Inside the painting hangars of Airbus
Toulouse - The design and colors of an aircraft are the key aspects in the development of identity of a company that will operate it, and to ensure that they are applied correctly, Airbus has a center in Toulouse in which more than 400 people work.
Around 350 aircraft pass through the 13 painting hangars each year. According to the European manufacturer, these 13 hangars are able to accommodate both single-aisle and wide-body aircraft.
"Inside the painting center, meetings take place daily to anticipate variations and manage quality, delivery times and costs. The fact is that our intensely focused teams give us a lot of flexibility" said Jean-François Paul, head of the painting division.
Depending on the scheme of each airline and the model, the paint applied to a commercial aircraft varies. An A320, for instance, requires around 350 liters of paint at an approximate cost of 50,000 dollars, while 1200 liters might be needed for an A350 at around 200,000 dollars. The process lasts between four and ten days.
Apart from identifying the operator, the painting also fulfills the function of preserving the fuselage of the aircraft from corrosion and deterioration. That is why a painting process of a commercial aircraft takes place through five layers ranging from pretreatment, anti-corrosive paint, finishing, the top layer, and finally graphic elements such as marks, logos or lines.