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Speedbird Origins  
User currently offlineTjc2 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2006, 141 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 7 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 2860 times:

Has anyone got any information on the background on BA's (or BOAC's as it was when I think it was introduced) Speedbird 'nickname'?

I did search the forum but to no avail, unless I missed it. Sorry if it has already been discussed.

Cheers
Coops


The only time I made a mistake was when I thought I was wrong...
13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineTimboflier215 From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 1338 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (8 years 7 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 2860 times:

it was introduced on BOAC to start with. i think it has something to do with the bird on the tail of BOAC planes. but i may be wrong!

User currently offlineTjc2 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2006, 141 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 7 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2821 times:

I think it is a BA thing, well according to the comment beneath this picture it is...


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Photo © Bob Smart




The only time I made a mistake was when I thought I was wrong...
User currently offlinePhilb From Ireland, joined May 1999, 2915 posts, RR: 13
Reply 3, posted (8 years 7 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2780 times:

The Speedbird device was designed for Imperial Airways in the mid 1930s and gradually started to appear on a few aircraft before 1939. Designed by Theyre Lee Elliot it was adopted by the newly formed BOAC in 1939 and was painted on many aircraft (even some camouflaged civilianised Mosquitos used for diplomatic runs) during WW2.

After WW2 it appeared on all aircraft, first below the cockpit in very dark blue either under or over the aircraft's individual name and later on the tail.

When the dark blue tail appeared around 1956/7 the emblem stayed on the tail, becoming white.

In the 1960s it changed to gold and occupied the centre of the tail.

BA kept the Speedbird on its aircraft just behind and above the level of the cockpit windows, again in dark blue, until it was replaced by the Speedmarque in the 1984 colour scheme.

The use of the Speedbird call sign goes back to the time BOAC abandoned using the registration of the aircraft for identity and changed to flight numbers. Officially sanctioned in 1958 with the start of Comet 4 service, the changeover took around 4 - 5 years to be universally used.


User currently offlineCarduelis From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2001, 1586 posts, RR: 10
Reply 4, posted (8 years 7 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 2723 times:

The original and today . . .




Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
User currently offlinePhilb From Ireland, joined May 1999, 2915 posts, RR: 13
Reply 5, posted (8 years 7 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 2668 times:

Carduelis,

Today's emblem is NOT a modern version of the Speedbird.
The Speedbird emblem was dropped in 1984 and was replaced by the Speedwing (correcting my earlier post) which was the long thin red line in the lower fuselage blue terminating in a reverse 45 degree angle.

The modern design you show is the Speedmarque. While some commentators and publications have stated that it is an evolution from the Speedbird, through the Speedwing, this is definitely incorrect.

Ex BOAC and BA "purists" were really put out with the abandonment of the Speedbird in 1984 and it is thought the Speedwing was a last minute addition to placate a large number of staff and management.

The Speedmarque waa definitely introduced at the presentations of the ethnic schemes as a "new corporate logo", the intention of which was/is to show the airline as encircling many cultures and showing in a representational way the areas of the northern and southern hemispheres the airline covers..


User currently offlineTjc2 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2006, 141 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 7 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 2631 times:

Interesting stuff...thanks for the info!

I think Speedbird sounds better in the comms. chat. Speedmarque or wing just wouldn't 'go'!

Cheers,
Coops



The only time I made a mistake was when I thought I was wrong...
User currently offlineAirwave From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 1117 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (8 years 7 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 2569 times:

Quoting Tjc2 (Reply 6):

I think Speedbird sounds better in the comms. chat.

Not only that, but it has some very pleasant connotations as well. "Speedbird", meaning a fast aircraft and thus a fast flight? Sounds good to me!  dopey 

Quoting Tjc2 (Reply 6):
Speedmarque or wing just wouldn't 'go'!

Why wouldn't I be surprised at "-marque" vs. "mark" threads here if they made the switch?  eyebrow 



When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.
User currently offlineTjc2 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2006, 141 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 7 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 2401 times:

Quoting Airwave (Reply 7):
Why wouldn't I be surprised at "-marque" vs. "mark" threads here if they made the switch?

I know what you mean, and top of that it would turn into a A vs B napalm war which then somehow goes onto trash the A340!  rotfl 



The only time I made a mistake was when I thought I was wrong...
User currently offlineLouA340 From Canada, joined Oct 2005, 385 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (8 years 7 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 2277 times:

Wow guys, this is actually extremely intersting. Was a good read to know bout the history of the name Speedbird.
I always wondered where it came from when I listen in on ATC. Always wondered why BA was the only airline that wasnt called by the actual name.
Thanks



RyEng
User currently offlineAirScoot From United States of America, joined May 2005, 688 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (8 years 7 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 2240 times:

This is definately interesting.. I've wondered about this for years but never have seen anything on it.

Quoting LouA340 (Reply 9):
Always wondered why BA was the only airline that wasnt called by the actual name.

They aren't by any means the only ones.. two off the top of my head - HP is called "Cactus" and Continental Micronesia is "AirMike".. I think Valujet used to be called "Critter".


User currently offlineVc10 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1412 posts, RR: 16
Reply 11, posted (8 years 7 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2211 times:

Just to add a bit, BEA's call sign was Bealine and it's corporate emblem was the Silver Wing so perhaps that is where BA got the idea to call its new emblem the speedwing so incorporating a bit of both airlines original identity.
I do remember there being a lot of heated discussion as to whether the speedbird call sign should also be dropped but it was one of the few successes of the old BOAC group over the BEA crowd  stirthepot 

little vc10


User currently offlineDartland From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 644 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (8 years 7 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 2166 times:
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Quoting LouA340 (Reply 9):
Always wondered why BA was the only airline that wasnt called by the actual name.

FYI: It's not. HP is Cactus, for example. There was a thread a few months back that listed a bunch of them -- some are pretty cool.


User currently offlinePhilb From Ireland, joined May 1999, 2915 posts, RR: 13
Reply 13, posted (8 years 7 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 2146 times:

Quoting Vc10 (Reply 11):
BEA's call sign was Bealine and it's corporate emblem was the Silver Wing so perhaps that is where BA got the idea to call its new emblem the speedwing

I've not heard that before but it would make sense. The Silver Wing emblem was actually dropped when the black cheatline and red square emblem was adopted at the end of the 1950s - and the wings were painted red.

BEA staff complained then and there were still plenty around in 1984 from that time who might well have taken the chance of a scheme change to have some recognition for their old company.

In Denton, Manchester there was a travel agent in the 1950s who, from time to time, would advertise BEA in his window and their Siver Wing service. Just 20 yards down the road was the Silver Wing dry cleaners and it was known that the odd bemused little old lady had to be redirected from the travel agents to the cleaners!


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