The fairings are painted red at the tips, look:

enter image description here

Source: Airliners.net

I have seen that on many new airplanes, not only the A330. So why are they painted red?

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    $\begingroup$ So the dude maneuvering the baggage conveyor or the scissorlift for the cabin food will not hit them? $\endgroup$ Apr 2, 2016 at 19:53
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    $\begingroup$ @mins I take it from the question mark at the end of Peter's comment that he's not sure. The question is still not answered $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    Apr 4, 2016 at 16:48
  • $\begingroup$ @mins I suspect SMSvonder Tann's now-deleted answer may have been correct, as the A-330-200 shown in the photo was the first -200 off the line. $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    Apr 4, 2016 at 16:56
  • $\begingroup$ @TomMcw I don't know if SMSvonderTann's answer applies. Look at the photo of the 777 on the question talking about spoilers. It has the tip of the fairings painted red and it is not new or being tested $\endgroup$
    – kepler22b
    Apr 4, 2016 at 17:01
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    $\begingroup$ @mins looks like they must have problems with people running into them. Darn tug drivers! I'd never be that clumsy! ...ahem! OK, so I might have aaaaalmost hit a DC-10 once. But it wasn't my fault! $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    Apr 4, 2016 at 19:11

2 Answers 2


Elaborating on Peter Kämpf's comment: The flashy tips are for preventing accidents during ground handling operations, e.g. by belt loaders. This can be a painting or an adhesive tape (possibly reflective, useful at night).

According the pages referenced below, this is done for the A320 family aircraft for which the flap track canoe fairings are not low enough to be obvious, not high enough to not cause a problem.

It seems this is a company decision not required by regulation. Several airlines do it.

Variations on the painting (taping):

  • Only the fairings close to the locations where ground handling personnel works.
  • Only the right side of the aircraft.
  • Also the winglet.
  • Color used: Red, bright pink, reflective green.

    enter image description here
    Photo Taha Ashoori on Airliners.net (source)
    enter image description here
    Photo Vin Lane-Kieltyka on Flickr (source)
    enter image description here

References (non authoritative):


When Southwest Airlines started flying Boeing 737 Next Generation, many years ago, now, they used the same red as on the underside of their "Corndog" scheme for the flap track fairings of the NG models. So ground crew would easily know whether they were receiving a "Classic" or an "NG".


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