BA777
Topic Author
Posts: 2048
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2001 11:40 pm

### Paint Weight And Cost

Afternoon all

I was just wondering how airlines figure out how much a new coat of paint would cost to apply. For example, does blue paint cost more than red? What about the weight too - are certain colours more expensive?

Is there any way at all to actually figure out the amount of paint and the cost needed to paint say a 737 in a certain scheme for example?

Cheers,

Henry

747Teach
Posts: 176
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2000 3:05 am

### RE: Paint Weight And Cost

BA777: A few years ago I was involved in painting 747's. If I remember correctly, from bare metal out, we figured about 60 gallons of primer (including catalyst), and 60 gallons of various colors (including catalyst), for a total of 120 gallons. The Crown Metro High Solids paint we used weighed about 10 pounds per gallon, so that works out to about 1200 pounds of paint. I don't recall that any one color cost any more than any other, but we bought in large quanities. With the strip, cleaning, and repaint, we figured about \$147,000 per plane. Took about 10 days to 2 weeks, with a crew of about 15 per shift on 2 shifts.
I'm sure the major airlines and paint manufacturers can put their computers to work and figure out about how much paint any particular scheme will require. Regards,

A330Fan1
Posts: 835
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2003 2:24 pm

### RE: Paint Weight And Cost

I am not sure this is right, but I read somewhere that the paint applied to a B747 is equivalent to the weight of 12 horses!!! I am not sure where I read it or even if I remember it correctly.

-A330Fan1

Cory6188
Posts: 2641
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2004 12:29 am

### RE: Paint Weight And Cost

So does AA save money then in fuel costs because their planes have very little paint on them?

Cory6188
Posts: 2641
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2004 12:29 am

### RE: Paint Weight And Cost

Another thought. If that's true, then all the airlines can fly bare metal planes around as a cost cutting measure. No one will be able to tell what airline the plane is, but hey, the atmosphere nowadays is to cut costs as much as possible!

I hope FR doesn't see that idea - pretty soon their planes will be all bare metal.

bio15
Posts: 1048
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2001 8:10 am

### RE: Paint Weight And Cost

"So does AA save money then in fuel costs because their planes have very little paint on them?"

Yes, they save money in fuel costs. However, bare metal is not actually bare metal. There is a special polish that needs to be applied on top of the bare metal to prevent corrosion. I heard somewhere that this polish is expensive compared to the regular paint, and it needs to be taken care of more constantly. I also recall hearing that the costs tend to even out with fuel savings so there's not much of a difference.

Good Luck
-Alfredo

smithfly114
Posts: 236
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 12:00 pm

### RE: Paint Weight And Cost

Actually AA advertises and is proud of the fact that their planes are lighter and cost less to paint ( yes there is the cost of the polish, however it would probably be miniscule compared to the paint)

avioniker
Posts: 1099
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2002 5:38 am

### RE: Paint Weight And Cost

The paint for a full-up DC10 comes in at 2200 pounds (plus or minus depending on solids content) after drying.
One may educate the ignorance from the unknowing but stupid is forever. Boswell; ca: 1533

wilco
Posts: 340
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2004 6:34 am

### RE: Paint Weight And Cost

am i dreaming or did AA also claim- internally at least- that the lack-of-paint made it easier for mechanics to identify leaks and other problems early on?
"Ever seen a grown man naked?"

yooyoo
Posts: 5686
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2003 5:01 am

### RE: Paint Weight And Cost

I remember reading a "quick fact" on Westjet's web site that the weight of paint to cover their 737's is 300 lbs.

Andreas
I am so smart, i am so smart... S-M-R-T... i mean S-M-A-R-T

American 767
Posts: 3947
Joined: Wed May 19, 1999 7:27 am

### RE: Paint Weight And Cost

2200 lbs for a DC-10? I think that's way too much. Then how would you explain this if you need 1200 lbs for a 747? A DC-10 isn't any larger than a 747 is it? 300 lbs for a 737 that makes sense. I remember reading somewhere how much paint a 747 needs when being repainted, but I don't remember the figures. I'll look it up in my books when I'm home.

Ben Soriano
Ben Soriano

411A
Posts: 1788
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2001 10:34 am

### RE: Paint Weight And Cost

From actual invoice numbers.

Lockheed L1011-1:

Strip and paint, all one color (Boeing gray), \$113,940

Scuff and paint, again all one color (Boeing gray), \$ 66,430.

In each case, paint weight....840 pounds. Note, NOT including the wings.

Case closed.

Theiler
Posts: 576
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2001 8:39 am

### RE: Paint Weight And Cost

Just out of curiousity, do these numbers include provisions for vaporization? It's probably quite difficult to calculate the true percentage of paint that actually sees the airframe (though I'm not familiar with av-painting methods).

411A
Posts: 1788
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2001 10:34 am

### RE: Paint Weight And Cost

Theiler,

You bring up an interesting question.

HVLP (high volume low pressure) is used, about 91% of the paint goes on the aircraft.

Having said this, pressure rollers can be used as well. Figure nearly 100% in this case.

Direct answer, the figure I quoted was...on the aircraft, as recorded on the weight & balance forms.

Starlionblue
Posts: 17563
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

### RE: Paint Weight And Cost

Sharkskin: It's not really smooth, and yet sharks are very nicely hydrodynamic. It turns out that the surface consists of very small ridges. Experiments show that this reduces drag (from the skin) by 1-2%.

IIRC, CX were playing with this about a decade ago. They painted some of their planes with "sharkskin texture" instead of smooth paint. This decreased fuel burn by a minute amount. Unfortunately the paint job cost much more than a standard one, offsetting the savings. I am not sure how exactly the tests turned out in the end.

"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo

Sammyhostie
Posts: 467
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2004 4:53 am

### RE: Paint Weight And Cost

Amrican have no paint at all on their a/c's, only transfers for the stripes, plain alumiminum for the body!

Starlionblue
Posts: 17563
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

### RE: Paint Weight And Cost

They still have paint of some kind. Bare metal is not a good idea.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo

Sammyhostie
Posts: 467
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2004 4:53 am

### RE: Paint Weight And Cost

They do not Stalionblue, my friends works in the hangar and he should know!
Why do you always assume you know everything!

The reason they dont paint their aircraft is

a) It saves on costs / upkeep and initial

b) Cheaper to run, lighter because of no paint

and c) It looks good!

411A
Posts: 1788
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2001 10:34 am

### RE: Paint Weight And Cost

AA do indeed have paint on many parts of some of their aircraft....figerglass/composite fairings for example.
In addition, the entire A300-600 is painted, as AirBus does not like to deliver unpained aircraft, due to corrosion issues, among others.

American 767
Posts: 3947
Joined: Wed May 19, 1999 7:27 am

### RE: Paint Weight And Cost

Not anymore. If you notice all of AA's A300's have the bare metal scheme like all other types, just the rear section of the fuselage, the tail and the center section on the belly are still painted in gray. It was 10 years ago that American removed the paint on the aluminium skin, indeed to save weight and paint each time the aircraft is due for its MX D-check. But you're right, when they were delivered fresh out of the factory from Toulouse France back in the late 80's/early 90's they were entirely painted in gray to prevent corrosion on the aluminum skin.

Ben Soriano
Ben Soriano

Starlionblue
Posts: 17563
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

### RE: Paint Weight And Cost

I stand corrected. Break out the windex!
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo

Guest

### RE: Paint Weight And Cost

I used to own a Schweizer 1-23G sailplane. The paint was pretty ratty when I got it so I had it stripped and repainted. Just for grins, we reweighed it after it had been stripped and it was 40 lbs lighter. (Of course, it had something like 5 or 6 coats of paint in some areas.) You really wouldn't think so, but paint is heavy and excess weight is one of those things that aircraft - any aircraft - don't need.

Jetguy

BA777
Topic Author
Posts: 2048
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2001 11:40 pm

### RE: Paint Weight And Cost

Hey Guys,

OK so just how much would 300lbs of paint for a 737 end up costing? A few thousand?

Cheers for all your replies, an interesting topic

Henry

wjcandee
Posts: 5882
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2000 12:50 am

### RE: Paint Weight And Cost

Here's a definitive article from Boeing, which says that net expense of operating polished aircraft are generally a bit *higher* than painted, due to labor required for more frequent repolishing than repainting.

http://www.boeing.com/commercial/aer...zine/aero_05/textonly/fo01txt.html

Best,

Bill

AmeriCam
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Dec 03, 2002 12:23 pm

### RE: Paint Weight And Cost

I've heard from multiple sources that the reason for the AA A300 being painted from the factory had nothing to do with corrosion issues. It was actually due to an issue with the supplier of the fuselage aluminum. It was, in fact, that the color consistancy of the aluminum (sheet to sheet) wasn't as uniform as AA had hoped, therefore a descision was made to paint the aircraft, rather than having a flying "disco-ball."

Cameron
"If you're going to crash, make it a fiery one."

abbs380
Posts: 118
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2005 11:25 am

### RE: Paint Weight And Cost

I think there is something to what AmeriCam says. I used to work for an airline that bought several new 747f/s which were mostly bare aluminum. They looked BEAUTIFUL when they came from the factory, so good that you could stand back away from the fuselage and see a reflection of yourself. Not exactly a mirror image, but you knew it was you. I was told that if you wanted this, you had to spec. it in the initial order, and it costs extra money because they had to match the batch of aluminum the skins were made from. Just like if you want paint, the batch number has to match. Of course, over time, aluminum acquires a "patina", if you want the original look back you have to polish it, which also costs money.

ExPanAmer
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2001 10:06 am

### RE: Paint Weight And Cost

Different colors likely cost more or less than others.In the automobile world, a Quart of red Dupont ChromaPremier is about \$90.00. Blue about \$60.00. Depends on the pigments, and other ingredients, like type and size of metallic pearls.Then you still have to add in activator, and other chemicals as required,And that is the basecoat.Then, it still needs the clearcoat!

wheeltug
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2006 3:49 pm

### RE: Paint Weight And Cost

To rephrase BA777's question - what does the additional weight of this paint actually cost the operator. Is there a rule of thumb for extra weight costs? Or a metric for fuel/(lb of additional weight-miles) for various aircraft?

Oryx
Posts: 123
Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2005 9:25 pm

### RE: Paint Weight And Cost

 Quoting Cory6188 (Reply 4):Another thought. If that's true, then all the airlines can fly bare metal planes around as a cost cutting measure.

No they can't. The public relations (?) department requieres a unique and for the public easy to identify scheme. So the bare-metal-scheme is burned for any other airline than AA.

YYZYYT
Posts: 917
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2005 12:41 am

### RE: Paint Weight And Cost

 Quoting Wheeltug (Reply 27):To rephrase BA777's question - what does the additional weight of this paint actually cost the operator. Is there a rule of thumb for extra weight costs? Or a metric for fuel/(lb of additional weight-miles) for various aircraft?

As it happens there have been recent real-life experiments, by AC.

They stripped a 767, anticipating savings of 360 lbs and \$24,000 / yr in fuel costs. see:
http://www.achorizons.ca/en/issues/2005/november/sparkling_silver.htm

It did not work out so well.
As noted above, the metal needed to be made/maintained a certain way to look right, as the general concensus concluded: RE: AC's Polished Silver B767, Looks Awful! (by AC7E7 Nov 16 2005 in Civil Aviation)#ID2440522

also, there were questions as to whether the savings would justify the added cost of maintaining the polish. So the idea was scrapped: RE: AC's Bare 767 To Get Dressed (by Yyz717 Mar 12 2006 in Civil Aviation)#ID2654290

474218
Posts: 4510
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2005 12:27 pm

### RE: Paint Weight And Cost

 Quoting Oryx (Reply 28):Quoting Cory6188 (Reply 4): Another thought. If that's true, then all the airlines can fly bare metal planes around as a cost cutting measure. No they can't. The public relations (?) department requieres a unique and for the public easy to identify scheme. So the bare-metal-scheme is burned for any other airline than AA.

Eastern stripped the paint from their L-1011's too match the remainder of their fleet in the 1980's. And in the 1950's and 60's Eastern motto was "The Great Silver Fleet." Any airline can leave there aircraft unpainted and AA can not stop them.

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