to 1943, with a dark blue fuselage, yellow on top of the wings, red and white on the tail, and silver metallic on the belly, underneath the wings, and for the engine cowlings and a stripe on the tail. The special-effects paint scheme uses Desothane HS/CA 8201 military topcoat, with a clear gloss coat over the silver for additional luster.

Six MH-60 JAYHAWK helicopters have been repainted to resemble their Coast Guard livery from the 1950s to the 1970s in yellow Desothane HS/CA 9800 military advanced performance topcoat.

Six MH-65 Dolphin helicopters have been painted with Desothane HS/CA 9800 military topcoat in white with an orange stripe to recreate the livery found on H-65 helicopters from the 1980s and 1990s. Deft chrome-free 02GN084 primer was applied to the composite body and over Desoprime HS/CA 7233 primer as the base primer on the metal surfaces, affording corrosion resistance with a reduction in chrome of nearly 50 percent.

Personnel at the Elizabeth City U.S. Coast Guard Aviation Logistics Center selected these aircraft for their historical significance. The MH-60 and MH-65 helicopters were repainted there, as was the HH-52A helicopter for the Smithsonian display. The HC-144 aircraft were repainted at a paint facility in Texas. Except for the HH-52A, the aircraft are being returned to Coast Guard air service.