why are airplanes usually white

Why Planes Are Mostly Painted in White Color?

While looking at the airplane thousands of the feet above you or when you are about to board the flight, you must have noticed the white color of the plane No doubt you see some colorful decorations, stripes, and names, along with unique typographical identification but the base color is always white. Wondering why you always see most planes painted in white color? Nearly every traveler, flyer or non -flyer wants to know the answer to this question along with reason & logic behind this. This seems astonishing and interesting to know why white color is always preferred.

Here are a few logical reasons that will let know why you see most of the airplanes in white color:

Sunlight Reflector

The main reason for painting the airplanes in white or light color is to reflect the sunlight. The light colors reflect all the light falling on it, unlike other dark colors that absorb some of the light. This is an important thing as absorbing sunlight heats up the body of the aircraft which is an avoidable situation. On the other hand, if you use white color paint, then it will reflect the sunlight and avoid the building up of any kind of heat on the airplane. This is good in both situations while flying and parking on the runway. The white color also helps in cooling down the plane after sitting on the ground in lesser time. Along with these light colors also save the aircraft from any kind of damage from solar radiation. Most of the features of the pane are made up of composite materials like fiberglass & carbon fiber and plastic and they need the most protection from the heat.

Damage Control

With the help of the white color, any kind of the cracks oil spills, dents and any other surface damage can be easily detected and repaired. Aircraft are regularly checked for these things for safety purpose. Obviously, nothing can be better than white color in spotting any kind of cracks. Also, the corrosion marks and oil leak spots can be accentuated in white color. In case of any mishap or crash, the white color plane is easy to spot visually.

Reduction in bird strikes

The meaning of a bird strike in simple words is a collision between a flying aircraft or a plane that is taking off or landing or flying at a low altitude and a bird. These incidents of bird strikes are a significant danger to airplanes and are very common. If the exterior of an aircraft Is white then it enhances the visibility and detection of aircraft by the birds. On the other hand, the darker can reduce the visual background and contrast between birds & airplanes. Then it becomes difficult to detect an aircraft and avoid collision by the birds in lesser time.

Non-faded color

While flying at the higher attitude the aircraft are exposed to many different climatic conditions. While on the other hand, the colored airplanes fade over some time and need to be painted frequently. This is the fact that paint adds weight to an aircraft, it means burning of more fuel. On the other hand, a white-colored plane doesn’t get easily disappeared even after spending a lot of time in the air.


Painting an aircraft Is not as easy like painting a railing. A considerable amount of investment is required in painting an aircraft in terms of time, money, and manpower. It takes two to seven days in painting a Boeing Airbus. Frequent painting an aircraft means significantly increasing the weight of an aircraft. On the other hand, white color lasts longer than any other color and doesn’t fade away easily. Also, white paint is less costly than any dark color. So painting in white color saves money and effort.

Resale Value

As compared to a colored plane, a white airplane has more resale value. Any airline company would like to reduce its expenses if it is buying any second-hand aircraft. Buying a colored aircraft means that the company has to paint it in white color for the above-mentioned reasons. So it makes a clear sense if an airline company is paying you less value for your fancy colored plane as compared to the white plane.

The above-mentioned reasons clearly show, how important a painting an aircraft in white color can be. But this doesn’t mean that flying in a colored airplane is risky since no plane is completely colored because safety comes first.


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