Re: Why are all airliners white?

Date:         27 Aug 97 03:57:55 
From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
References:   1
Followups:    1 2 3 4 5 6
Next article
View raw article
  or MIME structure

>Is there a reason why airliners are dominantly painted in white,
>or is it simply that white paint is cheaper?!!

While many airliners are painted white, it's hardly true that they
*all* are.  Northwest's have relatively little white, and United's
are almost entirely dark blue and grey, while American's have no
paint at all.  (Well, most of American's planes.  Some of the
A300-600Rs may still be painted grey, though in time all of them
will be bare metal.)

The reason why most airliners are predominantly white is mostly
because darker colors absorb more heat, meaning more work must be
done by the air conditioning systems while sitting on the ground
on a hot, sunny day.  (At cruise altitudes, the outside air is
plenty cold.)

As a side benefit, the mostly white schemes are easier to see, so
there is a safety factor, though the existence of many non-white
schemes suggests this is not a significant consideration.

Karl Swartz	|Home
Moderator of sci.aeronautics.airliners -- Unix/network work pays the bills