Re: AA paint scheme

From:         rdd@cactus.org (Robert Dorsett)
Organization: Capital Area Central Texas UNIX Society, Austin, Tx
Date:         02 Aug 93 01:26:41 PDT
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In article <airliners.1993.549@ohare.Chicago.COM> kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz) writes:
>After the Aloha "convertible" 737 incident, when everyone started
>looking at things a lot more closely, American was making a lot of
>noise about how much easier it was to inspect for cracks with their
>paintless scheme, since you didn't have to strip it.  I wonder how
>much this changed the equation?

Shortly before the Aloha accident, FLIGHT INTERNATIONAL ran a story on
non-destructive testing: a major point brought up in the article was the
benefit of nicotine staining running down the the fuselage: it made finding 
cracks *really* easy.  There was a comment that maintenance engineers weren't 
very happy with the advent of the (then new) no-smoking rules...  

I've kept an eye open for follow-up comments, but there haven't been any.  I 
do wonder how this has changed things.  Certainly Aloha brought on a slew of 
AD's and tightened FAA oversight, which continues to this day.  Also a broad-
ened market for test equipment.


>I'd think it must be pretty close to an even tradeoff, since in these
>times I can't imagine nearly every airline other than American being
>so vain as to paint their aircraft knowing it cost more in the long
>run.

Conventional wisdoms run deep...  I can easily visualize bean counters 
judging risks and deciding that an aluminum finish is too "flashy" or makes 
the final product look less refined.  Then again, how many "aluminum" air-
line paint schemes could look particularly unique?  Perhaps they feel the
market can only tolerate one.  Even with AAL, one can generally only make
out the silver and a splash of color on the tail, from any distance.

Besides, aluminum also tends to look pretty lousy on models, which corporate 
types like to adorn their offices with. :-)

Me?  I side with Captain X: paint them all Day-Glo orange.




---
Robert Dorsett
rdd@cactus.org
...cs.utexas.edu!cactus.org!rdd