Why are airplanes usually painted white ?

Many of you have recognized that the majority of the airplanes are mainly painted to White. Although there are some exceptions like Mango Airlines with their orange colored airplanes or some other companies with specialized paintings on their airplanes the majority of airplanes are painted to white.

 So here comes the question why? Why are they generally white? Of course there are some reasonable facts that makes white painting more common. Let’s dig into them.

Keeping airplane cooler

First, white keeps the airplane cooler when compared with other colors. Color white is a powerful reflector of sunlight, and reflects the majority of the light that falls on it. Unlike other colors, it absorbs some of the light. As a result, airplane can be cooler both in flight and parking positions. In addition, it minimizes the damage caused by the solar radiation to the fuselage.

Ease damage detection

Secondly, white is the easiest color to detect the damage on it. White makes major contrast with other colors and facilitates the detection. Airplane fuselage is checked periodically to detect the cracks, damages, and leakage on it. Maintenance professionals and/or Pilots have outside/walk around check procedures to keep safety. Therefore, white painting is the best choice for this issue.

Helping reduce bird strikes

Moreover, it helps to reduce bird strikes. Bird strikes are common and can be a significant threat to aircraft safety. White color is more visible especially when compared with darker colors and therefore it helps species to detect the aircraft and prevent the possible collision by increasing the avoidance.

Fade resistant

White is durable to fade effect. When flying at high altitudes, completely exposed to various atmospheric conditions. The temperature difference can reach up to 100 degrees in the different sections of a flight. colored airplanes tend to fade, and thus reduces the painting maintenance period to keep their aesthetic appeal. A white-colored airplane, on the other hand, doesn’t appear significantly different, even after spending a considerable amount of time in the air.

Colored painting makes airplane heavier

Colored painting on an airplane means more color layers and more weight. Every additional weight means additional fuel consumption to the airplane and that means Money. In highly competitive aviation industry this is not a desired situation by airline companies.

Easy to sell or lease

An aircraft may not always stay with one company. They’re often leased out or sold to another company for various reasons. An aircraft with a white base will be easier to sell since it’ll not take the same amount of effort for the buyer to strip it off and paint it in their livery, or just add stickers to an existing white base, as it would to a fully colored aircraft.

Finally, as you see there are lots of reasonable facts that prove the majority of the airplanes are white. On the other hand, white painting is not a must and for some reasons like advertisement, brand strategies and etc. there are lots of colored and beautiful airplanes which make a different and remarkable vision on the environment.

Why are airplanes usually painted white ?

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