A plane with custom pink coatings created and donated by PPG Industries’ aerospace business is flying across Australian skies to help QantasLink promote breast cancer awareness in the country’s regional and remote areas.
More than 50 kilograms (about 44 gallons) of primer and topcoat, including two shades of pink specially matched to signature colors of Australia’s National Breast Cancer Foundation, were provided by PPG Aerospace’s Tullamarine application support center. The donated coatings, which also included QantasLink’s red, white and black livery colors, would have cost about AU$20,000/U.S.$18,000.
“When we heard of QantasLink’s project to increase public knowledge about the importance of early breast cancer detection, we were excited to be part of it,” said Anne Neeson, PPG business manager. “The size and remoteness of some areas of Australia make it difficult to get a message across the country. QantasLink’s plan to fly a promotional aircraft in striking pink colors was brilliant, and it is an honor for PPG to be part of the effort. PPG’s high-performance aerospace coatings give QantasLink’s Pink Lady a dramatic appearance fitting its purpose.”
PPG’s Tullamarine application support center worked with Rob Tassini, QantasLink engineering manager, to set up PPG’s sponsorship. The Bombardier Q400 airplane was painted in secrecy and kept under wraps until its launch on national television in Australia.
“The PPG coatings team at the application support center led by Operations Manager Paris Tzambazis did a fantastic job matching and supplying the special colors in the time available,” Neeson said.
PPG supplied Desoprime HS CA7700 epoxy primer and Desothane HS CA8800 polyurethane topcoat to give the plane a smooth, glossy appearance, she said.
“This Desoprime primer achieves an exceptionally smooth surface, so the topcoat has a superior distinctness of image,” Neeson said. “And Desothane HS CA8800 polyurethane topcoat can be buffed after application, giving the plane a beautiful high-gloss appearance with lasting durability.”
Both primer and topcoat have a higher percentage of solids than traditional coatings to reduce material usage and, therefore, weight on the aircraft for better fuel efficiency. The PPG coatings are also environmentally responsible, with a lower solvent percentage for reduced VOC emissions during application.
“The look and feel of the aircraft has amazed everyone who has had the opportunity to view or fly on the aircraft,” said Elsa D’Alessio, general manager, commercial, QantasLink. “This has only been possible through the high-quality paint supplied by PPG.”
QantasLink will fly the pink Bombardier Q400 aircraft throughout its network in Australia until October 2008 as part of its partnership with the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The airline plans various fund-raising promotions to benefit the organization as well.