ZIP. asked in Cars & TransportationAircraft · 1 decade ago

Why are the noses of old commercial airplanes black?

Is there a reason for this?

10 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
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    You will notice on a lot of aircraft that the edges of anything that is within sight of the cockpit is blacked out. (Nose cones, leading edges of wings, etc.) The reason for this is to reduce glare whenever the aircraft is getting direct sunlight on these areas.

    When you watch a football or baseball game, do you ever see some player paint two wide black lines under their eyes? It's the same principle. The black reduces glare from their cheeks allowing them to see the ball better. (supposedly)

    On some performance and muscle cars, the hood has a wide black stripe that is in a matte finish. Even though it gives the car a sense of performance appeal, the black paint reduces glare from the hood so that the driver doesn't get blinded on the track during a sunny day.

    Oh yeah, the paint has to be a flat or matte finish. If it is shiny, then you have defeated the purpose...

    Paint and paint color has absolutely nothing to do with the radar on the nose cone. Unless that paint has magnetic or ferrous properties. Electromagnetic waves penetrate through anything except ferrous materials - which is why most radomes and nose cones are made of either composites or aluminum (paramagnetic materials).

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  • 1 decade ago

    The nose color is unrelated to glare.

    The nose of the aircraft contains antennas, and in order to avoid impairing transmission and reception of signals (including radar, as this is a common location for radar antennas), the nose of the aircraft must not be made of metallic materials. Usually it is made of fiberglass or composite. It also requires special paint which, in the past, only came in a limited number of colors.

    The nose is also very subject to abrasion since air, rain, and someimes hail are hitting it at hundreds of miles per hour. Some nose materials can become porous to water over time, and when the water freezes, it damages the nose further, and eventually can get inside. Water in the nose cone also interferes with radar returns. So the nose must be kept water tight. Some aircraft have a plexiglas nose cover for this purpose, others use a rubberized material.

    So it all depends on the aircraft and the airline's individual choices. Even within a fleet and on the same model of aircraft, the nose color may vary. In the old days, there were fewer options available, so the nose cone was often simply black.

    Some aircraft have a small area painted black right in front of the cockpit windows to reduce glare, but that's not the reason for having an entirely black nose (the pilots don't stand beneath the airplane while flying, so obviously a nose that is black all the way around would not further reduce glare).

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Because most older aircraft had a radar in the nose it could not be painted with conventional paint. Instead the nose of the aircraft was sprayed with a black rubberized coating that did not interfere with the radar..

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    depends on how advanced the paint technology is available on the exact period of time. because human can only have black paint in those days (for scientific reasons) so black it is.

    nowadays, the paint technology is so advanced you could paint the nose rainbow colors if you want to.

    note: nowadays, black is still number one, see aircrafts that are dedicated to RADAR/surveillance/reconnaisance (i.e. AWACS, SR-71, U-2/TR), they all use the paint black. also,, airwolf and knight rider :)

    Source(s): 100% pure from my own brain + memory i'm pyotr baranovich as some of you may already know who i am :)
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    All aircraft that have on-board radar have black noses because the radar scanner is mounted in the nose.

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  • 1 decade ago

    To reduce brightness when hit directly to the sunlight

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    That's probably how they did it back than and it's kinda cool looking.

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  • strech
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Anti-glare shield.

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  • 1 decade ago

    So they can sneak up on birds and hit them!

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    racial issues.

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