Ask the Captain: No, that’s not real gold on the Trump campaign plane’s engines

Question: It appears Donald Trump has 24-karat gold on the cowlings of his personal 757 aircraft.  Do these have any positive or negative affect on performance?

– Howard Forman, Westminster, California

Answer: I think 24-karat gold would be too soft to be on an inlet. Reviewing pictures of his 757, the inlet and engine manufacturer’s logo appear to be polished aluminum. The inlets are certified for the engine (Rolls-Royce RB-211) because they are heated to avoid inlet icing and are aluminum. 

Q: What are the operational concerns or issues in regards to the B757-200, if any?

– Paul

A: The B757-200 is a high-performance airliner. It operates well in high altitude airports and is one of Boeing’s best performers. Due to the high-thrust engines, it burns more fuel than other single-aisle airplanes. Operationally, pilots love the airplane.

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