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AA Now Painting Bellies?!  
User currently offlineAA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5730 posts, RR: 11
Posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 27524 times:

So I just clicked over to this very nice photo of a BRAND NEW AA 737-823. You can tell it's very new by the line number, as well as they recently released modified engine exhaust nozzles, and presumably the red beacon housings as well.

The odd thing I notice, is that the belly AFT of the wing-body fairing is now painted.

When and why did AA modify their livery to incorporate this odd feature?

I can't imagine a reason to do this; there's nothing back there that warrants paint that I'm aware of....


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Andrew Hunt - AirTeamImages



As a follow-up, here's N862NN (just a few deliveries older) and it does NOT have the painted belly:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Alex Khan



[Edited 2011-11-13 15:10:47 by srbmod]

45 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineeinsteinboricua From Puerto Rico, joined Apr 2010, 3001 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 27467 times:

I think that might be the reflection of something on the ground (perhaps one of the piano bars of the runway or a side taxiway).

If you look from where the fuselage meets the wings and follow it up toward the nose, you'll notice that the "paint" fades. I don't think an airline will paint an underbelly just to have it fade up front.



"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15719 posts, RR: 26
Reply 2, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 27349 times:

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 1):
I think that might be the reflection of something on the ground (perhaps one of the piano bars of the runway or a side taxiway)

   The fairing is painted, and it looks different from that reflection.

Quoting AA737-823 (Thread starter):
I can't imagine a reason to do this; there's nothing back there that warrants paint that I'm aware of....

If anything it's the opposite. For a while United operated at least some planes (DC-10s for sure) with unpainted strips along the belly. The reason was that it didn't require them to paint the various antennas, vents, access panels, etc. down there and might have made inspections easier too.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinegrimey From Ireland, joined Jun 2005, 449 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 27234 times:

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 1):

I think that might be the reflection of something on the ground (perhaps one of the piano bars of the runway or a side taxiway).

I looked at the photo and zoomed in and it looks to be painted.

Grimey


User currently offlineeinsteinboricua From Puerto Rico, joined Apr 2010, 3001 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 27256 times:

Here's an example:


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/31/American_Airlines.Boeing_737-800.LAX.2007.jpg



"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."
User currently offlinesrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 27140 times:

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 1):
I think that might be the reflection of something on the ground (perhaps one of the piano bars of the runway or a side taxiway).

Using another AA 738 as an example:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © A. Kwanten



You see a similar whitish reflection, but you can determine that it is a reflection of the piano keys. In the photo in question, the a/c is high enough to where whatever the belly is reflecting is unseen.


User currently offlineGoodbye From Australia, joined Jan 2001, 913 posts, RR: 10
Reply 6, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 27046 times:

It's definitely painted. If you zoom in on the photo you can see a distinct line, and it curves up and goes completely vertical under the horizontal stabiliser.

User currently onlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24882 posts, RR: 22
Reply 7, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 26973 times:

Quoting Goodbye (Reply 6):
It's definitely painted. If you zoom in on the photo you can see a distinct line, and it curves up and goes completely vertical under the horizontal stabiliser.

Reflections can do funny things. I am willing to bet it's not painted.


User currently offlineAA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5730 posts, RR: 11
Reply 8, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 26919 times:

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 1):

I think that might be the reflection of something on the ground (perhaps one of the piano bars of the runway or a side taxiway).

Look closer- at first, I thought as you did, but we're both wrong. It is curved in an intentional arc straight into the APU door and composite tailcone; note that the color is identical. It's painted.

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 1):
If you look from where the fuselage meets the wings and follow it up toward the nose, you'll notice that the "paint" fades. I don't think an airline will paint an underbelly just to have it fade up front.

Notice that I pointed out that it was only AFT of the wing-body fairing....

Quoting srbmod (Reply 5):
You see a similar whitish reflection, but you can determine that it is a reflection of the piano keys. In the photo in question, the a/c is high enough to where whatever the belly is reflecting is unseen.

Thanks for cleaning up my original post.
Meanwhile, your own photo provides evidence against you- there IS a portion of that aircraft's belly which has also been painted, it simply does not extend all the way forward to the wing.
Piano keys are WHITE.... these sections we're looking at are American Airlines Gray.




Note how these sections are the same shade of gray as the vertical; surely you're not going to tell me that THAT is a reflection as well??  


User currently offlineBY738 From Tonga, joined Sep 2000, 2266 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 26795 times:

My vote is for deffo NOT painted

User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 26764 times:

Quoting AA737-823 (Thread starter):
I can't imagine a reason to do this; there's nothing back there that warrants paint that I'm aware of....

Simple belly skin replacement!

N873NN in original post has a full aft belly skin replacement.

N867NN in Reply 5 has a partial aft belly skin replacement.


User currently offlinezululima From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 302 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 26692 times:

This aircraft is indeed painted grey on the aft belly. I have seen and touched it, along with one of the older batch of 737s, N926AN I believe. This looks to be the new standard for the 737s.


I didn't get a 'Harumph' outta that guy!
User currently offlinemcoatc From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 190 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 26694 times:

I was sure it was a reflection at first, but I started to agree with you. Then I found this:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/53766376@N03/6313225957/

Definitely painted.


User currently offlineas739x From United States of America, joined Apr 2003, 6098 posts, RR: 23
Reply 13, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 26470 times:

It is painted. I have seen them here at SFO taxiing past to the maintenance hanger and its no reflection. At first I thought it was possibly a repair from damage, but I have now seen a few times.


"Some pilots avoid storm cells and some play connect the dots!"
User currently offlinePHLapproach From Philippines, joined Mar 2004, 1240 posts, RR: 20
Reply 14, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 26314 times:

For sure painted in that area. They didn't start getting some with the SFP option did they? Because correct me if I'm wrong but it comes with a bolstered tail skid I believe?

User currently offlinePC12Fan From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2424 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 24994 times:

Quoting mcoatc (Reply 12):
I was sure it was a reflection at first, but I started to agree with you. Then I found this:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/53766376@N03/6313225957/

Definitely painted.

Now that's been determined painted, the question is - why?



Just when I think you've said the stupidest thing ever, you keep talkin'!
User currently offlinegdg9 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 620 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 23420 times:

Quoting PC12Fan (Reply 15):

And will older 738s be painted this way in future if this is simply a cosmetic issue... Which I doubt.


User currently offlineboeing767mech From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1025 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 22843 times:

Quoting PC12Fan (Reply 15):
Now that's been determined painted, the question is - why?
Quoting gdg9 (Reply 16):
And will older 738s be painted this way in future if this is simply a cosmetic issue... Which I doubt.

Yes they are painted for a couple of reasons. The first is because of all the ramp rash on the cargo doors caused by the belt loaders. (this all I'm going to say about this one since I have to inspect the damage)

And the second reason is because of the corrosion issues around the exhaust for the Lav Blower Motor exhaust.

It seems the aft bellys are getting paint from the factory. Funny thing is the CV990's had the forward section of the fuselage paint for pretty much the smae reasons. I guess this is history repeating itself.

David



Never under-estimate the predictably of stupidty
User currently offlineAA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5730 posts, RR: 11
Reply 18, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 22308 times:

Quoting 474218 (Reply 10):
Simple belly skin replacement!

N873NN in original post has a full aft belly skin replacement.

N867NN in Reply 5 has a partial aft belly skin replacement.

What?? Skin replacement? On a months old plane? I think not.

Quoting boeing767mech (Reply 17):
The first is because of all the ramp rash on the cargo doors caused by the belt loaders.

After 40-odd years with the same livery, AA is just now having ramp rash issues? I don't get it... can you share just a bit more to give me a better idea? Being a 737NG mechanic myself, I'm struggling to correlate these two things.

Quoting boeing767mech (Reply 17):
And the second reason is because of the corrosion issues around the exhaust for the Lav Blower Motor exhaust.

I do see that the painted area includes the lav exhaust. But why the whole aft belly, rather than just that spot?


User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10351 posts, RR: 14
Reply 19, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 21501 times:

Maybe they're just getting ready for the 787s and how the belly will have to be painted on those........I wonder how much their livery will have to be altered for that a/c?


"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently onlineLONGisland89 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 731 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 21434 times:

Seems the cargo doors are being painted now on the newest 738s. Are they composite or just painted aluminum?

http://www.airliners.net/photo/Ameri...d=86216618a20c28e27cf58f0b80f7b6ad

http://www.airliners.net/photo/Ameri...d=86216618a20c28e27cf58f0b80f7b6ad

The cargo doors on all previous 738s look like this:

http://www.airliners.net/photo/Ameri...d=fce783af15696466629f485dafdf9b78

http://www.airliners.net/photo/Ameri...d=86216618a20c28e27cf58f0b80f7b6ad


User currently offlineykaops From Canada, joined Nov 2010, 68 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 19432 times:

Gee, here I thought AA was painting the aft bellies with gravel paint ,then eventually retrofit vortex dissipators onto the engines, and install a modified gravel deflector on the nose and take over the North! But then again..

User currently offlineTCASAlert From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 18529 times:

Notice that the nose is the same colour.

I wonder if this is a sign of things to come with the A320 order that obviously can't have the chrome paint?

A shame if so. The polished aluminium still looks amazing.


User currently offlineboeing767mech From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1025 posts, RR: 3
Reply 23, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 17916 times:

Quoting 474218 (Reply 10):
Simple belly skin replacement!

N873NN in original post has a full aft belly skin replacement.

N867NN in Reply 5 has a partial aft belly skin replacement.

And why would they paint the belly for skin replacement, we replaced skin before and never repainted them before why now???????

Quoting LONGisland89 (Reply 20):
Seems the cargo doors are being painted now on the newest 738s. Are they composite or just painted aluminum?

Aluminum

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 18):
After 40-odd years with the same livery, AA is just now having ramp rash issues? I don't get it... can you share just a bit more to give me a better idea? Being a 737NG mechanic myself, I'm struggling to correlate these two things.

We have had ramp rash probably before the DC-3's Other airplanes in our fleet have a barrier to protect the inward opening doors (MD-80) But those that don't (737 cargo, and 767/777 bulk cargo doors) have all kinds of dents and gouges from belt loaders. On the 737 it is a issue because of the chem etched skins aren't as forgiving to damage like the non etched doors on other airplanes. Alot of our 737's are flying around with big patched on the doors and now painted doors.

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 18):
I do see that the painted area includes the lav exhaust. But why the whole aft belly, rather than just that spot?

It makes the airplane look more uniform. We have been painting the bellies aft of the wing box area on the narrow bodies for a while, Part of the reason is because of erosion of sand and stuff on the runway during winter ops in the Northeast and Chicago area. It will also hide the oil canning that will start to show up as the airplanes get older, like it is on the 757's

David



Never under-estimate the predictably of stupidty
User currently offline22886 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 404 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 17739 times:

Its is definitely painted.

As you can see from the photos below CX Cargo also has this larger area of grey belly of the aft fuselage on their 744BCFs which they didn't have when the silver bullet scheme was first applied.

before

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © K.H. Ng - HKAEC



after

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Bastian Ding
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Alexander Sohre



25 na : I dont like it, especially if its only at the rear. Maybe its because the "keel" line of the rear is always dirty? CX also does it on their silver 744
26 Post contains images yeelep : I would think this and corrosion from the lav service panel are the primary reasons to paint the belly. There is quite a bit of evidence that this is
27 flyingzacko : I say it's a reflection, and even if it's painted, who cares?
28 na : Apparently some care about this first AA livery "modification" since the A300 in 1987.
29 September11 : Isn't this "breaking" news? I first thought it was reflection...
30 CO777DAL : Ok so this is even more mind boggling. Some say AA is painting the bottom because of ramp rash, then why does all of Continental 737s not have paint o
31 Post contains images SXDFC : AA did this so it gives all of us at a-net something different to talk about aside from the DL repaints and the 787 problems.. In all honesty I think
32 Post contains links OB1504 : Another photo showing the painted rear underside: http://www.flickr.com/photos/smartjunco/6304801328/ Does anyone else think it's odd that N873NN and
33 goomba : Someone I know in maintenance at DL once told me that the money that AA tries to save by NOT painting their aircraft (for the most part - logo - name
34 777STL : I'm not sure I'd give it that much significance. It's simply a minor modification of the livery for one aircraft type, it's not as if they've drastic
35 United727 : If I recall correctly, mayor, I thought I heard about a change like this would be coming in the recent past (a year or two ago), I believe you may be
36 blink182 : Could AA use metallic paint like VS and NW to achieve the same operational affect as the grey? If I were an average traveler, I would get the impressi
37 EDICHC : A one day old aircraft could suffer a tail strike you know or get hit by a ground vehicle, age has nothing to do with it.
38 LAXtoATL : I have heard this as well and I believe it is accurate. In order to prevent corrision AA must polish their planes more frequently. However, while it
39 AA737-823 : .....And so they'd replace the unpainted skin with unpainted skin, and then... paint it? Nope, still doesn't make any sense.
40 joelyboy911 : Continental's bellies aren't bare metal. They're painted a beige-grey colour, aren't they?
41 777STL : Uhh, no. If you would read the thread, you would discover an actual AA mechanic's explanation as to why they paint the underbellies of narrow bodies.
42 Post contains images yeelep : Oh no your'e not. They are indeed bare.
43 Post contains images Super80DFW : I've never noticed that before! I'll be sure to keep my eye out when I head to work tomorrow! Every time I see a 738, I'll be sure to take a really go
44 catiii : I think though, and I could stand to be corrected by someone in the know on this, CO's "bare metal" on their 737's seem to be in places where it is u
45 yeelep : The bottom third of the forward and the bottom quarter of the aft cargo doors are bare. So there's plenty of opportunity for GSE equipment to hit bar
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