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aviation based question

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posted on May, 8 2011 @ 10:33 PM
ok out of current airlines..... if any of them - which have current passenger planes that are silver mettalic and reflective of the sun...

today i saw something in the sky not sure if it is what i think i saw..... sorry don't have a picture

posted on May, 8 2011 @ 10:45 PM
Aircraft aluminum is extremely reflective.

posted on May, 8 2011 @ 10:46 PM
A little more description about where you saw it would help.

The problem is that most aircraft are painted in a gloss finish to reflect the sun and reduce heating of the cabin. Almost any aircraft seen from a distance will appear to have a mirror finish on it.

posted on May, 8 2011 @ 11:23 PM
well i didn't describe what i saw cause i didn't need people coming in trying to debunk or deny what i saw until i had all the info.......

what i saw was high gloss type reflection of the sun moving from east to west then moved to go north west lost sight of it behind a tree moved and then when i got to a clear view it had vanished.... possibly a plane ... i was looking north ..... from where i was viewing north of me was saint louis airport approx 40 miles away.....

it had to be a plane from what i was getting about the finish on aluminum alloy..... could be wrong but that is the most logical thought.....

thanks for the info guys

posted on May, 9 2011 @ 02:57 AM
There are two airlines that spring to mind who's aircraft are not just gloss, but actually silver, and they are American Airlines and NWA, I'm sure there are others but I can't think of them right now.

posted on May, 9 2011 @ 03:05 AM
I would go with American Airlines on this one. They actually have no paint.for fuel / weight saving purposes and does reflect the sun very well.

posted on May, 9 2011 @ 03:21 AM
reply to post by waynos

I, too....would chime in with American the USA, the only major that has a mostly all "aluminum" look in the livery.


American Airlines and NWA...

Northwest (NWA) has been absorbed by Delta Airlines, now....and they were quite fast at re-painting all the old NWA airplanes, some years back. So you won't see any examples any more.

About American's design.....they are going to find it harder to maintain that all "aluminum" look in future, as more and more component parts of airliners are made from composite materials. As it is, what they do now is paint those pieces a light gray color, because by default they are a dark almost black gray......carbon fiber, if you will.....

posted on May, 9 2011 @ 03:48 AM
Until recently, I worked at the delivery centre at Airbus. During my years there, the only metallic airframes I saw were NWA and American Airlines. I would therefore concure with the above posts and say that it was most likely American Airlines.

posted on May, 9 2011 @ 09:54 AM
reply to post by weedwhacker

WW take another look at AA planes next time you see one. it's not an aluminum look. it actually IS aluminum!!

You can see all the frame location and rivit heads! heheh.

Story is that someone there though of not painting the planes, and the reduction in weight = less fuel burn / Not to mention the costs of repaint, and re-weighing, spraying equipment, downtime for painting etc that was saves for just not painting them saved them billion of $$$ over the years.

I hope the guy who thought of that got a nice bonus. probably not though.

ON your last part, even most modern airlines skin plates are skin aluminum. I don't know about the 787, but every other airframe out there has a mental fuse skin. usually flight surfaces, fairings air composite, which yeah have to be painted. So the corrosion issue, isn't going away just yet.

edit on 9/5/2011 by JakiusFogg because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 9 2011 @ 11:45 AM
reply to post by JakiusFogg

Yes....know that already....only reason I wrote "aluminum" in quotes was for emphasis....not as a euphemism or something.....

As to the savings of weight, that was the premise initially....many decades ago.....with less paint. Overall, though there is a counter-balancing increased cost in the man-hours of maintaining that aluminum sheen.......AAL has to employ teams of people to constantly polish the bare aluminum areas. In "lean" economic times, they can cut back, or skimp on that....but, to the detriment of the appearance .... and they (corporate) wish to present a 'professional' look, for customer purposes...not a "shabby, ratty" look. I mentioned, with more modern airliners using the composites, those HAVE to be painted. Look at the B-757, for instance:

Of course, the same "family" includes the B-767....then, there is also the B-737 with a lot of similar components. The new 787, as well.


The vertical fin? (and rudder)....composite. The nacelles/cowlings. Radome. Under-wing to body fairings. The winglets. Not shown, but all the other control surfaces, in addition to the rudder. Etc...

I had seen a story (I believe at writing about the future at AAL.....they may eventually re-design their livery, since the "all-aluminum" look is dwindling.

posted on May, 9 2011 @ 02:12 PM
reply to post by weedwhacker

Sorry keep forgetting you're a jockey!!

You know what I can believe that. it also explains the swirl look on some of the older ones. (watch out for scribe lines!!!)

I saw one example of a mech, sanding down for painting, and decided he was going to use a full on rotary sander. the resulting to and fro with Boeing on the at the lap joints (classic) were monumental!!

I saw the same mentality on the 737-NG, One operator insisted on keep the L/E slats nice and polished shiny. Down side it is it gradually removed the surface protections and introduces scratches resulting down time for repairs. should any of them (abraisons, corrosion, or straight up scratches) end up out of SRM limits.

Sort of defeats the purpose.

But still its a nice shiny bird, but give me a nice white one anyday!

posted on May, 9 2011 @ 02:21 PM
I heard a rumor, maybe true maybe not, that the 787 was totally CF. including the fuselage skin! Now WHEN that gets banged with a baggage truck that is a nightmare to repair.

Bad enough at the moment just on the areas there are. At least with aluminum you can just cut a hole and place a doubler.

The SRM repair currently for Multilayer carbon fiber, need a surgeons precision.

I have a wing to body fairing at the moment with de-bonding and de-lamination area of which is just larger than the SRM allowable limits. OEM response. No repair. Replace please.

Oh well there goes another chunk of change!

BTW, I love how you refer to the 757 as a "modern airliner" hehehe

edit on 9/5/2011 by JakiusFogg because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 9 2011 @ 03:31 PM
American Airlines aircraft are not bare aluminum. They have a thin clear coat that protects the aluminum from corrosion. The clear coat is much lighter than paint, so they do get a significant weight savings. Your average paint job on a 737 sized jet weighs in at about 1800 lbs, while the clear coat and the painted lettering comes in at about 800 lbs.

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