Saturday, September 4, 2021

Why are airplanes painted White?

Whenever you see any airplane flying above your house or standing at any airport you must have noticed one thing that the color of these airplanes is usually found to be white. Have you ever asked yourself why these airplanes are painted white? Don’t worry if you haven’t tried to figure out the actual reason behind it. We are here to explain you the reason.


Earlier, it was quite rare to see an airplane painted white. It was because some kind of bare metals were used in the earlier days. Surprisingly the manufacturers didn’t use any paint for painting airplanes! But there was a problem in using bare metal and that is metal quickly made stains of dirt and also the dust appear on the outer surface of airplanes. Imagine boarding on any plane which looks dirty and ugly from outside. You will never use that airlines to travel again. So to avoid any bad impression manufacturers and airlines started to paint the airplanes.


But why do they painted the airplanes in white? Why not Blue or Yellow or any other color? Let us have a look at some of the reasons why airplanes are painted white. 


White Color : the most economical color

The two most important things that are considered while painting any airplane are :- 


1) Cost of painting  &  2) Weight of paint


Because white is the most common color, white paint is also the cheapest color in the market. Also white color is very thin as compared to other colors due to which the required weight of paint is very less. Note that the second point (less weight of paint) is very important as engineers are doing their best to reduce the weight of any plane and if use any heavy paint then not only it will increase the weight of plane but it will also increase the fuel consumption eventually decreasing the performance of whole airplane. 


White Color : the best reflector of sunlight

Airplanes are exposed to sunlight both when they are in flight and when they are parked at the Airports. From our basic knowledge we know that white is the best reflector among all the colors. Due to this property it keeps any object cool that is painted in white color! So white paint is the best way to minimize cabin heating and it also prevent potential damage of airplanes from solar radiation.


White color spot damages easily

Airplanes are regularly checked for safety reasons to detect structural defects such as damage or wear and tear. White color makes it very easy to detect these cracks. These cracks or damages are always darker than white, which makes it very easy to identify them.


White fades less than other colors

We know airplanes have to move from one geographical condition to another. Due to this reason airplanes are exposed to a variety of atmospheric and weather conditions. These change in weather and atmospheric conditions decrease the quality of paint over time. Also colored paints fade faster than white. So the Companies then have to repaint their planes and generally painting takes a couple of weeks, during which time the plane does not generate revenue causing a huge loss for the airlines company. 


White color reduces bird strike hazard

White color of airplanes allows birds to better identify the danger and steer away from it. Whereas darker colors reduce the contrast between the aircraft and the visual background, eventually reducing the ability of birds to detect the aircraft and increasing bird strike risk. 

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