Manufacturing and Handling Techniques Used in the Assembly of Polished Commercial Aircraft
The use of polished aluminum fuselage skins has been a standard on U.S. commercial jet transport aircraft for decades. Increasingly stringent environmental regulations for paint stripping combined with fuel and maintenance savings allows consideration of flying polished non-painted aircraft. Boeing, McDonnell Douglas and Embraer currently manufacture commercial aircraft with polished alclad aluminum fuselages. Commercial airlines such as American Airlines, USAir, Eastern, Northwest and ASA fly non-painted fleets. These customers require the aircraft to be delivered with a polished appearance incorporating minimum fleet graphics. The manufacturing of polished aircraft requires unique production and handling procedures to fabricate all exterior panels with identical color match and reflectivity.