How Much Does It Cost To Paint An Airplane?

  • According to the website of the media brand Products Finishing, painting an airplane can cost between $100,000 to $200,000 (Source)
  • The cost factors for painting an airplane include the number of planes, the number of colors, the requirements of the business, having a paint shop paint it, and more.
  • The amount of paint needed to cover an aircraft depends on the type of airplane. For instance, it requires up to 35 US gallons or 130 liters to cover short-haul aircraft (Source)
  • Long-haul aircraft like the B777 or A330 requires 64 US gallons or 240 liters of paint. Meanwhile, extremely larger airplanes like the A380 need 132 US gallons or 500 liters of paint.
  • Different aircraft have various colors, and this depends on the branding of the airline or the coloration of your private plane (Source)

How Much It Costs To Paint An Airplane

If you’re wondering “how much does it cost to paint an airplane?”, use the information on this page to know the details.

Whether it is a house, a car, or an airplane, painting and re-painting require you to invest in the materials you will need, what will be painted, and so much more. Here, you will get to know how much it costs to paint an airplane.

According to finishing media brand Products Finishing, it costs between $100,000 to $200,000 to prepare and paint an airplane (Source). It also depends on various factors including the color, the number of planes to be painted, the requirements of the brand, and more.

It requires a lot of paint to cover an airplane. It takes up to 35 US gallons or 130 liters to cover the area of 9,700 square feet or 900 square meters of an aircraft categorized as short-haul aircraft. This is against the 64 US gallons or 240 liters for long-haul aircraft of A330 or B777 at 21,500 square feet or 2,000 square meters. For super larger aircraft like the A380, it takes up to 132 US gallons or 500 liters to cover its dimension at 43,000 square feet or 4,000 square meters (Source).

All aircrafts manufactured in assembly lines are attributed to the color of the fuselage’s anti-corrosion paint. For the airplane to get painted, it has to spend time in the paint hangar of the aircraft, which could take six days on average for aircraft categorized as short-haul. These include the A330 or the Boeing 737. Meanwhile, it takes 13 days for wide-body aircraft like the A380 or Boeing 747 to get painted.

The thickness of a paint coat on the aircraft’s fuselage is thin. It is between 0.15 and 0.35 millimeters or 0.006 and 0.014 of an inch thick. Despite this, it is important to note it still requires a huge deal of paint to cover any aircraft.

Cost Factors

As we’ve noted, there are a variety of factors that determine the cost of painting aircraft. They’re as follows:

Type of Airplane

Different kinds of airplanes will have various painting costs. This is because of their materials, sizes, and models.

Painting a Boeing 777 airplane can cost between $100,000 to $200,000 and will still depend on the number of colors that the design necessitates. On the other hand, the smaller Airbus A320 may cost $50,000 or higher (Source). Take note that these are estimated values. Prices can either be greater or lower than the projected range.

Furthermore, each aircraft manufacturer or airline will have a collection of planes in the garage. Now that you have known the cost of painting an aircraft, you have to multiply this by the number of aircraft that you have to paint.

Type of Colors

Different aircraft have various colors, and this depends on the branding of the airline (Source). For instance, Qatar Airways uses the Spanish Purple and Slate Gray color scheme (Source). Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines has Dark Cornflower Blue and Yellow Orange (Source). More airlines have different color schemes.

Business Requirements

As with the branding, the type of paint and even the partner provider of paint product are within the requirements of the business managing the aircraft. Different paint brands will have various pricing. (Source)

Relevant to the color schemes, the branding, and what the aircraft manager and executives would require will include the color hue, the paint provider they choose, the company working on the airplane painting, and more.

The Paint Shop or Painting Manager

There are times when a paint shop will manage the painting of the airplane. Utmost care is necessary when using the appropriate paint and solvents, as well as following the right disposal. With this and the paperwork, it will cost around $10,000 (Source). Moreover, Boeing aircraft may require paint schemes weighing nearly 0.5 tons each.

Overall, it is not easy to paint an aircraft. Several people have to work on the painting for multiple days. Painting the aircraft will protect it against salting, oxidation, and jet fuel spillage that can affect the metal. The company or the management handling the aircraft painting must also prepare the budget for the task. They should keep in mind the factors outlined above when determining the cost.

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