Airbus finished painting the first of three All Nippon Airways (ANA) A380s that will feature Hawaiian sea turtles on the livery, which was one of the most challenging designs the OEM has completed. It took 120 painters 21 days to finish the complex design, which included 930 stencils and 16 different colors of paint over the 3,600 sq. meter surface.
The average A380 design takes 13-21 days and uses 150 stencils, so this design incorporated a 520% increase in stencils. Airbus says 90% of the overall time typically is allocated for prep work and drying time, and only 10% for the actual painting.
This aircraft, predominately blue, is now undergoing final ground and flight tests in Hamburg before Airbus delivers it to ANA at the end of the first quarter in 2019.
Airbus says ANA’s second turtle-themed aircraft will be painted green and will be delivered in the second quarter 2019, while the third will be painted orange and is scheduled to be delivered in 2020.
Airbus paints all of its A380s in Hamburg in an 85-by-213-meter (279-by-699 ft.) building that includes two A380s paint shops and one for the vertical tail plane, which the OEM paints separately to optimize access to all of its parts. The vertical tail plane itself is 14.5 meters (47.6 ft.) high and its surface is 230 sq. meters (755 sq ft).