Why Most Companies Paint Their Airplanes White
I can see you taking inventory in your head, trying to come up with all of the airplane logos you know to see whether or not they’re white.
Are you done?
There are always a few outliers, but for the most part, I’m betting you realized yes, they are largely white.
The first and biggest reason has to do with science – thermal science, to be exact, because according to MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics professor R. John Hansman, white reflects the most sunlight and helps keep the cabin cool. It does the same for the plastic and component parts, because if they melted, that would be bad.
The color sort of acts like sunblock for dangerous solar radiation, as well.
Then, there’s the birds. According to a 2011 study, birds collide less often with white airplanes compared to deep and light blue planes, which aren’t quite as easy to pick out of the sky.
The color also makes it easier for humans to pick out cracks, dings, and divots that need repair.
The rest of the reasons all have to do with (don’t have a heart attack and die from not surprise) money.
It takes up to 65 gallons of paint to coat one plane and white is a standard color, which makes it cheaper. Not to mention that colors will oxidize and fade, meaning you’d have to repaint more often in order to keep it bright. White planes sell faster than colored ones, as well, for all of these reasons.
I’ve never really thought about this before, but all of these reasons make total sense.
No word on why they paint planes at all, but don’t worry, I’m on the case.
Tags: · big questions, top, why are airplanes white, why are most airplanes white