“Green” coatings by PPG Industries’ aerospace business were specified by Air New Zealand for the black livery on four airplanes that are part of the airline’s sponsorship of the New Zealand Rugby Football Union and the world champion All Blacks rugby team.
Air New Zealand has taken delivery of a new Boeing 777-300ER airplane and subsidiary Eagle Airways has had two Beechcraft 1900D airplanes repainted with PPG Aerospace’s environmentally responsible coatings system: DesoGel EAP-9 metal pretreatment, DESOPRIME CF/CA 7502 epoxy primer and DESOTHANE HS topcoats. Eagle Airways also plans to have a third Beechcraft 1900D turboprop repainted in the black livery.
Air New Zealand commissioned the dramatic livery, featuring an all-black fuselage with a silver fern (symbolic of New Zealand) overlay across the rear of the aircraft to celebrate sponsorship of the All Blacks through 2015.
“New Zealand is crazy about rugby,” said Richard Wilkinson, PPG sales manager at the aerospace application support center in Tullamarine. “As the national carrier, Air New Zealand and its Eagle Airways subsidiary are keen to protect New Zealand’s unique natural environment. Using these PPG Aerospace products enabled them to do so without compromising performance.”
Instead of using chromates for metal corrosion resistance, DesoGelEAP-9metal pretreatment and Desoprime CF/CA 7502 primer inhibit corrosion with a chromate-free formulation, Wilkinson said. Additionally, he said Desothane HS topcoats by PPG Aerospace contain less volatile organic compounds than conventional paints to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “Drying times for these topcoats can be accelerated with thinners, minimizing energy consumption compared with other paints that rely on heat to speed up the drying process. This is especially important when applying markings,” Wilkinson said.
Air New Zealand and Eagle Airways will maintain the glossy appearance of their black aircraft with Desoclean Green dry wash and polish by PPG Aerospace, which reduces the amount of required wet washing. Eagle Airways opted for the additional protection of a clearcoat.
Aviation Painting Services (APS), Hamilton, New Zealand’s newest full-time aviation painting operation, painted the Eagle Airways Beechcraft 1900D airplanes, while Boeing painted the Boeing 777 at its Everett, Wash., facility.
According to Phil Byrne, APS general manager, the project was a challenge because a complex livery had to be applied in a limited timeframe.
“Some of the pressure was reduced with the knowledge that Air New Zealand had chosen PPG products, which are known to be great to apply,” Byrne said. “Plus they are backed up with the PPG promise of technical support.”