How much weight does all that paint add to the airplane?
It's got to be at least a ton.
Hey Lefty! It's been awhile since anything was posted....
I always enjoy watching those time lapse videos. Now if they could just do the same video with the "Benny Hill" (Yakety Sax) music, it would be hilarious.
I found this online:
When an airline orders a plane, the paintwork is normally done at the manufacturer*s assembly plant. So, if you decide to buy a Boeing 777-200 from the Company, the decorative painting is included in the base price of the airplane.
How much paint is used would depend on the customer*s requirement. If only the upper and lower half of the fuselage, tail and customer markings were considered, it requires about 475 pounds (215 kg) of paint. Without paintwork at the bottom half of the fuselage, then only 330 pounds (150 kg) of paint would be required. To paint a bigger Boeing 747-400, you would require over 90 gallons of paint. That is enough to paint the inside of four family houses! The paint here would weigh around 555 lb (252 kg). Hence, any additional paintwork would add to the overall weight of the plane.
Some airlines prefer a polished airplane as it is lighter and save fuel cost. However, this savings is more than offset by the higher cost of washing, polishing and painting a polished fuselage throughout its service life. I believe there are some regulated procedures in conducting a proper painting job. Thus, to maintain a good image of having cleaner or newer planes, most airlines would repaint their aircraft once in every four years.
When a plane is sold or leased to another company, repainting works would usually be required. Normally, they do not completely strip the paintworks. Instead, they would alternate between complete stripping and merely scuff sanding the existing paint layer and applying a new topcoat.
Generally, airplanes should never carry more than two layers of paint. With more than two layers, operating efficiency drops, inspections become more difficult and corrosion can start under a fresh topcoat.
I remember hearing about how many gallons it would take and I thought it's more than 200...not to mention that this paint has to be extremely tolerant of heat, cold, and high subsonic speeds...