Historic planes’ interior parts sport shocking colors

  • Mon Dec 17th, 2012 4:24pm
  • Life

By Cory Graff

The interior components of a plane like the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt glow with greenish yellow panels and plates. The strange stuff is zinc chromate — a semi-translucent covering used for corrosion control. Model builders have always had trouble accurately replicating zinc chromate because its exact shade didn’t much matter to airplane builders during the war. As long as the protective coating was slathered all over nearly everything, it could be shocking yellow, apple green, or anything in between. (Some Vought planes even have “electric pink” zinc chromate in their wheel wells and gun bays.) All that counted was good coverage. The bright colors allowed a factory worker to efficiently see which areas had been coated (and which hadn’t) in an instant.