When Gulf Air chose a special livery to mark its sponsorship of the 2008 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, the airline selected AkzoNobel Aerospace Coatings to supply the very specific finish the imaginative design demanded.
Bahrain's national carrier picked an Airbus A330 from its fleet to have the makeover, designed by Bader Yousif Murad of Bader Models. "Before, I used to mix my own colors to match my designs," he explained. "But when I opened the ANAC catalogue, the choice of different paints was amazing; every color and finish you can think of was there."
The striking design uses specific colors to represent national symbols – beige for desert sand, gold for wealth and the red of the kingdom's national flag – along with the familiar black and white checkered F1 flag.
ANAC had already supplied coatings for the complete repainting of Gulf Air's fleet at ADAT (Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technology), which was part completed, and had established an excellent working relationship with both businesses. This included training ADAT's staff on coating techniques and technologies. Some of the coatings and colors used in the F1 design were the same as for Gulf Air's regular livery, but a special shade and finish was also needed for the fuselage. This was developed, approved and supplied by ANAC within just 14 days.
"I really didn't think we could do it in time," Murad continued. "The order for the paints was only placed the day before the aircraft went into the paint shop. ANAC had to produce, ship and deliver the coatings within the time it took to strip off the old paint. It was a very quick service."
The Aviox® coatings solution for the F1 livery included the Aviox Advanced 'Diamond' special effect to achieve a distinctive and vibrant sparkle. Aviox Clear Coat UVR completed the state-of-the-art system with a finish that was extremely tough, hardwearing and still easy to clean.
"Successful projects like this are not simply about supplying the paint and then sending an invoice; they can only be achieved through a partnership approach," commented René Bremer, ANAC's Sales Manager, Middle East. "This level of cooperation and trust is built over a period of time. In this case, our work with Gulf Air on the coating of their general fleet gave them confidence in the quality of our products and in our ability to help them achieve the extra special finish on this airliner – all within the tight time frame."
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