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2017

PPG donates coatings to help U.S. Space & Rocket Center restore A-12 spy plane


HUNTSVILLE, Ala., Oct. 31, 2017 – When the U.S. Space & Rocket Center (USSRC) in Huntsville, Alabama, began restoring an A-12 Oxcart, it took only a local telephone call to obtain the aerospace coatings required to paint the legendary spy plane. Tom Meyer, PPG (NYSE:PPG) plant manager, aerospace transparencies facility in Huntsville, arranged for PPG to donate military aerospace coatings for repainting the Cold War reconnaissance plane operated by the CIA.
 

“PPG has a great relationship with the staff at USSRC, and we are honored to participate in the preservation of this historic aircraft,” Meyer said. “PPG has donated coatings for several aircraft-restoration projects, and the A-12 Oxcart was the most recent. We have a valuable asset here in Huntsville with USSRC, and we appreciate being able to contribute our aerospace expertise and resources.”
 
Military aerospace coatings expert Duane Utter, PPG global segment manager, military coatings and defense products, worked with the USSRC’s curator in selecting the best products for the job. Instead of flat paint like the original, the curator requested a topcoat with a high-gloss finish that would weather better in the aircraft’s outdoor environment.
 
PPG donated nearly 90 gallons of PPG DESOTHANE® HS 8201/F gloss military topcoat in midnight for the livery and four additional colors for markings. The company also contributed 30 gallons of PPG DESOPRIME® HS 7233 military epoxy primer.
 
Utter said the high-solids primer resists corrosion, chemicals and solvents and has excellent adhesion to a variety of substrates, making it well-suited for the A-12 Oxcart’s unique, primarily titanium airframe. The high-solids topcoat has the superior color and gloss retention desired by the USSRC curator, so the plane should maintain its museum-quality finish for years to come. Additionally, the topcoat improves cleanability.
 
The USSRC curator chose the livery and markings after extensively researching technical documents, historical records, recorded accounts in books and essays, and photographs. PPG manufactured the coatings at its Mojave, California, plant.
 
“We couldn’t have a better donor, advisor or friend than PPG,” said Holly Ralston, executive director, U.S. Space & Rocket Center Education Foundation. “Taking care of artifacts as large as the A-12 Oxcart is a tall order, but PPG’s people and paint are consistently up for the challenge here at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.”
 
The A-12 Oxcart has been on display outside the USSRC’s main museum entrance since it was received in 1989 on loan from the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.
 
Although the A-12 program was short-lived, with the first flight on April 30, 1962, and the last mission in May 1968, the aircraft was a pioneer for its stealth, speed and altitude capabilities. It reached a top speed above Mach 3 and an altitude of 90,000 feet. Only 12 of the aircraft and one trainer were produced, with seven aircraft and the trainer still in existence and on display in the U.S., including two others in Alabama.
 
The restoration of the A-12 Oxcart is part of the USSRC’s ongoing refurbishment of aircraft for which PPG is donating coatings. PPG’s aerospace business, which operates the Huntsville facility, previously donated coatings for the USSRC to paint an F-16 jet in a Red Tail livery commemorating Alabama’s Tuskegee Airmen, who served the U.S. during World War II, and for the restoration of an F-14 Tomcat fighter jet.
 
Additionally, the PPG Foundation has donated $55,000 in the past four years to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center Education Foundation for its AVIATION CHALLENGE® programs and scholarships. Employees of PPG’s Huntsville aerospace facility also regularly participate as volunteers in USSRC and Aviation Challenge camp activities.
 
Said Ralston, “We are grateful for PPG’s and the PPG Foundation’s continued financial and volunteer support of the Aviation Challenge scholarship program, which encourages youngsters to work as a team, step up as leaders and study hard when they go back to school. Whether it’s helping with our artifacts or supporting our young Aviation Challenge trainees, PPG preserves and protects both our history and future.”
 
PPG’s global aerospace business offers coatings, sealants, transparencies, packaging and application systems, and transparent armor, as well as chemical management and other services. For more information, visit www.ppgaerospace.com.
 
 
PPG and the PPG Foundation aim to bring color and brightness to PPG communities around the world. We donated nearly $10 million in 2016, supporting hundreds of community organizations across 25 countries. By investing in educational opportunities, we help grow today’s skilled workforce and develop tomorrow’s innovators in fields related to coatings and manufacturing. Plus, we empower PPG employees to multiply their impact for causes that are important to them by supporting their volunteer efforts and charitable giving. Learn more at www.ppgcommunities.com and follow @PPG_Communities on Twitter.
 
About U.S. Space & Rocket Center
The U.S. Space & Rocket Center, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is home to SPACE CAMP® and Aviation Challenge, the Apollo 16 capsule, the National Historic Landmark Saturn V rocket and world-class traveling exhibits. USSRC is the Official Visitor Center for NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and a showcase for national defense technologies developed at the U.S. Army’s Redstone Arsenal. To learn more about the exciting programs and activities at the USSRC, go to www.rocketcenter.com.
 
PPG: WE PROTECT AND BEAUTIFY THE WORLD™
At PPG (NYSE:PPG), we work every day to develop and deliver the paints, coatings and materials that our customers have trusted for more than 130 years. Through dedication and creativity, we solve our customers’ biggest challenges, collaborating closely to find the right path forward. With headquarters in Pittsburgh, we operate and innovate in more than 70 countries and reported net sales of $14.3 billion in 2016. We serve customers in construction, consumer products, industrial and transportation markets and aftermarkets. To learn more, visit www.ppg.com.

 
We protect and beautify the world is a trademark and the PPG Logo is a registered trademark of PPG Industries Ohio, Inc.
Desoprime and Desothane are registered trademarks of PRC-DeSoto International, Inc.
Aviation Challenge, Space Camp and U.S. Space & Rocket Center are registered trademarks of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

 
Media Contacts:
Anthony Stone
PPG
+1-256-851-1021
astone@ppg.com
www.ppgaerospace.com
 
Jean Verlich
JV Communications
+1-724-916-4558
jverlich@jvcommunications.com