- Video shows the nine-day process of painting a Boeing 737 in just minutes
- Ten different colours were used, adding up to a total of 56 gallons of paint
- A crew of 45 people working in three shifts were needed for the project
The colours on a plane are more than just decoration – they reveal a little about an airline’s identity.
But have you ever wondered how these enormous machines are painted?
As this amazing time-lapse video of a nine-day process shows, the whole project involves basket cranes, gallons and gallons of paint and even more masking tape.
At the beginning of the paint project the plane is down to its bare aluminium bodywork and workers have to cover all the windows
The first layer is a plain white paint, which acts as a base. The aircraft is left to dry before more layers are added later
The video shows the Missouri One, which was unveiled in Kansas City in April 2015 by Southwest Airlines to celebrate 30 years of operating in the US state, receiving an eye-catching new look.
It features the Great Seal of Missouri as well as the branding for the airline.
Ten different colours were used on the Boeing 737, which totalled 56 gallons of paint.
At the beginning of the paint job, the plane is down to its bare aluminium shell.
Masking tape and cover sheets are affixed before a white base coat is applied.
After allowing the paint to dry, the real paint work begins.
Each section of the plane is painted separately so several parts of the body can be worked on at the same time.
To construct each stage of the pattern, more masking tape and sheeting have to be added to cover the paint
A total of 10 different colours have been used for the project. The plane is covered up until right at the end
It took 45 people nine whole days, working 24-hours a day, to complete the enormous paint job on this plane
The paint is allowed to dry again before a second application of tape and sheeting is stuck onto the plane to mark out the patterns.
Several workers, wearing overalls and masks, work from basket cranes to spray paint the body in different colours.
The process is repeated over several layers of paint until almost every inch of the aircraft’s body is covered with paint or tape.
Finally, it was down to the painstaking task of carefully peeling back the layers of masking tape and sheeting to reveal the design.
Some of the details, like the leaves, had to be painted or finished by hand.
It took 45 people working 24-hours a day in three shifts a total of nine days to paint the plane.
The finished plane has Southwest Airlines’ branding as well as the Great Seal of Missouri painted on the side
Some of the smaller details on the pattern, including the leaves pictured here, were finished off by hand