According to the following report JAL have finished a 10 year study into the effects of having an unpainted cargo aircraft. For them, its all good! They plan to introduce it on pax aircraft in the future!Unpainted planes cost-effective, JAL says
Unpainted planes are more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than painted ones, Japan Airlines said Monday after a nearly 10-year study on the performance of an unpainted 747 cargo plane.
The plane, introduced in August 1992, has helped the company cut back on paint and other chemicals, and has saved up to 2 million yen a year on fuel expenses as it is about 200 kg lighter without paint.
JAL repaints its other planes every six years.
The company plans to compile the results of the study in spring.
U.S. airlines such as American Airlines and Northwest Airlines also operate unpainted cargo planes. But the companies regularly have to mobilize dozens of employees to polish the planes' bodies to prevent corrosion and rusting.
JAL originally began the study to determine how long the interval should be in polishing the body.
The airline gradually increased the interval from four months but found the rate of corrosion was unaffected even if polishing was conducted at one-year intervals, adding that scratches are easier to see on the unpainted plane.
The company said it plans to operate unpainted passenger planes in the future.
The Japan Times: Jan. 15, 2002
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