Airbus has qualified a new paint system that has been tested on one of the A380 development aircraft and will be used first by Emirates, writes Rob Coppinger.

Last month, the painting of A380 MSN002 was completed at Airbus’s Hamburg Finkenwerder plant using Dutch company Akzo Nobel Aerospace Coatings’ selectively removable system. The system covers the primer layer with an intermix coating. The top livery layer is then painted over. The selectively removable system uses chemical agents that pass through the top layer and dissolve the intermediate coating, while the primer is not affected. That makes removing the top layer easier.

“You could cut maintenance downtime intervals by 40% with this. That is about one-to-two days for many aircraft and downtime costs for airliners can be $100,000 a day,” says Akzo Nobel.

The coating system is expected to be used on the entire fuselage, although its name suggests possible local use. The first commercial application of this system on the A380 will be on Emirates’ aircraft, deliveries of which are due to begin in April next year.

Source: Flight International