JMV
Topic Author
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Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 4:22 am

UAL Friend Ship Livery Question

Tue Mar 30, 2004 4:53 am

I'm interested in knowing the meaning and/or significance of the four stars that were added to the old UAL livery (60's and 70's era). It appears that they were added at the time United started referring to their aircraft as Friend Ships, such as this 747 Friend Ship.


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dutchjet
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RE: UAL Friend Ship Livery Question

Tue Mar 30, 2004 5:01 am

Your picture shows the final version of the UAL red-white-blue livery, introduced around 1970 when the 747 first entered service. The 4 stars indicated 4 star (good) service, and UA 747s were Friendships (that was the era when the new jumbos had names, AA has Astroliners and then Luxury Liners, National had SunKings, Western had SpaceShips, etc). Back then, you were still flying in the friendly skies of United. At the time, many commented that the UA livery looked too-US government, as if United was owned by the US government, with red/white/blue strips, stars, etc.

This livery did not last long, by 1973 UA had introduced the blue/red/orange livery with the new United logo (which is very much the same logo as the one still used today.)
 
ord
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RE: UAL Friend Ship Livery Question

Tue Mar 30, 2004 5:22 am

Most of what was written in the above post is correct. However, the red-white-blue livery was introduced well before 1970 (although it had been modified over the years). I believe the livery was introduced in the late 1950s with the arrival of DC-8s and 720s. Of note at the time was that United did away with their shield logo and used the new "spear" instead. When introduced I think the stripe separating the white and bare metal was gold rather than red. The stars were added in 1972 (if you look at the first few years of United 747s and DC-10s you'll see they did not yet have the stars).

Also, the orange-red-blue livery came out in September 1974.
 
StevenUhl777
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RE: UAL Friend Ship Livery Question

Tue Mar 30, 2004 5:25 am

the UA livery looked too-US government, as if United was owned by the US government


Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the US government asked/ordered/etc. UA to change their livery for this very reason.
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dutchjet
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RE: UAL Friend Ship Livery Question

Tue Mar 30, 2004 5:31 am

Ord........please note that, in my original post, I said that this was the LAST VERSION of the UA red-white-blue livery; there were several versions of the red-white-blue UA livery over the years, with the first being introduced in the late 1950s around the time the DC8 and Caravelle entered service.

StevenUhl777......I never heard that the US govt asked (or ordered) UA to change their livery, I always thought that the move away from the stars and stripes look was a UA initiated thing. Does anyone have any further info, interesting stuff.
 
UALPHLCS
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RE: UAL Friend Ship Livery Question

Tue Mar 30, 2004 5:34 am

The four stars represent the four original airlines that became united. Hense the name United Airlines.

The four original airlines were Boeing, Varney, PAT, and NAT. The four stars are still on the wings and service pins of UA employees.

A fifth star was to be added for Capitol airlines after that merger. But it was never done. My father knew a few ex-Capitol people who still resented that slight.
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