TWA paint question


I was with TWA for about 5 years, but never got an answer to the question. On most TW aircraft, there were black stripes on the wings? I remember them specifically on the DC-9/MD80 but I beleive the L10’s and old paint 76’s as well. Any info?


Try looking at the photos of TWA at
I looked through several but couldn’t find one that showed the top of the wing.

Edit: Also tried but still no luck.

Are you referring to the emergency exit markings on the wing?


Here’s a good example, I’m pretty sure the entire fleet had these. It’s almost mid wing. I don’t know if it was some sort of low budget ice indicator, I know some USAAF WWII aircraft had the black and white stripes maybe a tribute to that? (sorry in advance for the huge URL, I’m new enough to the board to not know how to put a title in there instead…


A tip for posting links to pictures on use the link next to the words “URL (link) to this photo:” located right above the picture. That long URL you gave above becomes - that means the screen, when the URL is posted here, does not extend past the edge of the screen.

pfp217: could you edit your posting to put that link in? I’m sure others would appreciate it.



Interesting question pfp.


It is for purpose of determining snow/ice contamination on the wing. The black stripe provides a better contrast than the standard gray surface. The basic procedure during cold weather operations, when snow/ice/frost is a factor, is for a flight crew member to come back in the cabin prior to takeoff, look out a window adjacent to the wing, and if the black stripe is clearly visible (the key phrase being “clearly visible.”) then the rest of the surfaces are more than likely clear and the takeoff may proceed. If the stripe is not clearly visible, then it’s off to the deice pad.


Won’t make any difference if he does until you and Waz delete that massive URL from your posts.


Those were D-Day invasion stripes, but I doubt TWA would be paying homage to that.

Waco CG-4A Glider, the type my grandfather piloted over Normandy and Holland:


Good point! I removed it from my posting.


Did your Grandfather participate in both insertions as a glider pilot? That would make him a pretty rare bird in not only having survived two “landings” but having gotten back into gliders after Normandy.

Most of the glider pilots who survived the insertions at Normandy were sent to the line companies as replacements, some of them were even sent to straight leg (non-airborne) infantry.


Makes perfect sense to be an inspection point for ice. Thanks for the info!! Is anyone aware of anyone else who used the striping? TWA is the only one I can remember using it.

Thanks for the help and fixing the url as well.


Indeed. He was with the 325th of the 82nd and saw a lot of grisly action; Neptune, Market Garden, Battle of the Bulge. He had a good share of decorations from our government and a few others. He never told us any stories until Alzheimer’s began to rob him of his memory later in his life. He was proud of the things he could recall, most of which were the more grisly stories from that time. I have a few hours of audiotape from sitting with him that I’ve been toying with putting in book form. Somehow, some of it seems too private, or it’s details he wouldn’t have shared if he had all his faculties.

Now he’s at rest just south of MSP. My cousin remarked that it was disrespectful to have Ft. Snelling National Cemetery disturbed by all the planes. I remarked “Not to all the pilots here.”


When I was at jump school at Benning there were still some WWII vets in uniform, hard to believe there was only 20 years between those times.

Good on ya’ for getting some of your Grandpa’s memories on tape.