After checking into the Eagle Air engineering hangar in Hamilton for its extreme makeover on Boxing Day, the turbo-prop aircraft entered service today sporting the eye-catching black livery featured on one of Air NewZealand’s 777-300 ER aircraft and two of its A320 aircraft.
The all black Beech aircraft will be joined by a second later in January with a third to be painted in the next few months.
The 19-seat Beech is operated by subsidiary Eagle Air and is the smallest aircraft in Air New Zealand’s fleet, with 18 aircraft operating on 27 routes throughout New Zealand.
Eagle Air General Manager Carrie Hurihanganui said today it was fantastic to have the first of three Beech aircraft painted in the all black livery, which highlights Air NewZealand’s long-time sponsorship of the World Champion All Blacks.
“Flying into and out of regional New Zealand every day we know that our customers are crazy about rugby – we’re sure this will be a very popular aircraft to be on during the winter months in particular!”
Ms Hurihanganui said that despite the relatively small size of the aircraft the paint job was complex, and took two weeks to complete using approximately 125 litres of paint.
“The aircraft has its flight controls taken off before being taken across to Aviation Painting Services atHamiltonAirportfor the application of the new paint scheme.”
Aviation Painting Services – New Zealand’s newest full-time aviation painting facility – are painting all three of the Beech 1900D aircraft for Air New Zealand.
Ms Hurihanganui said the aircraft was completely stripped back to metal before the application of the new paintwork began.
“The process to remove the paint back to bare metal uses environmentally friendly high pressure water. The paint is recovered for disposal and the water is filtered and treated on site.”
Several coats of PPG Aerospace paint were applied including the graphics for the new paint scheme. A clear coat was then applied to provide superior protection against New Zealand’s salt laden coastal environment and high concentration UV rays.
The paint is applied by a team of painters using spray guns and electrostatic process to minimise waste and improve paint finish quality.
The new-look aircraft has just operated as NZ2210 on the Hamilton-Auckland route and the aircraft has been in service over the last couple of days on these scheduled services:
Tuesday 10th January – Hamilton-Auckland, Auckland-Gisborne, Gisborne-Auckland, Auckland-Wanganui
Wednesday 11th January – Wanganui-Auckland, Auckland-Whakatane, Whakatane-Auckland, Auckland-Blenheim, Blenheim-Auckland, Auckland-Whangarei
If you have seen the latest Air New Zealand All Black aircraft then do send us your pictures.