Following timely completion of the cabin installation of the first A380 for Singapore Airlines, Airbus has started the paintwork on this aircraft. The A380 will stay approximately three weeks in the company's paint-shop in Hamburg, Germany. In addition to the actual painting, most of the other work in the paint-shop includes cleaning, grinding, masking and unmasking the 3,100 square meter surface of the A380.
Approximately 3,600 liters of chromate-free paint is used for three layers of paint—primer, customer-paint, top-coat—for an A380. Only 600 to 1,000 kg of paint stays on the aircraft. Each layer measures only about 0.120 mm and is able to withstand differences in temperatures of approximately 100°C.
Airbus is applying the most modern and environmental friendly techniques for the A380 painting process. Electrostatic pistols are used to minimize paint mist. Used air is cleaned and washed through a multi-stage cleaning process to ensure that paint particles are disposed separately.
A380 launch customer Singapore Airlines is to take delivery of its first A380 in October this year.