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Old 9th December 2019, 16:16   #91
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Default Re: Indian Aviation: A Photo Essay

Aircraft Painting

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Originally Posted by Foxbat View Post
Can you tell us more about the process of repainting a plane? Is it much different from repainting a car? I have seen a few videos on this on YouTube.
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Originally Posted by skanchan95 View Post
I second that request.
Painting an aircraft or refinishing as it is called when you repaint is mainly for two reasons aesthetics and corrosion protection. The steps are similar as in a car but done on a vastly greater surface area requiring scaffoldings or cherry picker hoists to reach all surfaces. Hangars used for painting or refinishing are dedicated to that task and are almost never used for regular maintenance. They are also soft sealed with controlled ventilation to keep out dust and to keep in the harmful fumes emitted in the process. Men wear respirator masks and protective clothing, gloves etc while painting.
The basic steps are as follows. Before you start the aircraft is de-fuelled:

1. The aircraft is washed and moved into a stable clean environment.
2. At-risk components like instrument appendages, radio aerials, and moving flight controls are covered or removed. Similarly the transparency areas & engine intakes and exhausts are covered meticulously.
3. A nonacidic, environmentally friendly chemical stripper is applied. This is a spray and hand job very tiring and needs to be done without damaging sensitive aerials etc.
4. The aircraft is then given a technical inspection and corrosion, broken rivets, cracks etc are treated, and if necessary more serious repairs are made to the hull.
5. The aircraft is washed with an alkaline soap.
6. All aluminum surfaces are treated with alodine.
7. An epoxy chromate primer is applied. And then an epoxy surfacer may be applied.
8. A polyurethane basecoat is applied.
9. The colourful paint scheme is laid out with extensive use of stencils. This is always pray painted with the aid of masking sheets.
10. A clear coat is applied to add as a protective over the colourful livery.
11. The movable flying surfaces are fitted back & balanced.
12. The aircraft is weighed after it dries up.

It takes about 1 week to do a narrow body and two weeks to complete a wide body. On a wide body the weight of the paint can be a few hundred kilos. The paint used is special as it must constantly withstand extreme temperatures- typically minus 50 degrees to plus 180 degrees. It takes about a dozen plus men working two shifts for two weeks to complete a wide body. Cost narrow body about US$ 65,000 and wide body about US$ 180,000. Messier than painting is the treatment & disposal of the effluents and making sure the environment is kept fire hazard free.

A time lapse video of a 747 being painted:



Indian Aviation: A Photo Essay-img_0036.jpg
Docking the aircraft before the repainting. A paint hangar needs to be very well lit. You can see some of the scaffoldings on the side.
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Old 9th December 2019, 22:52   #92
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Default Re: Indian Aviation: A Photo Essay

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Aircraft Painting


Painting an aircraft or refinishing as it is called when you repaint is mainly for two reasons aesthetics and corrosion protection.
Thanks Narayan for the detailed explanation, as always makes a very informative read.

$65,000 doesn't seem to be a lot for a narrow body aircraft. Are Vistara and Spice Jet trying to save this money by not re-painting the Jet Airways aircraft they have acquired? Or perhaps the lease period is too short to make it worthwhile ?

Indian Aviation: A Photo Essay-1.jpg

Indian Aviation: A Photo Essay-d6orrg6wkaaqnps.jpeg
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Old 10th December 2019, 04:01   #93
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Default Re: Indian Aviation: A Photo Essay

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Originally Posted by Foxbat View Post

$65,000 doesn't seem to be a lot for a narrow body aircraft. Are Vistara and Spice Jet trying to save this money by not re-painting the Jet Airways aircraft they have acquired? Or perhaps the lease period is too short to make it worthwhile ?
More likely to be a legal reason linked to Jet's sudden demise and defaults on rentals and the exact nature of the lease. Could also be the short time they had from DGCA to take over the old routes of Jet. Just my guess.
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Old 10th December 2019, 04:09   #94
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Default Re: Indian Aviation: A Photo Essay

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Originally Posted by Foxbat View Post
$65,000 doesn't seem to be a lot for a narrow body aircraft. Are Vistara and Spice Jet trying to save this money by not re-painting the Jet Airways aircraft they have acquired? Or perhaps the lease period is too short to make it worthwhile ?
Was just idly reading an article about the latest mishap to befall Canada's equivalent of AF1 (see: https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...-a-hangar-wall) when I stumbled across controversy surrounding the cost of painting it in a special hi-viz scheme.

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Harper ultimately prevailed and Can Force One emerged in its new red, white, and blue scheme, which it carries to this day, in 2013. Repainting the plane reportedly cost approximately 50,000 Canadian dollars.
At 2013 exchange rates that's roughly $48,500 for an Airbus A310. I guess in 6 years it'll certainly have gone up to the amount stated by V Narayan earlier.

I imagine the reason for the patch job paint work on those erstwhile Jet Airways jets is simple economics. It probably costs far more in lost revenue when they're sitting on the ground waiting for a new lick of paint than being immediately pressed to service. Especially in a competitive aviation sector like India's. I don't know much about the exact ownership or lease agreements but I imagine for shorthaul flights that are basically airborne shuttle buses, as they are they'll do just fine. Don't imagine the fare goers at that rate are that fussed about the appearances on the outside.
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Old 10th December 2019, 04:10   #95
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Default Re: Indian Aviation: A Photo Essay

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxbat View Post

$65,000 doesn't seem to be a lot for a narrow body aircraft. Are Vistara and Spice Jet trying to save this money by not re-painting the Jet Airways aircraft they have acquired? Or perhaps the lease period is too short to make it worthwhile ?
More likely to be a legal reason linked to Jet's sudden demise and defaults on rentals and the exact nature of the lease. Could also be the short time they had from DGCA to take over the old routes of Jet. Just my guess.

With regards to the Canadian Air Force One - CAD 50k for an A310 in 2013 sounds like well less than half the real price for that year - Govt figures!! For example in 2013 a factory fresh A330 would cost around € 175k to paint first time.

Last edited by V.Narayan : 10th December 2019 at 04:20.
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Old 5th April 2020, 18:49   #96
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Default Re: Indian Aviation: A Photo Essay

We are proud of you says Pakistan ATC to Air India pilots operating special rescue flights

https://www.livemint.com/news/india/...994569056.html
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Old 5th April 2020, 20:37   #97
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Default Re: Indian Aviation: A Photo Essay

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We are proud of you says Pakistan ATC to Air India pilots operating special rescue flights

https://www.livemint.com/news/india/...994569056.html
Although its nice to hear I think it is just PR which they lack badly!

This is todays news from the Pakistani side that should actually matter

J&K: 9 terrorists killed in two separate ops in 24 hours, 3 soldiers martyred

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...w/74996061.cms
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Old 5th April 2020, 22:18   #98
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Default Re: Indian Aviation: A Photo Essay

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
175k to paint first time.
And, dear sir, how long does the paint last before a repaint is required?
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Old 5th April 2020, 22:28   #99
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Default Re: Indian Aviation: A Photo Essay

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And, dear sir, how long does the paint last before a repaint is required?
Top dog airlines would typically repaint once in 5 years to keep the decorative standard up. The protective role of the paint (and the other layers beneath) is good for 8 to 10 years. Though by then its decorative role would have diminished.
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Old 6th April 2020, 08:54   #100
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Default Re: Indian Aviation: A Photo Essay

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Top dog airlines would typically repaint once in 5 years to keep the decorative standard up.
Then sir, in an industry with such thin margins, this 1,75,000 Euros is a big chunk of the profit itself I suppose.

But now I realize, why I ended up flying twice in Spicejet planes with quite poor exterior!

Especially one 737-900 which normally does BOM-BLR (I have been into that one twice - after that I am full time Vistara now), that particular one is really scary with rattling windows, noisy flaps and worn out paint.
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Old 6th April 2020, 13:45   #101
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Default Re: Indian Aviation: A Photo Essay

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Then sir, in an industry with such thin margins, this 1,75,000 Euros is a big chunk of the profit itself I suppose.
To give you a point of comparison - A typical Airbus A330 flying say 3 medium sectors a day (in say Europe or SE Asia or India-Middle East) will earn revenues of about USD 150k to 170k assuming 80% capacity utlization and some cargo. The EUR costs includes various anti-corrosion applications too. So one day's revenue in 5 years.

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Especially one 737-900 which normally does BOM-BLR (I have been into that one twice - after that I am full time Vistara now), that particular one is really scary with rattling windows, noisy flaps and worn out paint.
I wouldn't worry about rattling windows but noisy flaps don't sound healthy.
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Old 6th April 2020, 16:05   #102
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Default Re: Indian Aviation: A Photo Essay

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So one day's revenue in 5 years.
This made me wonder if installing onboard wifi would be an opportunity to give a new lick of paint. You'll recognise planes with this feature from the blister or car roof storage box like bump on top. A quick scan through Youtube for videos from airlines shows them simply installing it, without any hint of a big old repaint. (Examples below)





I guess it goes to show that unless absolutely necessary, a full paint job isn't really something an airline would like to do. I guess it ultimately comes down to something that seems to be the truest adage in the industry. Any time the jet spends on the ground is money lost. I suppose that would explain more than anything why you might have some dowdy looking jets trundling down taxi ways.
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Old 6th April 2020, 17:49   #103
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Default Re: Indian Aviation: A Photo Essay

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This made me wonder if installing onboard wifi would be an opportunity to give a new lick of paint.
I guess it goes to show that unless absolutely necessary, a full paint job isn't really something an airline would like to do. I guess it ultimately comes down to something that seems to be the truest adage in the industry. Any time the jet spends on the ground is money lost.
Aircraft painting in detail is described in post #91. A fitting of a Wi-Fi or other avionics such as ADSB Out is a 6 to 8 hour job ramp to ramp. Often done in that particular aircraft's downtime. Using that opportunity to do a paint job is like saying, with reference to cars, we need to get the fan belt replaced and using the visit to the service centre to repaint he car
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Old 6th April 2020, 18:48   #104
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Default Re: Indian Aviation: A Photo Essay

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This made me wonder if installing onboard wifi would be an opportunity to give a new lick of paint. You'll recognise planes with this feature from the blister or car roof storage box like bump on top. A quick scan through Youtube for videos from airlines shows them simply installing it, without any hint of a big old repaint. (Examples below[
Further to V.Narayan comments; The bump you are referring is not necessarily for WiFi only. It is essentially a Satcom antenna (underneath). They can be fitted quite quickly. The paperwork necessary might take longer to produce.

As they are basically opening up the pressure hull, some additional strengthening needs doing around the antenna. Essentially they will place a few stenghtening plates over the hole. Also, the weight and balance numbers for the aircraft, which determine the centre of gravity, need updating.

A friend of mine works for this outfit: https://www.satcomdirect.com

He flies all over the world installing Satcom equipment. The antenna is of course only one piece of hardware. Depending on what the operator want a whole host of additional boxes of hardware and software might have to be installed.

These domes work on commercial planes as well as business jets. For the smaller business jets they have a simpler tail mounted antenna.

Jeroen
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Old 6th April 2020, 22:11   #105
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Default Re: Indian Aviation: A Photo Essay

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So one day's revenue in 5 years.
What about the profits sir? Just to get an idea, what's ideally the profit margin in this business in terms of %age. A rough figure will be enough to deliver me the satisfaction.
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