>Doug Jones wrote:
>> True story- at Rotary Rocket, there was some debate last winter over
>> whether the Aerial Test Vehicle (ATV) should be painted at all, because it
>> was overweight and the painting would be expensive and time consuming...
>Ever wonder why the space shuttle external tank is the color it is?
>Kinda icky orange brown. The first ones were white, but then
>someone realized was not necessary to be pretty and all that paint
>weighed almost 600 pounds. Sooo... off it came. spike
At least according to the inflight magazine, that's the same reason American Airlines opted not to paint its planes. The fuel savings across the fleet, along with the increased ease of checking for rust/etc, made a compelling case.