Moderators: richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
IFlyVeryLittle
Topic Author
Posts: 182
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:31 pm

Retro-jet maintenance

Wed Jun 02, 2021 7:24 pm

On another site (I know, I know), there is a group that shares photos of old, classic airliner liveries, and occasionally someone will drop in a photo of a modern-day retro-jet American Airlines bird. With just a few of those special edition aircraft flying around, how does American keep up with the techniques, equipment and materials to keep a shiny bare aluminium finish looking its best. Or are there plenty of experienced folks still around who have specialized skills? Or is it like washing a Chevy vs. a Honda. They're both cars and it really doesn't matter that much. Thanks.
 
Flow2706
Posts: 301
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2017 7:20 pm

Re: Retro-jet maintenance

Wed Jun 02, 2021 8:00 pm

Not sure about the American Airlines retro liveries, but when I was working for Aer Lingus a couple of years ago we also had quite a few special liveries, one of them a retro livery (EI-DVM). I don't think maintenance needed to apply special procedures/considerations due to the livery. From the pilots side, there are no changes in procedures whatever the livery.
 
Dalmd88
Posts: 3183
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2000 3:19 am

Re: Retro-jet maintenance

Wed Jun 02, 2021 8:39 pm

There really isn't much to keeping the bare aluminum nice. Just a lot of manpower. It's just a pneumatic driven buffer with a very light polishing compound. It's similar to what is used when a car is detailed. It is a mind numbing task in my eyes. I worked a maintenance contract once where we had to buff the wings of a small 19 pax plane every six months. Myself and the other contract AMT had to do it since the company could not find a sub to do it. No a fun job.

The process is likely done by some of the lowest payed employees of the the airline, exterior cleaners. Or more likely now it is contracted to an even lower payed service.
 
LH707330
Posts: 2460
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:27 pm

Re: Retro-jet maintenance

Thu Jun 03, 2021 3:31 am

A lot of the retrojets simply deviate from the historical design to make it easier to maintain, for exactly that reason. For example, Lufthansa's retro 747 has a pearl gray in place of the original natural metal, which is hardly noticeable unless you find it in the right lighting. At that point, they should have just saved the effort and done it BAC 707 gray all over. See this thread where it goes into the weeds on it:

https://airlinercafe.com/forums.php?m=p ... 7526#77526

Several other airlines have taken creative liberties as well. IINM AA messed up with one of the Astrojet 738s and painted the logo too low on the fin. I bet 99% of people don't notice anyway....
 
UA444
Posts: 3088
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:03 am

Re: Retro-jet maintenance

Thu Jun 10, 2021 10:50 pm

AA’s polished metal looked like crap unless the plane was brand new. They did awful jobs at polishing them if they ever did
 
Max Q
Posts: 8983
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: Retro-jet maintenance

Fri Jun 11, 2021 3:14 am

UA444 wrote:
AA’s polished metal looked like crap unless the plane was brand new. They did awful jobs at polishing them if they ever did



I couldn’t disagree more, AA did a very good job keeping up the polished metal finish, the worst I saw was not bad, most were very good to excellent


If you want to see an airline that did a terrible job with a polished metal finish look at the Northwest or Flying Tiger 747 freighters


Looked amazing when brand new then I don’t think they polished them again, they looked terrible, like they had a skin disease
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
zanl188
Posts: 3845
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2006 9:05 pm

Re: Retro-jet maintenance

Fri Jun 11, 2021 11:52 am

Max Q wrote:


Looked amazing when brand new then I don’t think they polished them again, they looked terrible, like they had a skin disease


Oxidation on NWs bare metal surfaces always looked like crap. Especially around the doors where jetway rubber rubbed against the metal. Every time I heard the NW gong on the radio I’d see that oxidized metal in my minds eye - yuck.
Legal considerations provided by: Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe
 
Max Q
Posts: 8983
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: Retro-jet maintenance

Sat Jun 12, 2021 3:59 am

zanl188 wrote:
Max Q wrote:


Looked amazing when brand new then I don’t think they polished them again, they looked terrible, like they had a skin disease


Oxidation on NWs bare metal surfaces always looked like crap. Especially around the doors where jetway rubber rubbed against the metal. Every time I heard the NW gong on the radio I’d see that oxidized metal in my minds eye - yuck.



Yes


It’s a shame, if you’re going to go with polished metal you have to maintain it, otherwise just paint
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
UA444
Posts: 3088
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:03 am

Re: Retro-jet maintenance

Wed Jun 16, 2021 5:36 am

Max Q wrote:
UA444 wrote:
AA’s polished metal looked like crap unless the plane was brand new. They did awful jobs at polishing them if they ever did



I couldn’t disagree more, AA did a very good job keeping up the polished metal finish, the worst I saw was not bad, most were very good to excellent


If you want to see an airline that did a terrible job with a polished metal finish look at the Northwest or Flying Tiger 747 freighters


Looked amazing when brand new then I don’t think they polished them again, they looked terrible, like they had a skin disease

NW’s 742 cargo Jets also looked bad but even they started painting them with their newest livery by the end.

I just would see too many AA’s with swirls and polish marks or scratches and it just made them look tired.

The worst I’ve seen was when AC and US stripped some planes as an experiment. AC had a 767 and US had a 737 in the mid 2000s. Those were bad.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: intermodal64, Woodreau and 11 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos