Actually Airbus uses a process called 'Bonded Primer' on their aircraft. The aluminum skin is chemically treated before it is used. If you have ever seen a picture of a unpainted Airbus plane it is the coppery-gold color you'll see.
If you look at a true bare metal Airbus fuselage you'll see all sorts of different colors with grain textures visible in a variety of directions (this before primer is applied).
The American A300's where not a special order,
The "special order" refers to the new matched polished aluminum skin panels Airbus provided to AA
at no cost to AA
in early 1990's (see previous msg).
...in fact for much of their life they flew painted a light gray.
slang term is "Boeing gray."
American Airlines Engineering Department not long ago came up with an in house EO to allow them to remove this coating and go with the fleet standard polished finish.
Not sure about this EO
, but AA
did get an EO
permitting replacement of the fuselage skin panels with entirely new skin panels provided by Airbus. Most of the actual replacement work was contracted out as the planes entered/exited heavy maint. checks.
So how does it work for AA aircraft that were originally built for another carrier.... Or do all Boeings have the premium skin?
Most Boeing acft use Alcad so simply stripping any paint, clean & polish the metal is all that was required. Ex-QQ birds were a different matter entirely. The actual plane owners required QQ to treat the skin panels (don't recall what exactly) and they could not be polished --which is why the ex-QQ birds flew in a modified AA
paint scheme (white instead of polished metal). Run your hand over those birds and you wonder how much additional drag those planes had.... very very rough surface!