tjc2
Posts: 114
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 11:47 am

Speedbird Origins

Thu Mar 23, 2006 6:53 am

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...
 
timboflier215
Posts: 804
Joined: Sat May 21, 2005 7:54 am

RE: Speedbird Origins

Thu Mar 23, 2006 6:54 am

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!
 
tjc2
Posts: 114
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 11:47 am

RE: Speedbird Origins

Thu Mar 23, 2006 7:29 am

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


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The only time I made a mistake was when I thought I was wrong...
 
philb
Posts: 2645
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 5:53 am

RE: Speedbird Origins

Thu Mar 23, 2006 7:56 am

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.
 
carduelis
Posts: 1388
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2001 8:24 pm

RE: Speedbird Origins

Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:34 am

The original and today . . .

Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
 
philb
Posts: 2645
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 5:53 am

RE: Speedbird Origins

Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:16 am

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..
 
tjc2
Posts: 114
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 11:47 am

RE: Speedbird Origins

Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:44 am

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...
 
airwave
Posts: 1105
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:42 am

RE: Speedbird Origins

Thu Mar 23, 2006 10:54 am

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.
 
tjc2
Posts: 114
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 11:47 am

RE: Speedbird Origins

Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:23 pm

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...
 
louA340
Posts: 321
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 2:19 pm

RE: Speedbird Origins

Fri Mar 24, 2006 2:44 am

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
 
AirScoot
Posts: 667
Joined: Thu May 12, 2005 6:44 pm

RE: Speedbird Origins

Fri Mar 24, 2006 3:11 am

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".
 
vc10
Posts: 1342
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2001 4:13 am

RE: Speedbird Origins

Fri Mar 24, 2006 3:34 am

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
 
dartland
Posts: 514
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 5:09 am

RE: Speedbird Origins

Fri Mar 24, 2006 4:44 am

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.
 
philb
Posts: 2645
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 5:53 am

RE: Speedbird Origins

Fri Mar 24, 2006 4:52 am

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!