Graco Inc.

Ready, Steady and Take Off with Airbus A380

On January 18, 2005 the biggest and most advanced passenger jet ever conceived was unveiled to the public. The Airbus 380 is the only aircraft today that has a double deck over the complete length. Many custom made systems are necessary to construct such a unique aircraft. Graco is proud to say that various products from its large product portfolio of fluid handling equipment were chosen to apply paint.

The enormous wings of the A380, spanning nearly 80 meters, posed particular challenges. First of all, in cooperation with PPG Aerospace, a specially formulated paint was developed that met stringent application criteria such as reliability, high quality finish and resistance to extremely fluctuating environmental conditions.

Furthermore, as the paint had to be applied without the operators actually touching the wing, Graco’s Kent-based surface coating specialist, Hi-Tec Spray Ltd, built a portable paint feed system. Graco 30:1 Merkur® Pumps on custom-built portable mounting frames together with Graco PRO™ XS4 AA Electrostatic Air-Assisted Airless Spray Guns were selected to fulfill the needs of portability and to meet the specific application needs.

With a surface area of 845 square meters, it takes about 50 liters to cover just one wing. To ensure high process repeatability and mix/ratio accuracy on the range of materials used to coat the A380 wings, Graco’s ProBatch™ Electronic Dispense systems were installed in the paint kitchen.

Once finished, the wings are transported to Toulouse, France where the complete assembly of the A380 takes place. As a last step in the process, the A380’s are transported to Airbus in Hamburg to receive their final coatings. These coatings are applied using PRO™ XS 3 Electrostatic Airspray Guns, ensuring even build layer and a high quality finish.

Products in the aerospace industry have to meet the highest standards in terms of quality and reliability. Graco’s wide range products for fluid handling solutions ensure that these standards are met and exceeded!

For more information, contact Hi-Tec Spray, Tel. 44 1622 663444 or visit

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