Why Are There No Black Airplanes? The Truth Revealed

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White airplanes are typically the expected norm. But sitting on those long flights gives you time to think and wonder why exactly that is. Why aren’t they black, for example?

It’s actually a myth that there are no black airplanes. However, there are very few of them because it’s easiest to notice damage to a plane, such as scratches or oil leakage, on a white background. Also, white reflects light better than other colors and helps prevent the airplane from overheating.

These are only a few of the reasons most planes are white. This article will explain why black isn’t ideal for airplanes and why most airlines have all-white fleets with colorful liveries. I’ll even tell you about a special all-red aircraft.

Why Are There No Black Airplanes?

It’s no coincidence that most airplanes these days are white.

Every airplane company’s primary goal is to ensure that passengers arrive safely at their destinations. Early detection of any possible faults is one way of guaranteeing this goal, and early detection is easiest on white planes. 

But what about other factors that an airplane company may want to consider when it comes to the color of an airplane? Let me explain further.

White Prevents Overheating

There’s nothing like a black shirt on a hot summer day! 

Said no one, ever. 

Well, the logic behind that is the same regarding the color of an airplane.

As I mentioned, white is a color known for reflecting light the best, and black is the exact opposite; it completely absorbs light.

Flying around in a black plane would be pretty awesome aesthetic-wise, I know. But you would get uncomfortably hot after a while, and not in a cozy, comfy way. 

So besides the “cool” factor that black airplanes would have, airline companies tend to stick to white to keep everyone safe and comfortable.

Black Fades Easier

It’s in the company’s best interest to save time and money. They’ll do that by defaulting to white when it comes to airplane colors.

Painting an airplane is not only a pretty time-consuming job, but it’s also pretty expensive. And let’s be honest; a faded black color on your jeans isn’t the best look, let alone on an airplane.

That’s why painting planes white makes much more sense, as it not only requires less time but also keeps them looking newer for longer.

White Planes Have a Greater Resale Value

Airline companies have to think about everything, including the resale value of their planes.

When it’s time to say their goodbyes to an airplane, it’s in the company’s best interest to sell it for the highest price they can get.

And as you may have guessed, white planes have the highest resale value of all colors. 

The buyer may want to repaint some parts of the plane or maybe even the entire thing. And what color is the easiest to repaint over? White, of course. 

Virgin Atlantic "Fearless Lady" Aircraft
Virgin Atlantic “Fearless Lady” Aircraft

Which Airline Has Black Planes?

Every rule has exceptions, and not every airline company has all-white planes. How many airlines do you know that are known for their black planes? Exactly, not many. 

Air New Zealand is an airline known for its all-black planes, which look magnificent. While most airline companies stick to the old-fashioned white color, Air New Zealand has made a name for itself by owning all-black planes.

While designing a black plane may cost more regarding all the factors you should consider when building a plane, it pays off in marketing.

If you want to see how a black plane looks in all of its glory, you might want to check out this video:

What Airline Has All Red Planes? 

Imagine looking up at the sky and seeing an all-red airplane; that would be a sight.

There isn’t an airline with all red planes, although JetBlue has an all-red plane called the Red A320. Boeing also has an almost entirely red airplane. There have been some other instances where red planes have made their appearance, too.

JetBlue’s Red A320 is known not only for its distinctive red color but also for the heart-warming story that’s behind it. The unique color choice was a way of showing support for New York’s firefighters.

Who would’ve thought that the color of a plane could evoke such emotions? Professions that save lives should be respected and appreciated. Way to go, JetBlue. 

Another airline that uses red in their liveries is Southwest Airlines. They mostly use red, blue, and yellow on their white airplanes. Their designs are indeed an eye-catcher thanks to their colorful stripes and stars, and there’s even a bear on the California One.

What Airline Has All Yellow Planes?

Spirit Airlines is a US-based, low-cost airline company known for its yellow airplanes. It’s also known for its cheap tickets and safe flight record. There have been no records of airplane crashes since their first flight, making it a good choice for those who fear flying. 

The color yellow is a vibrant, happy color usually associated with those warm, fuzzy feelings inside. It’s not exactly known as the go-to plane color, though.

However, those long flights would be easier to endure if you flew around in a yellow plane, or at the very least, it would make an interesting story.

As frustrating as long flights can be, dealing with airport staff is sometimes even worse. You should check out my article to learn how to deal with airport TSA agents.

How Many Gallons of Paint Does It Take To Paint a 747?

It takes approximately 120 gallons (545.53 liters) of paint to paint an average 747. The method of application and how much of the plane is being painted are both important when determining the actual number of gallons needed.

Paint is used primarily for the protection of the outer barrier of the plane. An airplane is painted in layers, and there are exact measurements that should be used.

Those measurements should be taken seriously as adding extra layers could result in using more fuel due to the added weight and, ultimately, losing more money. That said, painting an airplane is costly and can run anywhere between $50,000 and $200,000.

Final Thoughts

There are a plethora of reasons why white is the ultimate airplane color. Passenger safety, saving money, and the comfort of the entire crew are three big ones.

However, there are still exceptions. Some of these exceptions are clever marketing tricks to attract more consumers, and some are warm ways of showing support.

It’s worth noticing what a difference a simple color of an airplane makes. And who knows, with the technology today, we may soon see rainbow-colored planes flying around.

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