February 19th was the agreed date to start the painting work on the Embraer E190, an airplane that was part of the Austral´s fleet and registered as LV-CMA. We were invited to witness the process of painting an airplane, a unique occasion to understand how this important task is performed and to be able to portray it in depth.We arrived to Fábrica Argentina de Aviones (FAdeA), an Argentinian company that is in charge of the maintenance and production of aircraft, shortly before 12:30 to begin the accreditation process and to be ready in the paint hangar since the work would begin at 1:30 pm. After some safety recommendations, specifically targeted to protect the photographic equipment, we were ready to live this moment. The plane has been in FAdeA since January 27, the day it arrived to receive its new paint as part of the planned maintenance tasks.
The plane was waiting for its moment surrounded by scaffolding and a crane. At least 6 operators participated in this stage which consisted of dyeing the aircraft with the predominantly blue color in all the aircraft of the Aerolíneas Argentinas´ fleet.
The process started from the nose towards the tail of the Embraer. It was performed in this direction to respect the airflow of the hangar due to the air extracting equipment, located at the back, that is in charge of removing the remains of dust and paint that are in the air when applying layers of paint.
The painting took approximately 45 minutes where an operator on the ground was in charge of the ventral part of the fuselage and the engines, two more painted the sides on the scaffolding and another two, lifted by a crane, were in charge of the top of the E190.
We attended the painting of the first coat of paint, of a total of two the aircraft was set to receive. The white part would be painted another day, but it was undoubtedly a unique opportunity to spread and get to know one of the stages that all airplanes go through in their life.
The aircraft was finally delivered to the company on Wednesday, March 3rd.
As indicated by the company, the application of the scheme did not imply any extra expense, given that it took advantage of a debt FAdeA had with the airline for the transfer of tools and equipment that was carried out in 2019 to obtain a maintenance certification.