Practical information: why the majority of planes are painted white

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Planes are often painted white -like those of Air France- for practical, economic and functional reasons. This color has several crucial benefits for aviation.

First, white paint reflects heat from the sun. Planes spend long hours exposed to varied weather conditions, including high temperatures on takeoff runways. White paint helps reduce heat buildup inside the cabin and structure, which can help preserve sensitive components and maintain a more comfortable temperature for passengers and crew.

Next, white provides better visibility of cracks, surface defects and damage. During regular maintenance inspections, it is crucial to quickly spot any signs of wear, corrosion or other structural issues. White paint makes these problems easier to spot, allowing airlines to take corrective action before they become worse.

Another advantage of the white color is that it reflects sunlight more effectively, which can help reduce the effect of thermal expansion. Airplanes experience rapid temperature changes between flight phases and stopovers. Reduced expansion and contraction due to temperature variations can help extend the structural life of the aircraft.

Finally, white is a neutral and universal color. It is often associated with cleanliness, modernity and security. Plus, it allows logos, airline branding and colored details to stand out vividly and clearly. Airlines can thus display their identity while maintaining a neat and professional appearance.

In short, white painting of aircraft is not limited to an aesthetic question, but it meets essential functional needs. It contributes to the safety, operational efficiency and sustainability of aircraft, while providing a clean and distinctive backdrop for the expression of airline visual identity.

John Walker Avatar