February 17, 2012

Painting A Picture: JetBlue Livery Paint Jobs

In light of our cool, new Red Sox livery, we realized how interesting aircraft painting in general is.

To help add more color, we enlisted our maintenance team for their expertise!

Our aircraft are painted by a business partner down in Roswell, New Mexico. Paint is always checked when our aircraft receives an in-depth inspection. Touch-ups may also take place in between if they are needed. It’s important to keep an eye on paint condition, because it serves a larger purpose than making our planes look pretty—it also protects our aircraft.

Artists everywhere, put those paintbrushes down! Aircraft are always spray-painted. Stencils and masking are used to apply specific designs—like with the Red Sox livery!

A clean, temperature (and humidity)-controlled environment allow for effective curing during the paint process. If the humidity is too low, water will evaporate from the paint, causing the fluidity and covering capacity to decrease. A high humidity can dilute the enamel and form an uneven surface on the plane.

Typically, one coat of primer and two to three coats of top coat are used on each plane depending on the color (some shades are more transparent than others so they require more coats). For example, a coat of white must be applied before a layer of red paint for it to be truly red.

A freshly-painted aircraft might feel rubbery to the touch. Since aircraft paint has flexible coating designed to handle pressurization and temperature fluctuations, it is thicker and more rigorous than regular paint.

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