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kyair
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Paint Vs. Bare Metal

Fri Jul 23, 2004 11:17 pm

Which is overall more economical for airlines - paint or bare metal? Looks like initial cost advantage would be bare metal, but how often do/should airlines buff the metal to keep a good appearance? I'm sure buffing would occur much more often than complete re-painting. Also, I believe paint can add a couple hundred pounds to an a/c. If bare metal is more cost-effective and with the current emphasis on cost reductions, will we soon see more planes in the nude  Smile/happy/getting dizzy?
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened - Dr. Seuss
 
goingboeing
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RE: Paint Vs. Bare Metal

Fri Jul 23, 2004 11:33 pm

If the king of low costs (Southwest) is anything to go by...Their special plane, Silver One, used to be bare metal, but they found that in order to keep it looking decent, it had to be pulled from service more often than they wanted so that it could be buffed. They finally decided to apply a coat of "silver" paint instead of the bare metal.
 
OD720
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RE: Paint Vs. Bare Metal

Fri Jul 23, 2004 11:38 pm

The metal look on large jets is usually a protective paint and not the bare metal itself. There are people here who would give you a very good explanation as how it is applied.

Regards.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Paint Vs. Bare Metal

Fri Jul 23, 2004 11:44 pm

Maybe a bit OT, but there is a third option.

Sharks, which are as you know extremely hydrodynamic, do not have smooth skin. If you have ever felt sharkskin you know that it is very abrasive.

In the 80s, CX experimented with microribbed pain that mimicked this property. The paint did achieve minor fuel savings on long-haul by decreasing skin friction. On the other hand, it was much more expensive to paint the plane. I don't know what the results were in the end.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
JeffDCA
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RE: Paint Vs. Bare Metal

Fri Jul 23, 2004 11:46 pm

Also, I believe paint can add a couple hundred pounds to an a/c.

Try tons in the case of larger a/c  Big grin
If something hasn't broken on your helicopter, it's about to.
 
7e72004
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RE: Paint Vs. Bare Metal

Fri Jul 23, 2004 11:50 pm

How long did Eastern have the white planes before going to the bare metal scheme?
The next generation of aircraft is just around the corner!
 
ord
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RE: Paint Vs. Bare Metal

Sat Jul 24, 2004 12:18 am

There is virtually no difference in cost between paint and bare metal. Boeing did a study on this and the results can be found below:

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

"The decision to paint or polish the metal surfaces of airplanes is based on marketing, economic, and environmental considerations. Although the net operating cost of polished airplanes is slightly more than that of painted airplanes, no compelling reason generally exists to choose one type of livery over the other. The result is a world fleet made up of airplanes with surfaces that are mostly painted, mostly polished, or both painted and polished."



[Edited 2004-07-23 17:18:55]

[Edited 2004-07-23 17:20:18]
 
kyair
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RE: Paint Vs. Bare Metal

Sat Jul 24, 2004 1:29 am

Ord - thanks for the link, excellent report. It seems the only real cost advantage to bare metal is some fuel cost savings. Airlines with a current livery of polished metal should be seeing slightly lower fuel costs versus full-paint livery airlines, but certainly not enough to cause an airline to change it's livery for this one reason.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened - Dr. Seuss
 
masseybrown
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RE: Paint Vs. Bare Metal

Sat Jul 24, 2004 2:02 am

With the increasing use of composites, the bare metal look looks very chopped up on the newest aircraft, since bare composites look like bare gray plastic. It seems that bare metal will have to be used only as an accent on future planes.
 
airplay
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RE: Paint Vs. Bare Metal

Sat Jul 24, 2004 10:40 pm

Also, I believe paint can add a couple hundred pounds to an a/c.

Try tons in the case of larger a/c


Not even close....

If paint on aircraft weighed "tons" I think you would see many more silver machines. Even the largest aircraft have no more than about 500 pounds of paint on them.

With respect to polishing airplanes, each time you polish bare metal, you make it thinner by a minute amount. This risks the removal of the thin pure aluminum cladding on the surface of the alloy skins. This cladding prevents corrosion of the skins.
 
pilotpip
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RE: Paint Vs. Bare Metal

Sun Jul 25, 2004 1:51 am

It's nice to see a good topic on this that speaks from a technical standpoint.

For any of you that have bare metal aircraft, is there any type of clear coat applied or some sort of treatment for corrosion resistience? Or is it just the cladding that Airplay mentions? Also, do you see any more corrosion on a bare aircraft versus a painted one?
DMI
 
SafetyDude
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RE: Paint Vs. Bare Metal

Sun Jul 25, 2004 6:45 am

Usually in an AA new colors topic, this comes up. The bottom line seems to be that in the long run, the two are pretty even.

 Smile
-Will
"She Flew For What We Stand For"
 
747Teach
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RE: Paint Vs. Bare Metal

Sun Jul 25, 2004 8:54 am

KYAir, Airplay, 7E72004: Ord's link is your best answer to the paint question. The Northwest 747 in this photo
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Jean

is carrying about 1200 pounds of paint. The Crown Metro high solids paint weighs 10.15 pounds per gallon. There is 60 gallons of primer, and 60 gallons of topcoat. The Graco ProAA4000 electrostatic paint system puts virtually all the paint on the surface, with little overspray. The Eastern white with two-tone blue (Caribbean blue on top and ionosphere blue below) livery goes back to the mid to late '60's, about the time when Floyd Hall came in as CEO. There were a couple versions of it. You might find photos of Eastern 727's in the metal finish with the stripe below the window line
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Fergal Goodman

. This was done so the stripe could be applied without masking around every window. And toward the end, the stripe was a decal rather than paint. And not all aircraft are made with clad aluminum skin. Some are unclad. Which is why Eastern's A300's were painted a metallic looking silver
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Johan Ljungdahl

when the rest of the fleet went to bare metal. Regards,
 
AFHokie
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RE: Paint Vs. Bare Metal

Sun Jul 25, 2004 12:58 pm

The C-5 Galaxy is wearing approx 2 1/2 tons of paint
 
airplay
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RE: Paint Vs. Bare Metal

Sun Jul 25, 2004 10:57 pm

The Crown Metro high solids paint weighs 10.15 pounds per gallon.

You must be reading from a very old book. Dexter bought Crown Metro a long time ago. This paint is a polyurethane composition that includes a solvent, albeit at a much lower overall weight than non "high solids" paint.

Paint that utilizes a solvent does not retain its "canned" weight once it is sprayed. The solvents eventually dissipate as the paint dries. The volatile solvents represent a great deal of the weight representing about 3% and up to 40% of the total weight. Throw in the overspray, and your gallon of paint is significantly less than 10 pounds once it is sprayed and dried.

For epoxy paints or 100% solids paint that are used extensively these days, there is little difference between the spray and "dry" weight. However there is no need for primer with the epoxy paint unless you are painting on a porous surface. (which aluminum "ain't") Composite surfaces can be painted with no primer if the surface is super-clean.

With respect to the C-5A, I should have limited my statement to airliners and not to special purpose military aircraft. The paint on miltary aircraft tends to be extra thick and of course the Galaxy is quite a large aircraft.

Here is a useful webpage I found (after exhaustive searching) that supports my earlier statements:

http://www.boeing.com/commercial/aeromagazine/aero_05/textonly/fo01txt.html#table1

The C-5 Galaxy is wearing approx 2 1/2 tons of paint

I found no corresponding authoritative source for the paint weight on the Galaxy but the unofficial popular weight is 2600 pounds which is much less thatn "2 1/2 tons". (5000 pounds)


[Edited 2004-07-25 15:59:25]
 
747Teach
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RE: Paint Vs. Bare Metal

Mon Jul 26, 2004 1:21 am

Airplay: I'm reading from the Crown Metro tech data sheet that came with the paint. It's from 1991, which I don't consider old according to aircraft standards. This livery lasted until a few years ago when we went to the new scheme. In fact, some of our aircraft still carry this paint job. The 24-F20-205 base (for example) plus the PC-217 catalyst admixture weighs more than 10 pounds per gallon. Since we stripped the 747's before repainting, we did primer them before applying the topcoat, as recommended by the manufacturer. Our paint application technique allowed for more than the 1.5 to 2.0 mils thickness that is recommended. And with our electrostatic paint spray system, there was very little overspray. Since I mixed the paint and applied it, I can speak from direct experience, rather than from second-hand information gathered from a website. I'll stand by my estimate of 1200 pounds of paint for this 747. Regards,
 
AFHokie
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RE: Paint Vs. Bare Metal

Mon Jul 26, 2004 3:59 am

Granted this is an older reference, but I would challenge anyone to say that it is not a reputable one. The 1989 August/September issue of Air & Space Magizine's cover article was about the C-5. In the article they listed some off the wall questions that have been asked about the C-5 over the years and one of them was how much does the paint weigh. It was stated that the weight of the paint on a C-5 is approx 2 1/2 tons.

I will concede that today the weight of the paint is probably less due to 10+ years of progress in paint composition technology, etc and today's paint scheme is a solid grey and in the late 80's the air force painted it's transports with a camouflage pattern of greens, grey, and brown. The layering that would occur from the multiple colors would add up to more than what one solid color would weigh.
 
airplay
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RE: Paint Vs. Bare Metal

Mon Jul 26, 2004 11:07 am

....rather than from second-hand information gathered from a website.

You really consider information from the actual aircraft manufacturer "second hand"? Boeing's website also says the 747 has four main engines. How many engines do the 747s in your fleet have?

 Smile

And just one more question 747Teach, why is an "Avionics Instructor" mixing paint? Sounds like your career took quite a turn.
 
a380900
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RE: Paint Vs. Bare Metal

Mon Jul 26, 2004 3:40 pm

Weight of paint? After it has dried or before?
 
miamiair
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RE: Paint Vs. Bare Metal

Mon Jul 26, 2004 7:56 pm

There is a third option: a decal like material that does away with the need for large hangars built specifically for painting operations. This avoids all the solvents that evaporate out of the paint and end up in the atmosphere. It is supposed to be light and durable.

As to paint or bare metal...Sometimes paint is a necessity. Eastern's first A-300's were painted because the fuselage skins were not clad (as opposed to bare; referring to a layer of pure aluminum used for corrosion prevention).

Paint on composites is also a necessity, the paint is a protective coating that seals the part from the elements.

Molon Labe - Proud member of SMASH
 
Thrust
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RE: Paint Vs. Bare Metal

Thu Jul 29, 2004 12:53 am

Be reminded that duraluminum does not rust easily, so bare metal schemes don't have too many drawbacks. Number one, there are cheaper to maintain, and number 2, they save weight. Cars are different because if they went bare metal (they are made of iron), they would rust very easily. But because duraluminum doesn't easily rust, bare metal is quite advantageous in many ways.
Fly one thing; Fly it well
 
JeffDCA
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RE: Paint Vs. Bare Metal

Thu Jul 29, 2004 1:55 am

Not even close....

If paint on aircraft weighed "tons" I think you would see many more silver machines. Even the largest aircraft have no more than about 500 pounds of paint on them.

With respect to polishing airplanes, each time you polish bare metal, you make it thinner by a minute amount. This risks the removal of the thin pure aluminum cladding on the surface of the alloy skins. This cladding prevents corrosion of the skins.


Bollocks! The paint on a 767 alone weighs 1.2 tons, and there are much larger aircraft than that!

Cheers,

Jeff
If something hasn't broken on your helicopter, it's about to.
 
airplay
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RE: Paint Vs. Bare Metal

Thu Jul 29, 2004 2:05 am

Bollocks! The paint on a 767 alone weighs 1.2 tons, and there are much larger aircraft than that!

Then why does Boeing state otherwise? They say an average paint job on a 767 is about 300 pounds. thats a big difference from the 1.2 tons (2400 pounds) you claim.
 
A/c train
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RE: Paint Vs. Bare Metal

Thu Jul 29, 2004 2:13 am

1200 pounds is only around 545 kg, theres 1000kg in a tonne, am I confused here ? but thats only around half a tonne of paint you say 747teach .
 
JeffDCA
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RE: Paint Vs. Bare Metal

Thu Jul 29, 2004 3:09 am

Airplay:
I heard that figure from an ex AA employee who was telling me about the weight saving from using a polished aircraft. Also, if you look on the Lufthansa Technik website, it states:

"This reduces the total weight of paint needed for a Boeing 757-300 to just 300 kg".

Since 300kg = 660lbs, that puts your figure out the window as well.

Cheers,

Jeff
If something hasn't broken on your helicopter, it's about to.
 
airplay
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RE: Paint Vs. Bare Metal

Thu Jul 29, 2004 6:00 am

Here is an interesting article from Boeing explaining why military paint jobs weigh more than civilian aircraft paint jobs:

http://www.boeing.com/aboutus/environment/lead_c17.htm

Here is an article from Boeing about a special livery that adds 35 extra pounds to a 737 that normally has 200 to 250 pounds of paint.

http://www.boeing.com/news/releases/2004/q3/livery_factsheet.pdf

So far I’ve produced 3 references tied directly to Boeing to support my statements, including one that supports my statement regarding military paint weight. Where is everyone else’s “proof”?
 
AFHokie
Posts: 220
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RE: Paint Vs. Bare Metal

Thu Jul 29, 2004 6:43 am

From 747Teach: "reading from the Crown Metro tech data sheet that came with the paint" I'd say that's his "proof"  Smile

Try visiting your local library and dig up the 1989 Aug/Sept issue of the Smithsonian Air&Space Magazine as I said earlier, that is my "proof"

The webpage you've produced from Boeing regarding mil paint specs, talks about why and how mil paint weighs more, and how they've reduced the weight, but it never gives any numbers. Aircraft manufacturers webpages are like car makers webpages, they're going to tell you all the geewhiz, flashy info about their product and tell you why you should want their product.

Airplay,
It seems to me you're only trying to pick an argument, where there is none to be had. You ask where everyone else's proof is, well we have given it. Unfortunately it's not a few mouse clicks away.

You've found some internet webpages, to support you, great, but the internet is not the only source of information out there.
 
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EA CO AS
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RE: Paint Vs. Bare Metal

Thu Jul 29, 2004 6:52 am

Is this African paint or European paint?  Big grin
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
airplay
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RE: Paint Vs. Bare Metal

Thu Jul 29, 2004 10:52 pm

You've found some internet webpages, to support you, great, but the internet is not the only source of information out there.

Umm...you failed to add that my web pages are from the aircraft manufacturer. How much more authorative do you want the information?
 
AFHokie
Posts: 220
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RE: Paint Vs. Bare Metal

Fri Jul 30, 2004 8:13 am

Ummm....how much more authoritative do YOU want than the actual tech data sheet 747Teach provided???

read my post again, I DID mention that you're pages are from the aircraft manufactuer

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