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Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 3:52 am

Painted Wings

Tue Mar 14, 2000 2:35 am

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?
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Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 1:28 am

RE: Painted Wings

Tue Mar 14, 2000 3:31 am

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.


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RE: Painted Wings

Tue Mar 14, 2000 4:14 am

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?
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RE: Painted Wings

Tue Mar 14, 2000 4:27 am

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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Trans Brazil

Tue Mar 14, 2000 5:34 am

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

Tue Mar 14, 2000 6:14 am

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...
Why would God make us all so different, if He wanted us to be the same?
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Joined: Sat Sep 04, 1999 3:15 am

RE: Painted Wings

Tue Mar 14, 2000 6:28 am

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!
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RE: Painted Wings

Tue Mar 14, 2000 10:50 am

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,

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RE: Painted Wings

Tue Mar 14, 2000 11:09 am

Mesaba has taken 2 of there Sabb 340s and sported them with red wings along with the special 25 anv. sheame
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Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2000 7:58 am

RE: Painted Wings

Tue Mar 14, 2000 11:28 am

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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