How to Make the Successful Transition from a Painted to a Polished Aluminum Aircraft Fleet 880874

Environmental regulations are tightening worker exposure limits and disposal options for airlines who chemically strip and repaint their fleets. An alternative is to operate a polished aluminum aircraft fleet.
The authors present an explanation of the grades of alclad aluminum fuselage skins used by commercial aircraft manufacturers and offer instructions on how to polish the unpainted alclad aluminum in order to operate the aircraft in the polished look.
All fuselages on aircraft built by Boeing, Douglas, Lockheed, and the new EMBRAER Brasilia, were assembled using premium grade polished alclad aluminum. As a result, painted versions of aircraft built by the airframers have the capability to be stripped, polished and put in service as a polished aluminum aircraft.


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