Not just any paint job

Making a good first impression takes time and effort. Whether this means ensuring a clean-shaven face, putting on just the right amount of make-up and respectable clothing or using a consistent house style. In our case, it also means perfectly decorated airplanes. And, considering the importance of a meticulously painted aircraft, highly sophisticated techniques are used.

In the Deco Bay of Hangar 14 at Schiphol Oost, the planes are painted with electrostatic spraying equipment. With this painting technique the paint is ‘attracted’ by the ‘earthed’ (i.e. not electrostatically charged) airplane.

Planes are painted with electrostatic spraying equipment

When the Deco Bay was created, considerable attention was paid to safety and the environment. When an aircraft is scheduled for a paint job, the first step is to remove the old layer of paint. The plane is then washed and a number of parts are sanded. Next, large yellow mobile platforms are used to spray the new paint onto the aircraft. Six of these platforms are situated around the plane, so that the painters and sprayers can reach all areas.

An added plus of the electrostatic painting technique is that less paint ends up in the hangar than with conventional spraying. Also, there are numerous large air blast ventilators at the very top of the 26-metre high roof. The little paint vapour that is released is blown down by these ventilators into grates in the floor and then blown outside by centrally located ventilators through ducts and a filter chamber. The grates in the floor serve not only to remove paint vapour, but all liquid waste, including leftover paint, stripper and contaminated water, is transported through these grates and underground ducts to the KLM Environmental Centre, also located at Schiphol Oost, for proper processing.

In order to continuously improve this process, attention is directed not only towards working conditions, but also the materials used. KLM Engineering & Maintenance, for instance, has developed a ‘green’ painting system together with Mankiewicz. This system makes it possible to apply thin layers of paint that are not only more environmentally friendly as far as the substances they contain, but also results in a 15% weight savings. In a business in which every kilo of weight counts in terms of fuel savings and CO2 emissions, this is a very positive added advantage.

Want to see our environmentally friendly painting system in action? Take a look here!

A few questions for enthusiasts:
1. How often on average is a brand-new layer of paint applied to aircraft?
2. How many litres of paint are needed to paint a 747?
3. How much time does the 747-400 spend in the Deco Bay?

Raem
Corporate Communications

Posted by:   KLM  | 
Join the conversation Show comments

Olga Vermue

raem.van.poppel@klm.com

Answers to questions on aircraft painting:
1. every four years
2. 80.000 litres
3. 5 days
Best regards Olga Vermue AMS/DP

Harno Herman

Hi its 5 years or 5000 flyhours

Queenie

Bien Jose, bien.Me encanta lo ocurrido.Menos cuidar la zona exterior de la cabeza y más cuidar la interior.Por cierto yo también tuve un profesor de química, y otro de mibiÃcrologo­a, allá por el Plioceno con los que tenías que ser un aguerrido inconsciente para intentar discutir algo. ¡Tiempos aquellos!Mi más sincera enhorabuena.

Olga Vermue

Answers to questions on aircraft painting:
1. every four years
2. 80.000 litres
3. 5 days
Best regards Olga Vermue AMS/DP

Harno Herman

Hi its 5 years or 5000 flyhours

Mark

Don’t you mean 747-400 instead of 747-300?

fl-350

either way, it’s about the 747 right?!

KLM

Hi Mark, you are right we mean the 747-400! We have corrected it in the text.

Mark

Don’t you mean 747-400 instead of 747-300?

fl-350

either way, it’s about the 747 right?!

KLM

Hi Mark, you are right we mean the 747-400!

Harno Herman

I know the old paint system was 1250L of paint on body and wingservice incl, engines. Greatings harno

Harno Herman

I know the old paint system was 1250L of paint on body and wingservice incl, engines. Greatings harno

fl-350

Which one would this one be; BF-A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,K,L,M,N,O,P,R,S,T,U,V,W,Y?

Lily

Die Musik war PERFEKT Ich meine dort, wo du, das zweite mal insgesamt, nach oben geschwommen bist und die Musik so pascuih/episch/wanaschimmer war Ich fand die Folge jedenfalls geilUnd du warst zu hoch für Diamanten. Die Map istein bisschen buggy ._.Die zeigt eine Schicht höher an, als man ist :/ (glaube ich)

fl-350

Which one would this one be; BF-A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,K,L,M,N,O,P,R,S,T,U,V,W,Y?

John

How much manpower to do it in 5 days?

John

How much manpower to do it in 5 days?

Didier Pinçon

Dear,
When will we see the first KLM 747 with the revised livery please? I believe this 747 is now at the paint shop in Kuala-Lumpur?

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