Why Are Aircraft Predominantly Painted White?

When flying in commercial plane or while at an airport, you may notice that a starking majority of aircraft are painted white. There may be a few colorful variants scattered around, but most will be pure white with some small decals. While this may seem like airlines are not very creative or daring in their design, there are actually a variety of major reasons why airliners choose to keep mostly white aircraft. In this blog, we will discuss a few justifications of why white paint is most beneficial.

One of the most important, and understandable, reasons is cost. Painting an aircraft can be a very lengthy and expensive process that can cost thousands of dollars for the airliner. Beyond the cost of painting, there is also the factor of weight. As an entire coat to change an airplane’s exterior color can be hundreds of pounds, thus more fuel is needed to fly, resulting in more monetary expenditures. When reselling a plane, having an entire or mostly white body can make it easier for a potential buyer to save money when adding their logo and decals to the aircraft as they would most likely not need to do an entire repainting.

Another major factor that affects the decision to prefer white paint is heat generation. As aircraft often sit out in the runway for a majority of the day, they are often subject to prolonged hours of sun exposure that can cause their heat to rise. As white colors reflect wavelengths of light, this enables the aircraft to not have as much noticeable increases in heat. During flight, aircraft are most exposed to UV radiation, and by reflecting more rays, less damage is undertaken by various components.

Lastly, paint can serve as further protection to the aircraft body itself. Earlier commercial aircraft often remained unpainted; their aluminum bodies were in constant exposure to sunlight and weathering. Paint on aircraft works as a sort of shield that can protect the plane from harsh environments and weather. Paint also works to safeguard the plane from corrosion, dirt, and oils that may stick to surfaces.

At Aviation Store Online, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find accessories and more you need for repainting airplanes, new or obsolete. As a premier supplier of parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries, we're always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7x365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at sales@aviationstoreonline.com or call us at +1-714-705-4780.


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