From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Terrell D. Drinkard)
Subject: Re: AA paint scheme
Date: 31 Jul 93 20:50:08 PDT
In article <airliners.1993.546@ohare.Chicago.COM> email@example.com (Mike
>Does the fact that AA has unpainted aluminum require any special
>manufacturing for the aircraft? I've heard that they use specially
>matched aluminum for appearance. But what about other things such as
>does the aluminum skin need to be thicker for strength or corrosion
>protection? Any special coatings? Does AA do this strictly for
>appearance, or does it save on weight by not hauling all that paint
As I recall, all aircraft skins at Boeing are 'matched'. Even Airbus has
adopted this standard of skin quality. :-) By 'matched', I mean that all
the skins look the same, ie, highly polished, with the grain running in the
same direction, and with the same color (it's weird, but aluminum can come
in slightly different colors).
A bare skin, like American's, does not require any additional material.
These skins are a pain to manufacture because every little imperfection
shows up clearly. The advantage is in weight savings, two or three hundred
pounds on a 737-sized airplane, and a little more on the 757.
The outer layer of material on these bare skins is pure aluminum, and
requires no special coatings, though I think we use a clear Alodine for
corrosion resistance. Bare skins do require more inspections and more
maintenance than painted ones, but some customers think they pay off.
"Anyone who thinks they can hold the company responsible for what I say has
more lawyers than sense."