Aerospace business is flying high

COO Ruud Joosten explains how our passion for paint is making air travel more colorful

We take great pride in the fact that whenever anyone steps onto a flight, at least one part of the aircraft has been coated with AkzoNobel coatings. In fact, we’ve pioneered and developed many of the coatings technologies used in the modern aerospace industry.

Making coatings for aircraft has many technical challenges. For example, exterior systems need to withstand huge variations in temperature and meet strict industry regulations. That’s why we’re dedicated to supplying market-leading products and technologies that offer world class functionality, performance, efficiency and value.

Our portfolio includes waterborne coatings, base coat/clear coat systems, selectively removable systems, corrosion inhibiting structural coatings, high temperature coatings for engines, flame resistant coatings for cabin interiors and special effects coatings. We’re also innovators in chromate-free technologies. Our emphasis is on producing sustainable, high performance, cost-effective coatings that are easy to use.

You’ll no doubt have noticed that most commercial aircraft are predominantly white. The liveries used by various airlines tend to use color quite selectively. Sometimes, though, aircraft are allowed to “let their hair down”. That’s when we’re able to work together with designers to utilize the full extent of our coatings and color expertise.

The exterior of a plane is an incredible canvas and, over the last few months, various airlines have used our products to create a series of eye-catching liveries. Among the most striking were the animal designs used on the new E2 jets by Embraer. They quite literally went wild with our Alumigrip and Aerodur range by applying stunning designs depicting an eagle, a tiger and a shark. It was an incredible display by the artist, and we are proud our coatings were a part of it.

Another amazing project involved partnering with The Mirpuri Foundation to paint a Hi Fly-owned aircraft with a spectacular livery depicting coral reefs. One side represents a pristine ocean with healthy marine life, while the other shows a destroyed coral environment. We created 19 colors for the design, many of which were custom-made, helping to drive home the message that our coral ecosystems will disappear by 2050 if no action is taken.

Meanwhile, two of our long-term customers – Icelandair and Wizz Air – both celebrated milestones in recent months. Wizz Air took delivery of their 100th aircraft, which we were delighted to coat. And to celebrate Iceland’s debut in the FIFA World Cup, we coated a special plane which flew many fans to Russia to watch the action.

It’s worth noting that air traffic doubles every 15 years, and we plan to continue being a major industry player. We’re always ready to draw on our worldwide network of training centers, technical expertise and sales support to ensure that our customers’ needs are met and their expectations exceeded.