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Painted Wings  
User currently offlineNa From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 11590 posts, RR: 9
Posted (16 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 1332 times:

I remember that until the merger with BOAC to form BA the British airline BEA used to paint the wings of their aircraft in red. Since then obviously no airline paints the wings of their planes in any other colour than white, silver, or gray.
Why, is it because these (non)colours reflect the sun best?

9 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineAvion From Bouvet Island, joined May 1999, 2205 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (16 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 1247 times:

Not long ago Balair had yellow wings on their A-310s. The yellow wings were balairs trademark and it was very easy to recoginse a balair aircraft. I think the airlines dont put on colour because it gets to heavy.



User currently offlineTrident From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 484 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (16 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1242 times:

BEA painted the wings red on their aircraft when the "Red Square" livery was introduced in the early 1960's. The colour scheme was changed in 1968 to a blue cheatline and blue tailfin with Red Arrow/half "Union Flag" but the red wings were retained. In all probability, if BEA had remained in existence into the 1970's , the new Tristars would have featured the red wings. It was not to be however, as the red wings were not retained in the new BA livery introduced in 1974. Some staff in the European division of BA (the former BEA) campaigned for the retention of the red wings. They felt it was only fair as BOAC's "Speedbird" was still part of the BA logo (although that was droppped in the 1984 revamp - and replaced by the red "Speedwing").
In the end, the arguments of cost and weight penalties won the day. The thought of painting a 747's wings red wings was too much!

Apart from Balair, has any other airline painted their wings?

And finally, now that wings are more often than not manufactured from composite materials, are the wings not painted anyway for corosion protection? Is Corruguard a form of paint?

User currently offlineTeahan From Ireland, joined Nov 1999, 5446 posts, RR: 58
Reply 3, posted (16 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1235 times:

Baalair has sinced stoped because of spare parts with their B 767's. What a pity    The yellow wings airline is gone.

Jeremiah Teahan

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Photo © Luis Rosa

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Photo © Richard Austen

Here are a few photos to refresh your memory

Goodbye SR-LX MD-11 / 6th of March 1991 to the 31st of October 2004
User currently offlineBacardi182 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 1091 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (16 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1230 times:

tranz brasil also painted their wings, i cant remember what colors or if they still do today but it did look cool!

User currently offlineAirT85 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (16 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1224 times:

Hey Y'all! i know AmWest Express has painted the wings of there CRJ's in the new colorscheme a blue colors, it is really nice. But thats all i have seen here in the US...

User currently offlineIlyushin96M From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 2609 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (16 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1223 times:

There was an airline here in the United States, Northeast, which sported yellow wings in the '60s and '70s. Also, on the undersides of the spoilers on their CV880s and CV990s, as well as other jets, they sported the lettering THANK YOU FOR FLYING NORTHEAST.   Kinda cute, and not something you'd see nowadays.

I suppose the vote is in that painted wings were eliminated due to extra weight and higher maintenance. Too bad, it certainly did distinguish a few airlines!

User currently offlineBuff From Australia, joined Mar 2007, 0 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (16 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 1217 times:

I hope one of our engineering experts will answer this one: While at my previous company out in eastern Canada, I had tried unsuccessfully to get the company to paint the upper surface of the wings in our traditional dark blue colour, as the darker colour would absorb the early morning sun and reduce the deicing costs by helping to melt the frost/ice. They never did it and never gave me an answer why. For the tens of thousands of dollars it would have saved us, I really did want an answer. If in fact the increased absorbtion of sunlight presents a problem with fuel expansion, I would have understood. We never left the aircraft parked though with vast quantities of fuel on board overnight, so it should not have been a problem.

They had the opportunity over the years as the aircraft were all painted at least once since my suggestion went in. The company is now bankrupt and shutdown so it is no longer a factor. Maybe they should have listened...(!)

Best Regards,


User currently offlineDc-9-10 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 586 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (16 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 1209 times:

Mesaba has taken 2 of there Sabb 340s and sported them with red wings along with the special 25 anv. sheame

User currently offlineBigGiraffe From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 257 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (16 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 1207 times:

The USAF paints their wings. For the E-3 and E-8 (both are 707 derivatives) the entire aircraft is basic light gray. I have seen various 727 wings painted light gray through the years. But I don't know a particular reason why an airline wouldn't paint the top a dark color, unless they felt it wouldn't look good to the passengers.

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