Manchester United’s star players are flying-high everyday across Asia, thanks to a new aircraft-livery using ANAC’S latest thin-film topcoat.
The world’s most famous football club has a huge following in Asia. In honour of its sponsorship as the official low-fare airline for Manchester United, AirAsia’s in-house design team created a special tribute on one of the company’s new A320 Airbus aircraft. This made Man U the first football club in the world to have its own aircraft livery.
AirAsia specify ANAC products for all their fleet. The striking red background is in the new Aviox® 77702 Finish topcoat. The paint system was chosen by AirAsia’s A320 project team – headed by the airline’s Director and co-founder, Conor McCarthy – because of its weight-saving benefits and subsequent fuel-savings. The superior gloss-quality of the new product also met the high standards set for the airline’s branding image.
The rest of the design, featuring the club crest and six of its star players – including Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney and Christiano Renaldo – alongside Manager Sir Alex Ferguson is achieved using a mixture of adhesive decals and clever paintwork.
"Airlines spend millions on different ways of cutting the weight of aircraft to save on fuel costs, looking at everything from floor panels to seating," commented ANAC’s Product Manager, Robert Van Kooperen. "The weight of coatings can, and does, make a measurable difference in this respect.
"With current technology it’s now possible to cut the coating weight without compromising on performance. Our new generation Aviox 77702 thin-film topcoat is typically about 15% lighter than previous products, and in most colours achieves its optimum performance in just two coats."
Aviox Finish 77702 is a high-solids, lead-free, sag-resistant topcoat characterised by its excellent colour stability. It has a longer ‘open time,’ reducing the likelihood of any ‘orange peel’ effect, to ensure a particularly high gloss coating, and is formulated to be easy to apply.
It can also be polished (during the first 48 hours after application) rather than reworked to maintain the high-gloss finish, thus reducing process and maintenance time, cutting labour costs, and improving coating schedules. An Airbus-approved coating, Aviox Finish 77702 is also highly resistant to UV damage and to staining from oil, hydraulic fluids and other chemicals.
From the start of this innovative project, AirAsia knew it would have the backup of ANAC’s technical support team whenever it was needed during the design, specification and coating processes, ensuring that the design would effectively translate from the drawing board to the aircraft.
Known affectionately as the Red Devil Airbus, the new aircraft was delivered from Toulouse, France, in February this year. It can be seen operating on point-to-point routes between Kuching, Kota Kinabalu, Penang, Miri, Surabaya, Indonesia, Phuket, Langkawi, Bintulu and Bangkok.