April 24 - Volga-Dnepr Airlines has provided one of its AN-124-100 freighters with a special paint job, which it claims will save USD100,000 per year in fuel costs.
Vladimir Drebnev, senior engineer, continuing airworthiness at Volga-Dnepr said the durable coating increases the aircraft's aerodynamic qualities: "The base coat/clear coat system is widely used on aircraft around the world. The facial layer of the glaze is considered to have greater smoothness than, for example, polyurethane enamel, and protects the base layer of painting from the influence of ultra-violet rays. Due to this smoother effect, the air drag during a flight decreases and this can be measured in terms of fuel savings."
The lacquer also gives a freshly painted look for a longer period, reducing the time and further cost of additional paintwork.
Volga-Dnepr's technical experts will monitor the aircraft to gauge the level of fuel savings. If the technology demonstrates the results the airline is hoping for, it will be applied to the rest of Volga-Dnepr's An-124-100 fleet.