Aircraft paint coatings have to be of a very high quality since they will have to last for a long time under extremely severe temperature and weather conditions. Aircraft paints already met very high standards for many years. A company like the Dutch Sikkens already developed a generation of durable aircraft paints as early as the thirties under their AEROFLEX brandname. Sikkens is now part of the multinational Sigma coatings, but the AEROFLEX paint still lasts!

F-16 Thunderbirds

Recently, new aircraft coatings have been developed that are not only of the same high standards, but are also some 50% lighter than the earlier coatings. A complete paint job of an average airliner will add some 250-300 kg of extra weight and that means that these lighter coatings are also much more cost-effective than the earlier paints! In view of the current high fuel prices, this is a very important factor.

One of these new aircraft coatings was developed by PPG Aerospace under their brandnames DESOPRIME for a lightweight fast-drying primer and DESOTHANE for a poly-urethane based top-coating. These PPG products are now used for the F-16’s used by the famous US aerobatic display team “The Thunderbirds”

Nico Braas

Photo credit- USAF

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