On 13 September 2018 the first Airbus A220-100 wearing Delta Airlines colors rolled out of the paint shop at the Airbus assembly line in Mirabel, Quebec in Canada. The jet looks sharp in its colors, but isn’t quite finished yet. The aircraft will be completed on the final assembly line at Mirabel before it is test flown later this fall and delivered to Delta for service beginning early in 2019. You might recall these jets were previously known as the Bombardier C-Series (CS100 and CS300) before the Airbus deal earlier this year.
Airbus Mirabel paint ship supervisor Julie Léveillé remarked, “It’s a tremendous feeling of accomplishment to know we just outfitted North America’s first A220 from tail to tip. I’ve been working in the paint shop for 15 years. It can be a challenging job, but seeing the finished product makes it worth it.” Delta program manager Larry Cato, who works on Delta’s Fleet Management team, said, “There’s nothing like seeing years of planning come together in the shape of a freshly painted aircraft. “It’s a major milestone for the future of our fleet.”
Reportedly the paint job took a total of nine days to complete. And if you don’t think paint adds weight to an aircraft, do the math: 165 gallons were applied to N101DU. Paint weighs about 11 pounds per gallon. That’s a guideline because paint is thinned for spraying, but trust us- if you had to move all 165 gallons of that paint you would have gotten a serious workout! The 200 rolls of masking tape and several rolls of plastic they used don’t count. Delta will be the first United States operator to take delivery of the new Airbus twinjet. The carrier ordered 75 of them. Other US airlines have ordered several hundred more. We’ll see quit a few of these jets in American skies beginning next year.