fsxfan38
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KLM's white livery in the 70s

Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:51 pm

I recently came across a photograph of the KLM 747 that was unfortunately involved in the Tenerife disaster, and I noticed that it had a blue and light blue cheatline, but the rest of the plane was white....Before the disaster, it was apparently repainted to the familiar all blue KLM livery...I wonder, was there an official name for that white and blue livery?
 
Antarius
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Re: KLM's white livery in the 70s

Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:58 pm

This one?

Image

Looks like the registration is PH-BUB
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Polot
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Re: KLM's white livery in the 70s

Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:07 pm

I don't think there is an "official" name for that livery, it was just KLM's short lived and often forgotten about livery between the one with the blue stripes on the tail and the familiar blue top livery.

 
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Iemand91
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Re: KLM's white livery in the 70s

Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:03 pm

Antarius wrote:
This one?

Image

Looks like the registration is PH-BUB

My favorite livery ever on a Boeing 747. I'm not sure if had an official name, but it's often simple called the "White Top livery".
It was introduced with KLM's first 747; PH-BUA, delivered on January 16, 1971. Pictured here somewhere around that date in front of the brand new hangar; specially built for the 747.
I so wish KLM would paint one 747 with this delivery once more before retirering their fleet. :cry:

I'm sure @factsonly or @747classic would know more about this. ;)

Image

All new stuff back then; the first 747 to Amsterdam Airport was only about 6 months before with Pan Am's N737PA "Clipper Red Jacket" on July 2, 1970. New 747 hangar is visible in the background:

Image
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JannEejit
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Re: KLM's white livery in the 70s

Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:32 pm

I've never understood why a country so associated with the colour orange ended up painting it's national airline so blue...?
 
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PHBVF
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Re: KLM's white livery in the 70s

Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:11 am

Iemand91 wrote:
I so wish KLM would paint one 747 with this delivery once more before retirering their fleet. :cry:

I'm sure @factsonly or @747classic would know more about this. ;)


I am keeping my fingers crossed for the 100 year anniversary :mrgreen:
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n797mx
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Re: KLM's white livery in the 70s

Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:34 am

PH-BUF did wear the white livery.



But at the time of the accident wore the blue with large cheat line.



As to why KLM is blue, the name "Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij N.V" translates to Royal Aviation Company, which blue is typically associated with royalty. (i.e. royal blue)
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JAAlbert
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Re: KLM's white livery in the 70s

Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:41 am

The white livery was very attractive and clean looking. I do love KLM's blue livery too, however. It is nice to see something other than white these days.
 
oldannyboy
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Re: KLM's white livery in the 70s

Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:32 am

It was actually a very elegant and clean-looking livery. I also like the blue-top one, but never liked the stripes of the early livery.
 
tvh
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Re: KLM's white livery in the 70s

Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:44 am

The white livery is very much like the pan am livery, which is a good reason to change it at the time.
 
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: KLM's white livery in the 70s

Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:15 am

tvh wrote:
The white livery is very much like the pan am livery, which is a good reason to change it at the time.

Er, no.
To most younger eyes today, their liveries might appear similar, much as many (non-US) airline liveries were bland and ordinary in those times.
White predominated, and it was often only subtle changes that distinguished one from another.

I can assure you that nobody on the tarmac in 1971 would confuse KLM (white) for Pan Am.
As it happens my first flights were a school trip, aged 9. I can still remember walking across the tarmac at LHR to board a KLM (white) DC-8, and coming home a week later on a KLM (blue) DC-9.

If you want similar liveries; check out these two.
One is Aeroflot, the other is Egyptair (or the short lived United Arab Airlines) - and yes, everything was in black & white in those days. :rotfl:


In reality, the similarity continued even into the era of colour; as you can see both aircraft were highlighted with a light blue cheat line and tail.

Only the flag is different.

Whereas if something as bright & bold as this turned up in the 60's, people would have had heart attacks. Ain't she something else?
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Re: KLM's white livery in the 70s

Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:35 am

And continuing on the theme of bland & boring liveries (not my words :lol: ), how about this photo from Schipol 1959.
Here we have KLM celebrating it's 40th anniversary with a special scheme. (A small barely visible "40" somewhere on the Viscount, apparently)

Just check-out the variety of KLM types from four different manufacturers..
Vickers Viscount
Convair 340
Douglas DC-6 or DC-7 ( or both?)
Lockheed Constellation.

Happy days....
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Re: KLM's white livery in the 70s

Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:54 am

n797mx wrote:
As to why KLM is blue, the name "Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij N.V" translates to Royal Aviation Company, which blue is typically associated with royalty. (i.e. royal blue)


Actually violet is associated with royalty and the Dutch royal house is the house of Orange, so that color would have made more sense...
I believe it has to do mainly with the fact that blue is associated with flying/sky
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klm617
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Re: KLM's white livery in the 70s

Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:33 pm

JannEejit wrote:
I've never understood why a country so associated with the colour orange ended up painting it's national airline so blue...?



The water that is associated with that country. Also the 747's were all named after rivers at the time. Not to mention the colors of the Dutch flag
the truth does matter, guys. too bad it's often quite subjective. the truth is beyond the mere facts and figures. it's beyond good and bad, right and wrong...
 
Flanker7
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Re: KLM's white livery in the 70s

Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:18 pm

The blue is actually Royal Blue so it's more of a reference to Royal Dutch.
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Re: KLM's white livery in the 70s

Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:10 pm

klm617 wrote:
JannEejit wrote:
I've never understood why a country so associated with the colour orange ended up painting it's national airline so blue...?

The water that is associated with that country. Also the 747's were all named after rivers at the time. Not to mention the colors of the Dutch flag

"The water associated with that country." :checkmark:

"Not to mention the colors of the Dutch flag. "
Do you mean this flag?Image
Blue :checkmark: White :checkmark: Red (not orange).....er.... X

"Also the 747's were all named after rivers at the time."
Yes, but the DC-7, DC-8s, DC-9s, L-188, and all the other aircraft were not named after rivers.
I know it's hard for the younger generation to imagine, but there was a time BEFORE the 747. Those blue colour schemes pre-date KLM operating Boeings completely.



If you really make an effort, you can even find some KLM aircraft in a scheme with their titles picked out in red, possibly mimicking the Dutch flag, as you suggested. However that scheme disappeared ca 1963/64
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Re: KLM's white livery in the 70s

Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:37 pm

tvh wrote:
The white livery is very much like the pan am livery, which is a good reason to change it at the time.


It reminds me of Eastern. Run the double blue stripes up onto the vertical stabilizer and you're pretty close to the famed hockey stick (the white EA version vs. the bare metal or A300 silver).
 
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Re: KLM's white livery in the 70s

Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:01 pm

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
One is Aeroflot, the other is Egyptair (or the short lived United Arab Airlines) - and yes, everything was in black & white in those days. :rotfl:
...
In reality, the similarity continued even into the era of colour; as you can see both aircraft were highlighted with a light blue cheat line and tail.
...
Only the flag is different.

That is because, as noted in the colored Egyptair picture, Egyptair was leasing the Il-62s from Aeroflot/the Soviet government. So only the titles and flag were changed from the basic Aeroflot livery. The actual United Arab Airlines/Egyptair liveries were these:

 
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Iemand91
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Re: KLM's white livery in the 70s

Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:04 pm

PHBVF wrote:
Iemand91 wrote:
I so wish KLM would paint one 747 with this delivery once more before retirering their fleet. :cry:

I'm sure @factsonly or @747classic would know more about this. ;)


I am keeping my fingers crossed for the 100 year anniversary :mrgreen:

:bigthumbsup: :bigthumbsup:

Or 2021 would be a good date; that's exactly 50 years after the delivery of their very first 747.
Unfortunately; by that time KLM may have stopped flying the 747 already...
(Last KLM 747 fight hovers around 2020/early 2021)
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Re: KLM's white livery in the 70s

Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:32 pm

AFAIK the top of KLM aircraft was white to reduce the cabin temperature during ground stops. At that point in time unsufficient airconditioning was installed in most aircraft to keep the cabin cool at the ground with high OAT's. Also APU's were not installed at most aircraft.
After the arrival of the B747 in the KLM fleet (improved airconditioning + APU) it was decided to change the livery, including a blue top coat for PR reasons ( an all white top livery was no longer a requirement).
For fleet standarization also the DC8 fleet received the new livery , depite the lack of an APU
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: KLM's white livery in the 70s

Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:06 pm

Polot wrote:
That is because, as noted in the colored Egyptair picture, Egyptair was leasing the Il-62s from Aeroflot/the Soviet government. So only the titles and flag were changed from the basic Aeroflot livery. The actual United Arab Airlines/Egyptair liveries were these:


I knew I was taking a risk putting that one out there; but part of the fun of a.net is seeing who is sharp enough to pick up the errors.

Having said that, I have read conflicting reports about the Il-62 episode, which began with UAA and continued into Egyptair.
AFAIK some Il-62s were bought & paid for outright, some were leased. If you recall, they had eight in total, although not at the same time. I seem to recall one even fetched up at LHR with UAA titles and a CCCP- registration.
Then they were all returned to Russia which strongly suggests a lease-type arrangement.
However...
If you consider the Tu-154 situation that followed shortly after, the same thing accurred there. Egyptair bought the a/c, but then demanded their money back. :lol:

But, either way, right or wrong, I'm happy to have you comment on my efforts. :D
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Re: KLM's white livery in the 70s

Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:58 pm

747classic wrote:
AFAIK the top of KLM aircraft was white to reduce the cabin temperature during ground stops. At that point in time unsufficient airconditioning was installed in most aircraft to keep the cabin cool at the ground with high OAT's. Also APU's were not installed at most aircraft.
After the arrival of the B747 in the KLM fleet (improved airconditioning + APU) it was decided to change the livery, including a blue top coat for PR reasons ( an all white top livery was no longer a requirement).
For fleet standarization also the DC8 fleet received the new livery , depite the lack of an APU


DC-9 also.

I don't think that any of the DC-10s were ever painted in the top white livery because by the time the first DC-10 arrived, KLM had already introduced its blue top livery.

Didn't KLM unveil a retro livery a few years ago on one of its 737s, 800 or 900 don't remember which, to celebrate their 90th anniversary?

Speaking of the blue livery, I remember a joke on a KLM ad, something like:
"Why are planes painted in blue?" "Because since they were the first airline to exist, they had the choice of color and so they chose the color of the sky."
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: KLM's white livery in the 70s

Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:20 pm

747classic wrote:
AFAIK the top of KLM aircraft was white to reduce the cabin temperature during ground stops. At that point in time unsufficient airconditioning was installed in most aircraft to keep the cabin cool at the ground with high OAT's. Also APU's were not installed at most aircraft.
After the arrival of the B747 in the KLM fleet (improved airconditioning + APU) it was decided to change the livery, including a blue top coat for PR reasons ( an all white top livery was no longer a requirement).
For fleet standarization also the DC8 fleet received the new livery , depite the lack of an APU

Sorry, but that leaves more questions than answers.

Going purely from the database here on a.net; the earliest record of a white top anywhere in KLM was PH-BUA (1971)
Followed by the rest of the 747 fleet PH-BUB to PH-BUG
In parallel to this, the existing DC-8 & DC-9 fleets were repainted as required, but only a fraction of them ever actually got a white top.

DC-8s
Just five a/c out of 31 DC-8s appear on a.net with a white top. (just 9 out of 237 photos!)
PH-DCT, PH-DCY, PH-DEF, PH-DEK, PH-DEL
Of these, PH-DCY has the earliest photo, dated August 22, 1971 (note; that is 8 months after the first 747 appeared)
The last white tops were PH-DEK & PH-DEL, remaining in these colours even longer than the 747s, and still painted white in 1978.


DC-9s
Just four a/c out of 23 appear as white tops, all dated 1972, 73 or '74 (just six photos out of 214)
PH-DNA, DNK, DNM, DNP


First (DC-8) & last (any a/c)


So, it very much appears as if the white top scheme was introduced with the 747, and then trialled with the DC-8 & DC-9 fleets, before being abandoned within three years.
If it was introduced with the 747, it doesn't sound like the "insufficient air-con" reason is entirely valid.
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Iemand91
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Re: KLM's white livery in the 70s

Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:20 pm

747classic wrote:
AFAIK the top of KLM aircraft was white to reduce the cabin temperature during ground stops. At that point in time unsufficient airconditioning was installed in most aircraft to keep the cabin cool at the ground with high OAT's. Also APU's were not installed at most aircraft.
After the arrival of the B747 in the KLM fleet (improved airconditioning + APU) it was decided to change the livery, including a blue top coat for PR reasons ( an all white top livery was no longer a requirement).
For fleet standarization also the DC8 fleet received the new livery , depite the lack of an APU


Ha :P:

Iemand91 wrote:
I'm sure @factsonly or @747classic would know more about this. ;)

American 767 wrote:
I don't think that any of the DC-10s were ever painted in the top white livery because by the time the first DC-10 arrived, KLM had already introduced its blue top livery.


Correct. They never wore the White Top livery. This is the delivery flight of KLM's first DC-10 (PH-DBT on December 16, 1972):
Note the dual-livery KLM/Viasa 747-200B PH-BUG behind the DC-10:



Image
Image
Image

There were however publications with the pre-White Top livery before hand/when they ordered the DC-10, like this one (dated August 25, 1969)

Image

You would expect the first DC-10 to wear the registration PH-DTA, not -DTB.
That was because the aircraft that would become -DTA was the DC-10-30 prototype, delivered to KLM on March 15, 1974, more than a year later:



Visible on photo below with another KLM DC-10:
Image
KLM, McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 "Guiseppe Verdi" by Ron Monroe, on Flickr

Didn't KLM unveil a retro livery a few years ago on one of its 737s, 800 or 900 don't remember which, to celebrate their 90th anniversary?

Yes: PH-BXA (737-800):

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factsonly
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Re: KLM's white livery in the 70s

Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:44 pm

Permit me to add to the discussion about KLM's so-called 'White-top' livery. It was not launched as a white top, but as a white tail.

What people have referred to as KLM's white-top livery resulted from changes to KLM's classic 1960's livery with the aircraft tail painted with light/dark blue horizontal stripes and a white globe in which the crowned KLM logo featered prominently.



This mid-1960's livery is iconic for KLM and featered on the Lockheed Electra, all DC9s, all DC8s. This livery had the white roof, the striped tail, plus white globe and KLM logo.

In prepration for the arrival of the B747-206B in 1971, KLM decided to modify its livery slightly.
The airline decided to DROP the classic TAIL design with the horizontal stripes, and introduced an all WHITE TAIL with just LARGE KLM lettering in dark blue letters and a light blue crown. The fuselage remained exactly the same as the previous 1960's design. So ONLY the tail was adjusted to reach the so-called 'white-top' livery.



Once the B747-206B fleet was delivered and a few DC9 tails and a few DC8 tails were painted white, KLM's management decided that they did not like the resulting bland aircraft.

So by 1972 an ALL NEW brand was designed for KLM, maintaining the white tail but introducing the BLUE ROOF and new dark blue streak line over the windows.

All DC10's were delivered in this new livery, while it took some years to repaint DC8s, DC9s and B747s in the new blue roof colour scheme.

 
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Re: KLM's white livery in the 70s

Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:15 pm

Image

An old KLM advert. I’m sure I’ve heard people refer to the blue livery as Delft blue. However royal blue makes more sense.
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Re: KLM's white livery in the 70s

Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:35 pm

I have to that I'm really enjoying this thread it's very interesting and informative with some excellent contributions by certain posters, I think we have all learned a lot about the history of the KLM livery including myself.

Now if only other threads were as interesting as this instead of all the irrelevant threads started by the new kids on the block!

Topics like this and the involvement of serious posters reminds me of what A.net looked like ten years ago.
 
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Re: KLM's white livery in the 70s

Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:22 am

factsonly wrote:
Permit me to add to the discussion about KLM's so-called 'White-top' livery. It was not launched as a white top, but as a white tail.

What people have referred to as KLM's white-top livery resulted from changes to KLM's classic 1960's livery with the aircraft tail painted with light/dark blue horizontal stripes and a white globe in which the crowned KLM logo featered prominently.



This mid-1960's livery is iconic for KLM and featered on the Lockheed Electra, all DC9s, all DC8s. This livery had the white roof, the striped tail, plus white globe and KLM logo.

In prepration for the arrival of the B747-206B in 1971, KLM decided to modify its livery slightly.
The airline decided to DROP the classic TAIL design with the horizontal stripes, and introduced an all WHITE TAIL with just LARGE KLM lettering in dark blue letters and a light blue crown. The fuselage remained exactly the same as the previous 1960's design. So ONLY the tail was adjusted to reach the so-called 'white-top' livery.



Once the B747-206B fleet was delivered and a few DC9 tails and a few DC8 tails were painted white, KLM's management decided that they did not like the resulting bland aircraft.

So by 1972 an ALL NEW brand was designed for KLM, maintaining the white tail but introducing the BLUE ROOF and new dark blue streak line over the windows.

All DC10's were delivered in this new livery, while it took some years to repaint DC8s, DC9s and B747s in the new blue roof colour scheme.



Not 100% true. As you can see on the white top livery they adjusted the cheat line so the dark blue ended at the cockpit windows and the light blue continued on and down in front of the windows.
 
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Re: KLM's white livery in the 70s

Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:13 am

You may find that your DC9-15 may have been an exception, as no DC8 or B747 has the dark blue streak finish before the cockpit windows.
All DC8 and B747 pictures indicate that the two tone cheatline over the white fuselage was not altered, when the tail changed to white.

Polot wrote:

Not 100% true. As you can see on the white top livery they adjusted the cheat line so the dark blue ended at the cockpit windows and the light blue continued on and down in front of the windows.

Antarius wrote:

Image

 
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Re: KLM's white livery in the 70s

Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:07 am

As this is a current KLM thread, here are the November 2017 performance data.

The airline is particularly succesful on its European network at present:

Total Passenger network activity - Nov. 2017 -vs- Nov. 2016 %Variation
Passengers carried 2,612,000 vs 2,370,000 +10.2%
Revenue pax-kilometers (m RPK) 8,226 vs 7,664 +7.3%
Available seat-kilometers (m ASK) 9,512 vs 9,003 +5.7%
Load factor (%) 86.5% vs 85.1% +1.3%

Long-haul network :
Passengers carried 866.000 vs 819.000 +5.7%
Revenue pax-kilometers (m RPK) 6,760 vs 6,350 +6.5%
Available seat-kilometers (m ASK) 7,788 vs 7,436 +4.7%
Load factor (%) 86.8% vs 85.4% +1.4%

EUROPEAN network:
Passengers carried 1,747,000 vs 1,551,000 +12.6%
Revenue pax-kilometers (m RPK) 1,465 vs 1,314 +11.5%
Available seat-kilometers (m ASK) 1,724 vs 1,567 +10.0%
Load factor (%) 85.0% vs 83.8% +1.2%


Cargo activity
Revenue tonne-km (m RTK) 429 vs 403 +6.4%
Available tonne-km (m ATK) 606 vs 583 +3.9%
Load factor (%) 70.8% vs 69.1% +1.7%
 
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Re: KLM's white livery in the 70s

Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:41 am

Anyone know why the stripes went from diagonal to horizontal? It was thought the diagonal stripes suggested a crashing descent and was scaring people! Might think that’s over sensitive but remember in the 60s a major air disaster was in the news every few months. Glad KLM went for the diagonal for the retrojet, more authentic!

I have read the whole thread I promise, but sorry if someone pointed this out already, I didn’t see it!
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: KLM's white livery in the 70s

Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:59 am

cedarjet wrote:
Anyone know why the stripes went from diagonal to horizontal? It was thought the diagonal stripes suggested a crashing descent and was scaring people! Might think that’s over sensitive but remember in the 60s a major air disaster was in the news every few months. Glad KLM went for the diagonal for the retrojet, more authentic!

I have read the whole thread I promise, but sorry if someone pointed this out already, I didn’t see it!

Actually, I think you should get a prize for being the first person to mention this aspect at all. :lol:

For those who are scratching their heads... it's another case of something so obvious that most people miss it entirely.
Here you go;
Diagonal stripes + red titles (disappeared 1963/64) .................vs ..............Horizontal stripes + blue titles (introduced 1959 ?)


IMO it's just a case of they tried version 1, and then decided version 2 looked better.
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747classic
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Re: KLM's white livery in the 70s

Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:20 pm

From my KLM archive :

NO STRIPES ANY MORE (Avia magazine, issue November 1970 , page 30)

If in January 1971 the First Boeing 747B Jumbo Jet will touch down at Schiphol for the first time, the KLM livery will slightly differ from the other KLM aircraft. No horizontal stripes will be visible at the vertical tail anymore.. These stripes in two shades of blue will be replaced by an all white vertical tail, with KLM in large, blue lettering, above the Royal Crown will be present.
This new KLM styling, like the previous stripe design, designed by the Britisch designer F.H.E. Hennon, will be slowly introduced further, not only at all DC8 and DC9 aircraft, but also at vehicles, lichtfittings and all KLM company papers. The transistion will be slow and only performed when aircraft need to be re-painted or have to be replaced. So no extra costs will be involved.
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nitepilot79
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Re: KLM's white livery in the 70s

Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:42 pm

I'm in the side car here, but for what it's worth, I've heard that the previous livery was supposed to give the impression of snow, the sea, and the sky from the coast of Holland during winter.

 
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Re: KLM's white livery in the 70s

Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:58 pm

I hope you do not mind me adding a question on the KLM livery. I noticed that PH-BVG has Chinese charaters under the Skyteam logo on the co-pilot's side. But BVG is not, nor has it ever been, part of the KLM Asia fleet.

I suspect this is the fleetname in Chinese, since BVG has been named after a Chinese national park Wolong". But if that's so, then why does PH-BVF not carry "Yakushima" in Japanese charaters?
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Iemand91
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Re: KLM's white livery in the 70s

Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:17 pm

petertenthije wrote:
I hope you do not mind me adding a question on the KLM livery. I noticed that PH-BVG has Chinese charaters under the Skyteam logo on the co-pilot's side. But BVG is not, nor has it ever been, part of the KLM Asia fleet.

I suspect this is the fleetname in Chinese, since BVG has been named after a Chinese national park Wolong". But if that's so, then why does PH-BVF not carry "Yakushima" in Japanese charaters?

This might have something to do with it: KLM Names PH-BVG “Wolong National Nature Reserve”.
So basically a whole ceremony for naming the aircraft; may have been a sign of goodwill or something to have the name in Chinese on one side of the aircraft.
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