Well, here's my opinion:
The Widget scheme is a classic. It's been around since as far back as the 1960s, with only a few modifications made over the years.
Before 1997 came around, Delta's widget and AA
's colours were my favourites because that's what I always saw at SLC
when I was younger. The old Widget scheme looked excellent on the 727, 757, 767, and MD
-90, it also looked good on the 737 classics, but I don't think it would have quite worked on a 777 or 737 NG
In 1997, when the interim scheme was introduced, I remember someone said that the interim scheme was the most horrible thing they had ever seen. So I went out to SLC
(remember, this was before 9/11), sometime in late 1997 or early 1998, and went into the terminal to have a look for myself. A few new planes were in the scheme and I really liked it.
The interim scheme retained alot of the Delta feel to it. It still had the cheatline, and that red cheatline that many people forget about had been moved to the bottom of the blue cheatline, and widened at the nose. The tail was dark as well, feeling very Delta-like. And perhaps the thing I loved the most was that two-tone "Delta Air Lines" on the front of the fuselage just above the cheatline. The new font was beautiful.
At the time, I liked both colour schemes equally. The old one was a classic, and the interim retained so many elements of the Delta look that I didn't consider it bad at all.
The interim scheme looked best on the 737 NG
and 727, and also on some 757s and 767s as well.
In 2000, I was horrified when the wavy gravy scheme came out. The tail looked okay, but the cheatline was gone, and the engines looked terrible. It looked like they hadn't finished painting them all the way. The enging paint was very unoriginal. But the worst casualty of all was my beloved "Delta Air Lines" two tone font that I had loved so much on the 1997 scheme, now replaced by a single, larger "Delta". I hated it.
But after a while it began to grow on me. Especially after I saw the first 727s painted in the scheme. That's what did it. That scheme looked like it was made to be worn by that plane. It made the bird look like it was fresh from the factory, sleek and beautiful and clean. That finally had me sold.
And it looked great on the 757 as well, and the 737 NG
, and especially the MD
-80. The jury was still out on the 767 though. But on some planes it looked fantastic. It looked best on the 727.
Today, I like the wavy gravy much better. It's an excellent scheme. But I also like the interim and the widget schemes as well. All three liveries brought out the best on certain aircraft.
It's interesting to note that every livery looked great on the 727. Maybe it's just because the 727 is a beautiful plane.
Now, I understand that it's in Delta's best interest to have a unified colour scheme across its entire fleet, but what I'd really love to see is all three colourschemes remain on certain aircraft. And have Delta continue to use the three liveries together. After all, certain aircraft just wear a certain scheme better.
Leave all 737 classics, some 757s, and all MD
-90s in the Widget scheme.
Leave some 737 NG
, 757, and 767 in the interim scheme...
And paint the other 737 NGs, 777, some 767 and 757 and MD
-80 in the Wavy Gravy scheme. Especially the MD
This gives a mix of each livery on the planes that wore them best. In fact, that's kind of what Delta's fleet looks like right now anyway. The 767 perhaps wore the 1997 scheme the best out of all three. And the MD
-80 is remarkably sleek in the wavy gravy colours.
So what's my favourite scheme? All of them together.