ACL1011 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (13 years 10 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 1248 times:
The process that major airlines go through to re-paint their airplanes when a new scheme is introduced is usually a lengthy process. For example, when Air Canada introduced the current all-white livery in 1993, it took until 1997 to paint/retire all of the fleet. I say retire because many of the DC-9s were left in the red scheme. 4 years! I'm sure that there are other stories out there about longer times. I also wanted to ask about lonmg-time liveries. Some great schemes ARE great because they have lasted for so long. IE American, Royal Air Maroc, Air Portugal. These have been around all the way back when they appeared on their 707s. It's a success when it lasts so long. Too bad Air Canada and Aerolineas Argentinas changed after so much time. What do you think?
Matt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 50 Reply 1, posted (13 years 10 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 1070 times:
Northwest is another one that took forever to repaint its planes. The current livery was adopted in 1989. I saw the old livery as recent as Feb 1996 on an MD-80 at Ontario!
Continental was another one. I have a picture of a CO 727 that I took in fall of 1994. It still had the People Express stripes on it! 7 years that plane flew around without being repainted! United was another one that took its time. The current livery was adopted in Jan '93. I saw a 757 in the old colors as recently as 1998!
By contrast, Alaska took less than 3 years to repaint their fleet. The current scheme was adopted in or around May of 1990. The last plane I saw in the old livery was an MD-80 in November of 1992. I never saw an old one after that. USAir also repainted it's planes pretty quickly from the rust colors to the final blue/red livery. That job was done in less than 3 years.
But, the record has to go to Southwest for how fast they repainted the Morris Air fleet. Less than a year....
AC183 From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 1532 posts, RR: 2 Reply 3, posted (13 years 10 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 1050 times:
AC unveiled its current scheme on December 1, 1993. From then until the last aircraft was painted was about 3 years, and I don't think that's too bad to repaint 200 mainline and connector aircraft. That's like one a week at a time that they needed to keep the aircraft flying for lack of capacity.
Starship From South Africa, joined Nov 1999, 1098 posts, RR: 15 Reply 6, posted (13 years 10 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 1037 times:
A new 747 takes 1000 to 1200 man hours to paint. Most of this time is devoted to preperation and the actual painting process only takes about ten hours. About ten people work on each aircraft, eight on the fuselage and two on the wings. The team works three shifts a day.
Starship From South Africa, joined Nov 1999, 1098 posts, RR: 15 Reply 7, posted (13 years 10 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 1036 times:
While you are thinking of questions to ask, I can tell you that repainting normally takes place when the aircraft comes in for a major overhaul known as a D check. Depending on aircraft usage, this would be performed every five to ten years. As all the old paint has to be stripped off to enable technicians to scrutinise every nook and cranny for cracks, a complete repaint obviously takes a lot longer than the first application by the manufacturer. A large aircraft such as a 747 would take at least seven to nine days to repaint with certain facilities taking a lot longer. For each day that a 747 is out of service an average of $160 000 in revenue is lost by the operator.
Woxof From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 9, posted (13 years 10 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 1010 times:
For those that complain about how long it takes an airline to re-paint their freet after a livery change, I must completely disagree.
As an employee of an airline and stockholder of same, I would not wish or expect the airline to paint the aircraft after a scheme change until they are skd for a major overhaul. Why take a valuable asset out of the system just to paint it??
I guess if it simply looks dreadful,,,,,there might be an "image" argument, but in my eyes an airplane doesn't make money sitting in a paint shop somewhere.
Starship From South Africa, joined Nov 1999, 1098 posts, RR: 15 Reply 11, posted (13 years 10 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 1010 times:
A brand new aircraft from the production line is coated with a lime green temporary protective coating (at Boeing anyway) before moving on to the paint hangar. The TPC is then removed with sand and a solvent is applied to clean the surfaces and after that water sprayed to aid inspection. Finally windows, radomes and other items are masked, so that they will not be painted.
The first stage is to apply a coat of chromate-based primer. To avoid contaminating the atmosphere, the hangar doors are kept closed during the entire painting process that can take up to four days. The paint is then applied next. The paint used is polyurethane enamel and is required to expand and contract as the aircraft is pressurised and depressurised during its flight cycles. Usually three top coats are applied. A 747 in multiple colours can use up to about 600 litres of paint. The weight of the paint varies according to colour and would you believe the heaviest is white. Boeing offer their customers 100 different shades of white. 40% of the weight of the paint evaporates during the curing process, which takes about 4 hours - steam both heating and curing the paint - which actually dries faster with humidity which is set at 30 - 40% during the process. After the paint has been applied and is ready for curing, the temperature in the hangar is raised to around 50 degrees Centigrade. After the process is complete it takes half an hour for the return to ambient temperature.
With regard to stripping paint from an aircraft, various methods have been used, but these days the methods have to be environmentally friendly and care must be taken to ensure that waste is collected for proper disposal. Lufthansa, for instance experimented with the use of frozen carbon dioxide, wheat starch and laser techniques before concluding that a mixture of water, alcohol and 7 to 10% formic acid is the most environmentally friendly method.
These days an electrostatic painting process is used whereby the spray guns impart a positive charge to the paint particles which are then attracted to the (negative) metal fuselage. As a result spraying losses have fallen from around 35% to only 10%.
Boeing have experimented with applying a nylon material between the primer and top coats so that when repainting becomes necessary, a paint stripper such as benzyl alcohol can be used just to remove the top coat. The intermediate coat process has been used on some B747s and 777s. The 3M Corporation are also conducting trials with a 'paintless' film system, but Boeing concluded that film is not a viable option for commercial aircraft for technical and economic reasons.
Dispatcher From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 250 posts, RR: 5 Reply 12, posted (13 years 10 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 986 times:
You seem to know a lot about this so I may be totally wrong here but I understand that one of the reasons FedEx changed their livery was to due to the weight of all that purple paint on the aircraft. The new paint scheme (purple tail only) was supposed to be lighter weight. This would seem to contradict what you say about white being the heaviest color. Any thoughts?
Starship From South Africa, joined Nov 1999, 1098 posts, RR: 15 Reply 13, posted (13 years 10 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 987 times:
I regret I cannot comment on that. I knew nothing about the subject of aircraft painting a month or two back and posted a topic in order to learn more. There were virtually no responses, so I did some research, but was only able to find two sources on the subject in the time available. The most important facts have been listed above. Whether purple paint weighs more than white is anybody's guess. I love the colour myself - it represents my birth stone - amethyst!
Bruce, it really isn't that bad. I'm just wondering what you might think of our own (South African) attempt at spicing up the artwork on a plane. This one was done in 1996 to promote our rainbow nation's olympic bid.