Early on, AA
's Airbus's where not painted because of a composite issue, but due to the type of assemble procedures used. Airbus, along with most European aircraft manufactures use a process called 'Bonded Primer'. This is where the Aluminum skin stock is chemically treated with an anti corrosive material. It can not be removed or disturbed in anyway. If you have even seen a picture of an Airbus aircraft during assembly, it is the copper-gold look that you'll notice. Just recently AA
established an in house Engineering Order that allowed them to remove the coating and polish the skin to match the rest of their fleet. Having not read the E/O, I would guess that due to the removal of the coating, the frequency of skin detailed inspections has been increased.
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Photo © Pierre-Clément Got
The large yellow-greenish panel on the crown has been primed, the rest is the Bonded Primer.
The Saab 340 uses this same Bonded Primer process and after several paint shops sanded off the coating, Saab issued a Service Bulletin to inspect all aircraft that had been repainted since leaving the factory.
[Edited 2004-09-20 22:44:28]
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