Airline Explains Why Plane Wing Was Covered In Duct Tape

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner commercial airline aircraft landing at Farnborough Airport.

Photo: Getty Images

Duct tape can be used to fix just about anything, even airplanes. Australian opera singer David Wakeham's photo of duct tape on the wing of what appears to be a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner went viral, with many people on social media concerned about the safety of the aircraft.

"When choosing your favourite airline, choose wisely. @Qantas Profits before safety," he wrote in reply to a tweet highlighting pay raises for the airline's board members.

Qantas told Yahoo News that it does not believe the aircraft pictured was one of its planes but noted the duct tape does not affect the safety of the plane.

While the photo quickly went viral and was shared on other platforms, including Facebook and Reddit, aviation experts were quick to point out that duct tape is not being used to hold the aircraft together.

It turns out that the duct tape is actually known as speed tape and is commonly used to cover up peeling paint, ABC reported.

The outlet reported that a spokesperson for Boeing previously addressed the issue in 2021, telling Simple Flying that the peeling paint is "a cosmetic issue only."

"[T]he peeling does not affect the structural integrity of the wing, and does not affect the safety of flight," the spokesperson said.

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