The airline American Airlines has started a process of repainting its planes which, besides making them look better, promises to generate great fuel savings. The company will change the type of paint used and, with this, expects to save 3.8 million liters of fuel per year when the entire fleet is renewed.
After eight to ten years of use, commercial aircraft require a complete overhaul of the fuselage. As American Airlines changed the identity of its planes in 2013, the company’s fleet begins to go through the overcoating process.
For repainting, Amercian Airlines decided to use a new type of paint that does not use a layer of mica, a mineral that helps to protect and shine the paint. When removing the mica, the company stated that the ink, called Silver Eagle. it is lighter, cheaper and therefore saves fuel and is better for the environment.
28 pounds less
The process begins with the company’s 737-800 model fleet and is then expanded to all models used by American Airlines. According to the company, the new planes will already be delivered with the new paint from the second half of this year.
In a Boeing 737-800, removing the mica reduces the weight of the paint by 28 kilos. It may seem a bit small for the size of the plane, but over the course of a year the difference is significant.
American Airlines has 262 Boeing 737-800s in its fleet, which fly an average of six flights a day. With 28 kilos less in each plane, in a year, there is a reduction in fuel consumption of 1.2 million liters only with the Boeing 737-800 fleet.
The savings will be even greater when all of the company’s nearly 900 planes receive the new paint. “When switching to Silver Eagle, our aircraft fleet will burn approximately 3.8 million liters less fuel per year. We estimate that this alone will reduce American’s carbon emissions by 9,525 metric tons per year, as the fleet repainted, “said Jill Naden, 787 engineer at American Airlines.
More than 2,400 flights
The total amount of fuel saved is sufficient to make more than 2,400 flights with the Boeing 737-800 packed between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. On this route, the model consumes about 1,550 liters with 184 passengers on board.
The fuel saved is also sufficient to make about one hundred flights between São Paulo and New York (USA) with 242 passengers on board a Boeing 787-8, whose consumption on the route is about 40 thousand liters. The 3.8 million liters that will be saved with the new ink could also be used to make 60 flights between Rio de Janeiro and Paris (France) with 320 passengers on board the Boeing 777-200, which consumes 60 thousand liters on this route.