Julia from Zurich would like Bernie and Lexi to answer her question:

Do airplanes also drive through a car wash, when they are dirty?

An airplane in the maintenance hangar

Bernie: “Hello Julia, that’s a really good question! Lexi and I asked ourselves exactly the same thing a while ago – and we looked into it in detail! Because we travel so much, we luckily know several people at the airport.”

Lexi: “That’s right! Our friend Tom is a technician at SWISS. He explained to us that there aren’t real car washes for airplanes like the ones there are for cars. They would namely have to be huuuuuge!”

Bernie: “When the airplanes are dirty they are driven into the maintenance hangar. That is a special hall at the airport where the airplanes are also repaired. Up until recently they were washed with foam and tons of water. Today, other methods are implemented that don’t involve the use of water, i.e. dry washing. First of all the tyres and all important instruments and sensors are taped up so that the cleaning agent doesn’t damage them. Then the cleaning paste is applied. After being dried and polished, the paste “seals” the surface of the airplane – that means the dirty has less of a hold. Extremely practical!"

Lexi: “And it is important for us and the environment that the planes are clean: The dirt makes the airplanes heavier and it slightly affects their flight capability. As a result they use less kerosene – that is what the gasoline of airplanes is called. Kerosene pollutes the environment and makes flying expensive. A clean airplane is thus ideal for everyone!”