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AA Tails And Why The Different Color  
User currently offlineRichiemo From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 206 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 3 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3172 times:

Always wondered - why are the vertical stabilizers (tails) on the American 757s, 767s and 777s not the shiny silver the fuselages are.I know the tails need to be weighed exactly before they are put on the aircraft, that's why you can always tell the airline when one is still being built. But why don't they just leave the AA tails the original metal. Or is it not metal and thus wouldn't match. Always wondered. And the nose cone has the same issue.

3 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAviateur From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1350 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (5 years 3 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3119 times:

It's because of the different materials used in the construction of the different tails. Composite components need to painted differently from traditional aluminum.


Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
User currently offlineAAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3451 posts, RR: 47
Reply 2, posted (5 years 3 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 3062 times:



Quoting Richiemo (Thread starter):
Or is it not metal and thus wouldn't match. Always wondered. And the nose cone has the same issue.

I believe you answered your own question. The nose cone and vertical stabilizer outer panels are NOT metal.  Big grin



*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
User currently offlineJBo From Sweden, joined Jan 2005, 2308 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 3 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3028 times:



Quoting AAR90 (Reply 2):
I believe you answered your own question. The nose cone and vertical stabilizer outer panels are NOT metal.

If you look at photos of older aircraft operated by AA, the tails were indeed kept bare metal. However, over time, as increasing amounts of composite material were introduced, more grey patches kept popping up on the tail surface. Eventually, AA went ahead and painted all tails grey for greater consistency:


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Photo © AirNikon Collection-Pima Air and Space Museum
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Photo © Fred Gay




I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day.
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