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IFlyVeryLittle
Topic Author
Posts: 279
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:31 pm

Dirty airplanes

Thu May 12, 2022 1:35 pm

Is it me, or are airliners showing up to the gate filthier and filthier of late. Now, I'm sure financially the last thing an airline wants to do is yank a revenue producer for a wash but at what point do pig-pen looking wings and fuselages begin to eat away at customer impressions of a business? Im guessing washes take place on regular intervals in concert with other scheduled maintenance, but some are really gross. Anyone ever thought of summer-izing de-icing equipment with soap and water (only half kidding). Also, surely there is some aero penalty for dirtiness, but clearly not enough $$$ wasting to warrant action.
 
flybaurlax
Posts: 670
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 12:34 am

Re: Dirty airplanes

Thu May 12, 2022 2:03 pm

You're not wrong. With Covid, a lot of airlines did not prioritize airplane washes/external cleaning. The operator I work for will resume airplane washes later this year now that things are stabilizing. It just wasn't a priority for the last 2 years.
 
N1120A
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Re: Dirty airplanes

Thu May 12, 2022 11:22 pm

Keeping an airplane clean does provide material aerodynamic benefits, but the question is whether those benefits save enough to cover the cost.
 
Kno
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Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:08 pm

Re: Dirty airplanes

Fri May 13, 2022 10:43 am

I’ve noticed that as well. The AF stigma is now industry wide.

EK and Qatar stand out as premium airlines because of how clean their planes are. You’d be hard pressed to see a dirt mark from the jetway. Even the main landing gear wheels look clean and white like they’re fresh from the factory. When I was at DOH years ago I was impressed to see the cleaning crews scrubbing planes.

Likely unaffordable in the west but I’d hope we could have a little more pride in our fleets. I flew an a330neo from dtw-sea and people at the gate were expressing that it looked old and unsafe (of course it was safe, but it did look like an uncared for 40 year old frame). All in all, it did take some of my excitement to fly the shiny, relatively new plane away - my first neo ride and it looked shabby and depressing.
 
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Strebav8or
Posts: 48
Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2020 4:03 pm

Re: Dirty airplanes

Fri May 13, 2022 1:50 pm

Need to find people willing to actually do physical work, first
 
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Starlionblue
Posts: 21143
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

Re: Dirty airplanes

Fri May 13, 2022 2:25 pm

Strebav8or wrote:
Need to find people willing to actually do physical work, first


Well obviously. Hence the cost of washing aircraft...
 
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Horstroad
Posts: 648
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:19 pm

Re: Dirty airplanes

Fri May 13, 2022 4:01 pm

Kno wrote:
EK and Qatar stand out as premium airlines because of how clean their planes are. You’d be hard pressed to see a dirt mark from the jetway.

They have the advantage of living in the desert. Dry dirt doesn't stick. Wet dirt does.
Look at photos of aircraft stored at VCV that have been there for many years and compare them to aircraft that have been stored in Europe or the wetter parts of The US over the last 2 years.
 
kabq737
Posts: 781
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 3:06 am

Re: Dirty airplanes

Sun May 29, 2022 5:00 am

I’ve noticed the same thing. I was at ABQ today and was shocked how dirty the Mesa E175s I saw were. Absolutely filthy.

I would assume WN birds are equally filthy but the blue fuse hides dirt better.
 
N1120A
Posts: 27315
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

Re: Dirty airplanes

Mon May 30, 2022 8:06 am

kabq737 wrote:
I’ve noticed the same thing. I was at ABQ today and was shocked how dirty the Mesa E175s I saw were. Absolutely filthy.

I would assume WN birds are equally filthy but the blue fuse hides dirt better.


Currently, WN has the advantage of not running scheduled redeyes, allowing them to perform maintenance overnight and potentially wash aircraft more frequently
 
kalvado
Posts: 3733
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 am

Re: Dirty airplanes

Mon May 30, 2022 11:24 am

N1120A wrote:
kabq737 wrote:
I’ve noticed the same thing. I was at ABQ today and was shocked how dirty the Mesa E175s I saw were. Absolutely filthy.

I would assume WN birds are equally filthy but the blue fuse hides dirt better.


Currently, WN has the advantage of not running scheduled redeyes, allowing them to perform maintenance overnight and potentially wash aircraft more frequently

I wonder what is the percentage of US3 aircraft doing red-eyes. I would think a relatively small fraction.
 
N1120A
Posts: 27315
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

Re: Dirty airplanes

Mon May 30, 2022 7:02 pm

kalvado wrote:
N1120A wrote:
kabq737 wrote:
I’ve noticed the same thing. I was at ABQ today and was shocked how dirty the Mesa E175s I saw were. Absolutely filthy.

I would assume WN birds are equally filthy but the blue fuse hides dirt better.


Currently, WN has the advantage of not running scheduled redeyes, allowing them to perform maintenance overnight and potentially wash aircraft more frequently

I wonder what is the percentage of US3 aircraft doing red-eyes. I would think a relatively small fraction.


Well, I'd say most of mainline aircraft do a redeye on a regular basis. Especially if you look at the way aircraft rotate through the system.
 
kalvado
Posts: 3733
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 am

Re: Dirty airplanes

Mon May 30, 2022 7:40 pm

N1120A wrote:
kalvado wrote:
N1120A wrote:

Currently, WN has the advantage of not running scheduled redeyes, allowing them to perform maintenance overnight and potentially wash aircraft more frequently

I wonder what is the percentage of US3 aircraft doing red-eyes. I would think a relatively small fraction.


Well, I'd say most of mainline aircraft do a redeye on a regular basis. Especially if you look at the way aircraft rotate through the system.

Most types of most frames?
I had an impression that redeye Is a fairly limited market, and while many types may be involved, it is a fairly small number of frames.
I am too lazy to pull up actual schedules, though ..

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