Why Aircraft Operators Must Consider Cleaning Their Fleet More Often In 2020

If you're an aircraft operator, you would have cleaned your fleet of aircraft before, and you'll know how time-consuming it is and the amount of work it takes to get them looking clean. Everyone loves to see their pride and joy looking nice and shiny, so why don't all aircraft operators look after their aircraft more often? Well, there's a variety of reason, and the list could go on, but I want to break it down into three categories.

  1. Operators cannot afford to allocate pilots and ground crew enough time due to other commitments which have a higher priority in their business. 

  2. Many people hate cleaning, and it would be the last thing they want to spend their time on! 

  3. The operator is worried that an employee could damage the aircraft, so they decide not to take the risk and opt to leave it dirty instead.

Why Bother Cleaning Anyway?

You might be thinking, well there's nothing wrong with it being dirty. You would be right, a dirty aircraft doesn't hinder the safety of a flight, but you'll be missing out on the numerous benefits of having them clean. Firstly, a clean plane not only improves performance and efficiency but makes it look presentable to your passengers and may decide whether they had a great customer experience or not. No passenger wants to fly while it is unclean, resulting in them being uncomfortable throughout the flight. Whether that is an odour in the cabin or dirty seats, it can be quickly fixed. These operators rely on repeat customers, and by delivering a subpar service results in them losing valuable business.

Another motivation to look after the aircraft is when the time comes to sell the plane, and the potential client comes to inspect's it. If it hasn't been cleaned often, it will undoubtedly have fuel and oil stains on it, with scratched windows and a permanently dirty interior. This will give the buyer the impression the owner didn't look after the aircraft, which will reduce the resale value of the asset.

Free Speed!

Believe it or not, the speed difference between a dirty aircraft and a cleaned and waxed one can be significant. A 1997 scientific study tested a Mooney M20 with and without wax, documenting a 3-knot speed improvement for an aircraft that was already free of bugs, oil and dirt. They calculated this to be the equivalent of adding eight horsepower to the engine. If your plane has an oily belly and bug-splattered wings, you could improve your cruise performance by as much as 5 knots with little more than sweat equity invested! This boost in airspeed occurs because the contamination that has accumulated over time creates a rough surface on the wings, which increases the frictional drag, slowing the aircraft down. Due to the build-up of drag, fuel consumption will also rise, which raises your operating costs per hour. I’m not sure about you, but I know I don’t want to pay for more fuel than I have to! For aircraft operators, they need to consider this as they operate aircraft for hundreds of hours per year alone and the extra and unnecessary expenditure on fuel is reducing their profit margins by having a dirty plane.

If you want to take the pain out of looking after your aircraft, look no further than Guest Aircraft Cleaning. I've turned my passion for aviation into a business. I specialise in aircraft detailing, and I serve an extensive client base, who have aircraft ranging from Cessna Citation Mustangs to the latest and greatest Cirrus models. Please get in touch today to learn more!

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