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Why planes are actually painted white: the reason will surprise you

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Apr21,2024

Why are planes actually painted white: the reason will surprise you

Airplanes mostly painted in white/pvproduction

If you look at the planes, many of them have one characteristic in common. Most of them are painted white.

Although each airline has a unique livery (that is, the branding on the exterior of the aircraft consisting of a specific set of colors and graphics), most fuselages are painted white , and there is a good reason for that, writes Travel + Leisure.

“Most airplanes are painted white because that color reflects sunlight, keeping you cool and minimizing heat damage,” former pilot Dan Bubb, now a professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, tells Travel + Leisure. >Think about how hot a parked car gets when it's in the sun – the same applies to airplanes. And anyone who lives in a warm climate can tell you that dark-colored cars heat up much more than light-colored cars.

Given the size of airplanes, it takes a lot more energy to cool them than it does to cool a car. No one wants to spend an hour sitting in the oven while planting. Also, at cruising altitude, airplanes are exposed to more intense solar radiation, and white paint can help reflect it.

Interestingly, airplanes were not always painted white. Early in the history of aviation, many aircraft were not painted at all, showing off their polished aluminum bodies, but trends began to change in the 1970s.

Since Air France introduced the first “Euroblue” livery in In 1976, the all-white color of the fuselage is becoming more and more standard for the world's airlines,” – tells T+L aviation historian Shea Oakley (Shea Oakley). – This process only accelerated in the 21st century, when the use of composite materials in the construction of airliners increased significantly.< /p>

Why are planes actually painted white: the reason will surprise you

< em>But there are also exceptions when they are painted in a different color/Photo of nuraghes

Unfortunately, composites do not have such an elegant metallic look. American Airlines was one of the few airlines to retain its polished bare metal livery until 2013, although it now also has painted aircraft.

However, planes don't have to be white, and some airlines choose different color schemes for their planes – think Southwest's blue and Spirit's yellow, for example. Some airlines also paint individual planes in special colors, such as Air New Zealand, which has an all-black plane. But there is one notable exception.

On the Concorde, exposure to the sun combined with heat generated by aerodynamic friction at Mach 2 forced the aircraft's designers to apply a highly reflective overall white paint to reduce this heat ,
– says Oakley.

Only one plane was painted in a different color. As part of a marketing deal with Pepsi, the Air France Concorde was painted Pepsi Blue in 1996.

“The Pepsi Blue Air France Concorde looked good, but the 1,350 mph flight had to be limited up to 20 minutes. The plane only stayed in that color for two weeks,” says Oakley.

Interesting, isn't it?

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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