JUL 29, 2017 6:58 AM PDT

Most Airplanes Are White, and Here's Why

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard


You've probably seen airplanes of all colors in the sky, but a major of them use white or light-colored paint to give the surface some color. It turns out that the reason behind the use of white paint isn't just cosmetic.

White stays the coolest when exposed to sunlight because it reflects most of the Sun's light away. Unlike dark colors, which absorb some of the Sun's light rays, white helps keep the airplane cooler and protects critical components from tarnishing.

Some companies tried going with no paint at all to save costs further, but they quickly learned that bare metal airplanes oxidize rather quickly, so it meant consistently maintaining the metal surface. In the end, most companies switched to white paint jobs to minimize maintenance.

The same concept is used in a host of school and public transportation buses, where the tops are usually painted white to reduce heat. Of course, when you're so high in the sky, protection from solar radiation is just a little bit more critical than being on the ground.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
DEC 23, 2019
Plants & Animals
DEC 23, 2019
The Captivating Mating Process of a Jumping Spider
When you’re a male jumping spider and you fancy finding a female to mate with, you might try your hand – or in this case paddle – at impr...
DEC 23, 2019
Plants & Animals
DEC 23, 2019
Brave Ant Explorers Engage a Termite Colony
Ants and termites have known their place as bitter rivals in the animal kingdom for more than 150 million years. Even today, as populations peak at some of...
FEB 02, 2020
Space & Astronomy
FEB 02, 2020
Everything You Need to Know About Solar Orbiter
The Sun is something you see every day when you look up at the daytime sky, but despite residing right in plain sight, there’s still so much about th...
FEB 03, 2020
Plants & Animals
FEB 03, 2020
Watch a Polar Bear Mom Scare Off a Bully So Her Cubs Can Eat
Polar bears realize that food can be scarce at times, and that’s a problem considering just how much they like to eat. In many cases, they find food ...
FEB 11, 2020
Plants & Animals
FEB 11, 2020
How the World's Fastest Cat Compares to the World's Fastest Dog
Cheetahs are the world’s fastest land animal; their powerful hind legs give them incredible launching power and their stretchy spines provide a massi...
FEB 22, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
FEB 22, 2020
Harmful Algal Blooms
Algae is an essential plant-like organism. They contribute to the diet of some marine animals and supply necessary oxygen to bodies of water. Algae populat...
Loading Comments...