This week we were excited to complete the painting of our final mainline aircraft in our world famous three-dimensional, red Widget flying across a blue background (since 2007, about 729 mainline aircraft have been painted!)
Charles Thompson, a maintenance professional in Delta TechOps, helped put the finishing touches on the MD-88, which went back in service yesterday. I sat down with Charles to learn more about the process and his role here at Delta.
What do you do for Delta TechOps?
I paint Delta aircraft as well as aircraft for Delta’s maintenance customers.
How many years have you worked for Delta and what areas have you worked in?
This month is my 13th anniversary with Delta ! With the exception of two years of service on the TechOps Employee Council, I have been a part of paint shop since my date of hire in April of 1998.
What’s your favorite part about your job as a painter for TechOps?
An aircraft painter’s skill is often measured in how slick or glossy the final product is. We maintain a healthy competition within our painting department regarding gloss. I love that about my job!
What’s the coolest project you’ve ever been part of?
I was lucky enough to be a part of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation project. I attend the air show in Peachtree City each year and I get to brag to my friends about which part I painted during each flyby.
What was it like to be part of painting Delta’s last flowing fabric livery into the new one?
I think we all have a sense of accomplishment. Our main objective as a department, for the last 14 years, has been to get the fleet painted into one paint livery. Obviously we are excited!
What’s something cool that you get to do as part of your job that most people don’t know about?
When I talk to people about painting at Delta, one thing they are consistently surprised by is that everything on the aircraft is painted; the signboard, “n” number, ship numbers, even the flag is painted on. We don’t put stickers on our aircraft.
Over the years, how many aircraft have you’ve painted?
We paint approximately 100 aircraft per year. So, all of them twice! (Almost)