Print from Airliners.net discussion forum
http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/general_aviation/read.main/4507977/

Topic: United 1982 Experimental Livery?
Username: Tango-Bravo
Posted 2009-08-05 09:12:46 and read 13420 times.

In (or about) 1982 a few aircraft of United Airlines' fleet appeared in a revised version of their standard livery in which the lower fuselage was natural metal from below the window cheatline, as pictured below. Since the modified 'more natural metal' livery seems to have ever appeared on very few of United's aircraft, and only for a short time...

What was the purpose of United's (apparent) experiment with the modified livery?

Did at least one aircraft of each type then in service with United appear at some time in the modified livery? If not, which type(s) was excluded?

Did more than one of any aircraft type ever appear in service in the revised livery?

How long did the revised livery appear on any aircraft, before reverting to the then-standard livery with mostly white fuselage below the cheatline?

In a photo which I cannot now locate, one (actually two, iirc) of United's 767-200s are pictured at the Boeing final assembly area in the revised livery...was one or more of UA's early 767s delivered and placed into service while still wearing the revised livery?

Answers to any one or more or all of the questions above will be much appreciated, as my web search on the subject "came up empty."


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Frank C. Duarte Jr.

Topic: RE: United 1982 Experimental Livery?
Username: NA
Posted 2009-08-05 09:36:24 and read 13300 times.

747-122 N4718U also carried this revised livery until ca. 1985.
I´m not sure wether this was an experimental livery of the 80s. There are no photos that prove these aircraft carried the standard tulip livery before the silver belly look, so it could well be a 70s experimental variation of the then new livery. N4718U seems to be one of the last 747s which was repainted from the old blue cheatline livery.

Topic: RE: United 1982 Experimental Livery?
Username: Lindy Field
Posted 2009-08-05 09:41:34 and read 13264 times.

Two more for you.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Frank C. Duarte Jr.
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Frank C. Duarte Jr.

Topic: RE: United 1982 Experimental Livery?
Username: CF-CPI
Posted 2009-08-05 09:45:37 and read 13220 times.

I believe the 767s were re-painted into the original style white belly prior to entering service.

Topic: RE: United 1982 Experimental Livery?
Username: September11
Posted 2009-08-05 09:51:39 and read 13162 times.

Found another picture


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © AirNikon Collection-Pima Air and Space Museum

Topic: RE: United 1982 Experimental Livery?
Username: LAXintl
Posted 2009-08-05 10:06:01 and read 13042 times.

At least one of the first 767s floated around with a bare metal bottom for a while, as I recall seeing it here at a road show prior to service entry.

Topic: RE: United 1982 Experimental Livery?
Username: Spacecadet
Posted 2009-08-05 10:13:16 and read 12981 times.

I personally flew on this DC-10 when it wore this livery:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Robert M. Campbell




View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © M.Oertle



And I know it was this particular DC-10 because its engine blew on takeoff on my first DC-10 flight just after the type certificate had been reinstated after AA191. I still have the incident report on my hard drive.

It's entirely possible that the dates are wrong in the database but there is a photo of this plane in all white dated 1979, then two photos with the bare metal from 1984 and 1986, then a photo in all white from 1988. I flew it in 1980 and I remember it as bare metal. (I remember every single detail from that flight.)

So either it was painted white originally and then quickly repainted to bare metal, or it was painted bare metal from the start and one of the photos in the db is just dated wrong.

Topic: RE: United 1982 Experimental Livery?
Username: DCA-ROCguy
Posted 2009-08-05 10:18:15 and read 12942 times.

I remember seeing UA aircraft with this livery at home at ROC at the time, 727's and 737's. How long did this livery last? I seem to remember it getting at least into the mid 80's.

The livery looks good, but the white belly was better. This particular scheme, for some reason, doesn't go well with a bare belly--looks like the plane is half-painted. Delta's classic scheme looked great with a bare belly, and AA looked (and looks) great all-bare with the tricolor cheatline. But this scheme needed an all-white background with the little hint of silver at the bottom.

Jim

Topic: RE: United 1982 Experimental Livery?
Username: Timz
Posted 2009-08-05 10:47:10 and read 12813 times.

As I recall they said the point was to save weight, so one suspects it started around the time fuel was getting expensiver-- so not before 1979, and I'm guessing a bit later than that.

Then by the mid-80s fuel leveled off, so...

Topic: RE: United 1982 Experimental Livery?
Username: JBo
Posted 2009-08-05 11:05:37 and read 12728 times.



Quoting Spacecadet (Reply 6):
or it was painted bare metal from the start

How do you paint something bare metal?  Wink

Topic: RE: United 1982 Experimental Livery?
Username: Tango-Bravo
Posted 2009-08-05 11:07:11 and read 12722 times.



Quoting DCA-ROCguy (Reply 7):
This particular scheme, for some reason, doesn't go well with a bare belly--looks like the plane is half-painted.

Agree 100% ...it "just doesn't look right" on the UA "tulip/rainbow" livery whereas...

Quoting DCA-ROCguy (Reply 7):
Delta's classic scheme looked great with a bare belly, and AA looked (and looks) great all-bare with the tricolor cheatline.

...in my view, these liveries are all-time classics that appeared (and continue to appear in the case of AA) in the same form for many years, and therefore "look right" in every way...although I will say that, had Delta chosen (like United) to go with a revised livery in which there was no white below the window stripe down to cabin floor level or thereabouts, it would have looked every bit as 'out of place' as UA's livery pictured in the OP and in some of the replies above.

Thanks to all for your participation so far! Please keep the replies coming!

Topic: RE: United 1982 Experimental Livery?
Username: TaxPilot
Posted 2009-08-05 11:15:35 and read 12670 times.



Quoting Timz (Reply 8):
As I recall they said the point was to save weight, so one suspects it started around the time fuel was getting expensiver-- so not before 1979, and I'm guessing a bit later than that.

Then by the mid-80s fuel leveled off, so...

Weight savings was the reason for so much bare metal in the early eighties. Strange we don't see or hear about that rationale now.

Topic: RE: United 1982 Experimental Livery?
Username: Spacecadet
Posted 2009-08-05 11:35:14 and read 12546 times.



Quoting Timz (Reply 8):
As I recall they said the point was to save weight, so one suspects it started around the time fuel was getting expensiver-- so not before 1979, and I'm guessing a bit later than that.

Then by the mid-80s fuel leveled off, so...

Oil prices actually peaked in 1979, then fell (not just leveled off) throughout the 1980's, finally collapsing to pre-1979 levels in 1986. I would be surprised if this livery really was first painted in 1982 (even allowing for my potentially faulty memory), because by 1982, adjusting for inflation, oil prices had already fallen by half. I think it's more likely that they first tried it sometime in 1980, which would have been long enough for the price spike to sink in and seem relatively permanent, and also to make some plans and actually get a few planes painted. Then by the mid-80's, it became clear that this was a momentary crisis and not a permanent price increase.

Especially if it's just an experimental livery on a few planes, I would think that's something that would be done during the worst of the crisis, not when it's dissipating.

Topic: RE: United 1982 Experimental Livery?
Username: TaxPilot
Posted 2009-08-05 11:44:35 and read 12494 times.



Quoting Spacecadet (Reply 12):
Especially if it's just an experimental livery on a few planes, I would think that's something that would be done during the worst of the crisis, not when it's dissipating.

We are always dealing with "yesterdays" crisis. A day late and a dollar short. Hasn't that always been true?

Topic: RE: United 1982 Experimental Livery?
Username: Sparky35805
Posted 2009-08-05 21:51:16 and read 9756 times.

That experiment started 1981-82.The first 767s ,N601UA and 602UA were in this and those aircraft were completed in 1982.They were changed before entering service.The first few 767s were built with three man cocpits but were modified before delivery and the aircraft had the white added before delivery.The first aircraft that I saw like this was a 727-200 in MEM June 1982.
Sparky

Topic: RE: United 1982 Experimental Livery?
Username: NA
Posted 2009-08-06 03:05:07 and read 8036 times.

Found a second DC10 besides N1805U carrying this livery: N1811U


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Frank C. Duarte Jr.

Topic: RE: United 1982 Experimental Livery?
Username: DCA-ROCguy
Posted 2009-08-06 10:19:11 and read 4832 times.

Weight savings was the reason for so much bare metal in the early eighties. Strange we don't see or hear about that rationale now.

At ROC, it seemed like bare metal was all we saw in the early 80's. USAir was our biggest carrier, and Eastern and AA were big there too. USAir's scheme was just plain boring--no fun Herman or swallows for us, just dark red stripes. Eastern's hockey stick looked fine either way because of the brightness of the light blue, but then they thinned the cheatline and there wasn't enough color. AA as mentioned above remains the classic of bare-metal schemes.

I can remember an Eastern ad in a major news magazine when they went bare-metal, saying how stripping paint would save the weight of two passengers. It is interesting that we don't hear airlines using that rationale now. Paint and finish experts--why might that be?

In any event, I'm glad there isn't much bare metal now. I don't know of any jet-era bare-metal schemes that looked as good as American's does. Of course, now we're overrun with Euro-white.  irked 

Jim

Topic: RE: United 1982 Experimental Livery?
Username: NA
Posted 2009-08-06 10:44:20 and read 4787 times.

CX tried a bare metal scheme (whih is good looking, the cold green goes well with silver) on their Cargo fleet over the last two years but had its last 744ERFs painted in full livery because the effect was minimal. I remember reading that there are lighter paints available nowadays anyway.

Topic: RE: United 1982 Experimental Livery?
Username: Tango-Bravo
Posted 2009-08-06 12:06:52 and read 4652 times.



Quoting DCA-ROCguy (Reply 16):
...when they went bare-metal, saying how stripping paint would save the weight of two passengers. It is interesting that we don't hear airlines using that rationale now. Paint and finish experts--why might that be?

While not claiming to be a paint and finish expert, the reason airlines have almost universally gotten away from bare metal (with the notable exception of AA) may be for the ~same reason given by SAS for deciding not to go with bare metal following an experiment of several years involving 4 DC-9-41s that were delivered new from McDonnell-Douglas in 1978 sans white paint:

The reason for the test was to find out how much fuel could be saved without the extra weight the paint generated. The result of this was no savings, actually it was more expensive since the maintenance expenses rose.

(quote in italics above copied and pasted from plane-spotter.com)

Topic: RE: United 1982 Experimental Livery?
Username: ADent
Posted 2009-08-06 15:07:58 and read 4484 times.

United played with this a bit. Originally the fuselage was all white. Later they switched to the belly of the plane is actually bare. There was a short time where the bare area was from the stripes down.

Full white (1977 photo):

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Frank C. Duarte Jr.


Bare belly (1979 photo):
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Frank C. Duarte Jr.


Bare from the stripes down (1982 photo)
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © AirNikon Collection-Pima Air and Space Museum


And of course the large titles edition (1989 photo):
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Jörg Tegen




BTW it looks like the 727-100s had the bare belly go all the way forward like a waterline, while the 200s had it end near the nose (like the last photo).


The messages in this discussion express the views of the author of the message, not necessarily the views of Airliners.net or any entity associated with Airliners.net.

Copyright © Lundgren Aerospace. All rights reserved.
http://www.airliners.net/