Know your Charter: Why are most aircraft painted white?

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Why are most aircrafts painted white?

Photo of Know your Charter: Why are most aircraft painted white? by BookMyCharters

The world of aviation has evolved and expanded vastly in the last few decades. With flying becoming such a common aspect of our lives, it is interesting to know more about these machines that dominate the sky.

Most commercial planes and private jets that one comes across are painted white. Even when they have some decorations over it, the base colour is almost always white. When an aircraft comes off the manufacturer’s assembly line, it is green in colour (due to a coat of zinc phosphate primer). But before delivery, they are painted white. This is because there are many benefits, both technical and practical, of a white aircraft. These are listed below:

White is the only colour that can fully reflect light instead of absorbing it. It prevents the aircraft from heating up as there the plane does not start heating up in the air. Moreover, even when the plane has landed, it takes lesser time to cool down. The colour white can make such a remarkable difference in temperature that some aircrafts actually require a coat of white paint to stay within their temperature limits.

The colour does not fade

Aircraft are exposed to various atmospheric conditions when they fly at high altitudes. Other colours tend to fade away due to this exposure whereas white does not. Painting a huge machine such as an aircraft can be a very expensive task and white does not require frequent paint jobs. Even when it does, it is a cost-effective colour because of its high demand and availability. On the other hand, coloured planes require costly re-painting jobs to maintain their look.

Cracks and dents are clearly visible

Choosing the colour white for an aircraft also has important safety advantages. Aircrafts are checked regularly for any cracks, dents, and concerns. It is much easier to spot these on a white surface. It also makes oil leaks and corrosion marks clearly visible. Any damage on an aircraft is much harder to miss on a white aircraft. It’s a big help for safety and maintenance of the aircraft.

It can be painted over for any purpose

A white aircraft does not restrict an owner from painting over it. Airlines are free to paint their company logo over it, or to paint it in a distinctive manner as per their own wishes. Private owners can also paint the aircraft as they like, whether it is a name they want to give their jet or a particular look. The colour white works as a bare canvas.

Higher value for Charters and Re-sales

A neutral aircraft will be more in demand for charter purposes. Owners of private jets sometimes ‘rent’ their aircraft when it’s not being used. A distinctive aircraft is less likely to be preferred by someone who is looking for a charter plane. More importantly, the re-sale value of an aircraft can drop by a substantial amount due to a coloured aircraft. This is because painting an aircraft is very expensive and the new owner will want to deduct that cost from the purchase value of the aircraft.

Apart from this, white also holds appeal to owners due to the traditional look it imparts to an aircraft. They are easily visible even in the sky and provide a look that is distinctive by itself. Matterhorn White is the most preferred colour by private jet owners nowadays, who are ditching flashy planes in favour of the soothing colour.

To know more about private jets and aviation, visit the BookmyCharters blog here!

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