Re: Why are all airliners white?

Date:         05 Sep 97 17:27:24 
From:         faurecm@halcyon.com (C. Marin Faure)
Organization: Northwest Nexus Inc.
References:   1
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In article <airliners.1997.1885@ohare.Chicago.COM>,
onat@turbine.kuee.kyoto-u.ac.jp (Onat Ahmet) wrote:

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

There's no such thing as cheap aircraft paint, especially not the
polyurethane paints that are used on today's jetliners.  White has an
advantage in that it reflects heat, marginally reducing the cabin
temperature on the ground.  Visibility is not an issue what with radar,
transponders, collision avoidance systems, etc.  The reality is that an
airplane seen in the distance from another airplane (at altitude)
generally looks dark no matter what color it's painted.  But I think a big
factor in the all-white look today is that it's a great background for
graphics, be it airline logos, kids drawings, sea creatures, famous faces,
or (I suspect eventually) advertising.  As an aside, we filmed the rollout
of Lauda-air's first 777 from the Everett paint hangar last week, and I
think it has one of the nicest non-white paint schemes around.  Light gray
on top, dark gray on the bottom, and red and gold speed stripes and logo.
Beautiful airplane.  The interior is an absolute knockout as well.

C. Marin Faure
  author, Flying A Floatplane