AussieItaliano
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UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:25 pm

There was another topic on this subject, but it is now archived and cannot be replied to any more.

I think it is worth noting that today marks the end of an era. The final mainline aircraft in the Battleship Gray livery is now at VCV to be repainted into the new UA/CO scheme. The aircraft, a 777-222 was ferried to VCV this morning after flying its last revenue flight yesterday.

So long, and thanks for the memories!
Third Runway - LHR, Second Runway - LGW, Build Them Both!!!
 
will777
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:48 pm

It's about time. Didn't they start painting into the blue/white livery about 8 years ago now?
 
FWAERJ
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:01 pm

As the old Hasbro board game goes: "You sunk my Battleship!" 

Sorry, but I couldn't resist. The battleship UA planes needed new paint anyway... it looked great when the planes were first painted, but it didn't age well at all. Still, it's ironic that the battleship UA planes are now painted in a livery that was launched three years before the battleship livery...

[Edited 2012-02-20 15:02:07]
"Did he really need the triple bypass? Or was it the miles?"
 
NWAROOSTER
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:03 pm

Glad to know they are finally getting rid of that damn grey. It was lousy from the start and faded to chalk. I don't know who dreamed up that color. At least the Northwest bowling shoe colors looked pretty good when new, but after about six months they started fading and looked like junk also.   
Procrastination Is The Theft Of Time.......
 
lhr380
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:10 pm

It must have been at LHR 2 days ago as I saw it here lol
(The views on this site are my own and no one elses)
 
Cipango
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:13 pm

Why was the new UA/CO livery introduced so quickly in comparison?

8 years is a very long time! I think DL and VS changed their livery twice in that time.
Let's fly! Unless it's on a CRJ 200, then I'll stay down here.
 
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United_fan
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:18 pm

I'm sure UA's air conditioning cost went down when they changed to a white-topped scheme.
Champagne For My Real Friends,and Real Pain For My Sham Friends
 
FWAERJ
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:31 pm

Quoting cipango (Reply 5):

Why was the new UA/CO livery introduced so quickly in comparison?

In part, because it's mostly CO management running the show on Wacker Drive.

Gordon Bethune said in his book that a consistent image was key for CO. Consistency was why Bethune ordered all remaining CO meatball planes (and there were a lot of them when he became CEO) repainted in the globe livery in a compressed timeframe. Apparently, Jeff Smisek is of the same school of thought as Bethune.
"Did he really need the triple bypass? Or was it the miles?"
 
ghifty
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:32 pm

It's funny, the transformation UA's livery has seen. From sunset to battleship back to blue sunset again, and now to CO. What's next? Hopefully not battleship!
Fly Delta Jets
 
Mir
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:40 pm

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 2):
it looked great when the planes were first painted, but it didn't age well at all.

True. It was a really unique livery that could look great in the right circumstances, but that sort of grey really loses its luster with age.

Quoting ghifty (Reply 8):
What's next?

Hopefully, the return of the tulip, and some red on the plane.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
cargolex
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:08 am

Out of curiosity, anybody know the registration?
 
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calpsafltskeds
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:14 am

Quoting CargoLex (Reply 10):
Out of curiosity, anybody know the registration?

The last grey one was N229UA (777-200ER), now in VCV. It replaced N206UA, which was released today form VCV - also repainted from grey.
sites.google.com/site/unitedfleetsite/
 
Mr737sjtc
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:23 am

Hooray It's finally gone. I have always hated seeing a see of battleship gray at SFO. Too bad the last( tulip ) livery did not come sooner. Not that it mattered because United did not care about it's brand. At least CO is speeding up this process with the new UA. My only dilemma there is that the planes should have Continental instead of United on them, but I am adjusting to it slowly.
 
rising
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:41 am

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 7):
In part, because it's mostly CO management running the show on Wacker Drive.

Gordon Bethune said in his book that a consistent image was key for CO.


Just when you think you have heard it all... someone able to link the standard merger practice of a common livery to Gordon Bethune and his book.
If it doesn't make sense, it's because it's not true.
 
sulley
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:05 am

Quoting Rising (Reply 13):
st when you think you have heard it all... someone able to link the standard merger practice of a common livery to Gordon Bethune and his book.

Hey, if the merger hadn't happened, how many years would grubby grey have stayed around?  

I can imagine tu154 is quite happy right now. I am.
In thrust we trust!
 
CWAFlyer
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:17 am

Quoting NWAROOSTER (Reply 3):
Glad to know they are finally getting rid of that damn grey. It was lousy from the start and faded to chalk. I don't know who dreamed up that color.

The Wolfman!
 
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ADent
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:27 am

The battleship grey livery was replaced on February 19, 2004 by the blue tulip.

So 8 years and 1 day to repaint the fleet.
 
IAHFLYR
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:34 am

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 7):
Apparently, Jeff Smisek is of the same school of thought as Bethune.



Wonder if he'll take anything else from the Gordo school?

Enjoyed seeing all the United aircraft today as SFO, seems about a 50/50 split between the globe and the tulip in the hour I was on scene.
Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
 
PlanesNTrains
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:39 am

Personally, I'm glad to see it go. Replacing the previous livery with the Battleship Grey was, I believe, a poor decision. It seemed to look dated for me from the outset. I liked the newer Tulip Blue alright, though I think it could have been better too. No, I'm not a fan of the current branding, but that train left the station.

Not to rub anyone wrong, but when I think of the grey livery, my mind always seems to go to the bird hitting the 2nd tower on 9-11. I'm sure I'm in the minority on that one, and it certainly wouldn't affect my mindset about United, but it is good that it's gone, IMHO.

-Dave
-Dave
 
ytib
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:48 am

Quoting Sulley (Reply 14):
Hey, if the merger hadn't happened, how many years would grubby grey have stayed around?

I was wondering the same thing...
 
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czbbflier
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:08 am

Quoting Rising (Reply 13):
Just when you think you have heard it all... someone able to link the standard merger practice of a common livery to Gordon Bethune and his book.

This may well be so but it is indeed a revelation at CO.

In the 80s under Frank Lorenzo, CO flew the most motley looking fleet around. Almost all Diesel 9s would fly into YOW. They had the colours of their constituent airlines. New York Air, Continental, Eastern, and I'm pretty sure there were a couple of others in there for good measure.

Frankie just had decals plastered over the front door with Continental written on it and that was good enough for him.

Tacky, tacky, tacky.
 
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:43 am

Quoting Rising (Reply 13):
Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 7):
In part, because it's mostly CO management running the show on Wacker Drive.

Gordon Bethune said in his book that a consistent image was key for CO.


Just when you think you have heard it all... someone able to link the standard merger practice of a common livery to Gordon Bethune and his book.


Gordon's point was that it was incredibly important to employee morale to get into a common livery QUICKLY and to make a key initiative of achieving that goal as fast as possible rather than going along with the common practice of only repainting aircraft when a C or D check rolled around.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
MSPNWA
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:55 am

Battleship gray was never my favorite livery, but it's still sad to see an end of an era. For years I've seen the distinctive livery fly high overhead my house on its way to or from ORD. No more colorful tulips on the tails of a United aircraft. And I miss seeing rich colors on airliners. So long, battleship.
 
EWRamp
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:16 am

I actually ran into Gordon Bethune a couple day ago at EWR.
 
tpaewr
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:16 am

Quoting Rising (Reply 13):
Just when you think you have heard it all... someone able to link the standard merger practice of a common livery to Gordon Bethune and his book.

No, he is correct. It is a fact. One of Gordan first actions was to compress the slow repaint process at old CO. The meat-ball had lingered much as the Grey has. Once again with a chg in leadership you see a sudden push toward consistency.
 
JeffSFO
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:23 am

Good riddance. That livery was starting to look really shabby:

http://jeffsfo.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/em773ua744062210-2.jpg
 
Chicagoflight
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:28 am

I remember flying a red eye from LAX to ORD sitting on the left side of the plane..... I opened the window shade just as the sun was about to rise and at that moment I saw the colors of the United aircraft that was transporting me home.

The United original RISING paint job as it is officially known will live forever in EVERY sunrise and EVERY sunset. The cheat line was an artistic impression of a sunrise. The cheat line on the blue RISING livery depicts the same.

The RISING colors were applied during the last great golden age of UA. It started with a relatively good era of management/labor relations, booming business, an expanding global network, an era of new revolutionary aircraft (777 and 747-400) and there was no other airline in the world that I would want to work for. It all ended on Sept. 11 2001 when those same RISING colors were shown over and over again slamming into the WTC.

I will never refer to those great colors as "battleship." For me, to refer to it as such would be nothing but disrespectful toward my wonderful colleagues and the company I had the privilege to fly with during my short time with the greatest airline in the world.

With the new United Global colors a hope is renewed that that was not United's last golden age.
 
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Tigerguy
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:25 am

I actually like the gray livery too, and am a bit sad to see it fall into the history books. Yeah, it was a bear to keep maintained properly, but I think it looked sharp when it was fresh, especially when put against a lot of the Eurowhite planes. Now I'll just have to keep my eyes peeled for the regional jets still sporting the gray that drop in from time to time...
Good night, and keep watching the skis. Uh, skies.
 
mike96
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:05 am

Here's a couple videos I have of an A320 in battleship grey!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MDWbPUnups

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bN9-vMdROgk
 
UAL777UK
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:33 am

Sad to see it go but it did need to go and should have gone a lot earlier.

Looking forward the new livery in about 10 years time when the tulip comes back  
 
Archer
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:14 pm

What is the tail number?
 
bgm
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:56 pm

Quoting Archer (Reply 30):
What is the tail number?
Quoting CALPSAFltSkeds (Reply 11):
The last grey one was N229UA (777-200ER),
 
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United787
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:00 pm

I agree with most that it was time for them to go but I loved the livery when it came out. I also loved the new blue sunset...

A tribute to the battleship grey in better days (courtesy of our great A-Net photographers):

A319
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Photo © Matthew Lee - Contrails Aviation Photography



722
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Photo © Gary Chambers



732
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Photo © George Canciani



744
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Photo © Dsavit



752
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Photo © DSAvit



763
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Photo © Frank Schaefer



772
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Photo © Gerhard Plomitzer



DC-10 (Sunset looked better on the DC-10)
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Photo © Michael Carter

 
rising
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:23 pm

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 21):
Gordon's point was that it was incredibly important to employee morale to get into a common livery QUICKLY and to make a key initiative of achieving that goal as fast as possible rather than going along with the common practice of only repainting aircraft when a C or D check rolled around.

This common sense revelation was unique to Continental? Before Gordon Bethune, airlines took decades to repaint aircraft in a common livery when they merged? Continental may have struggled in this regard in years pre-Bethune, but most airlines moved relatively quickly to get a common brand/livery not only for employee morale, but from a customer and brand perspective.

Repaints take longer with a refresh, such as in United's case in the 2000's, because repaints while ascetically pleasing, cost money. They made the decision to do it during heavy checks to save on cost. That may frustrate hobbyists and spotters, but in the end management is running a business.

A good example is with the US Airways/America West merger. They repainted the West fleet very quickly to unite the brand, while East still has planes in the pre-merger darker colors. What matters is they all say US Airways.
If it doesn't make sense, it's because it's not true.
 
hugo
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:46 pm

Good riddance to that awful paint scheme! I associate United's decline with that gray!!! I LOVED the Saul Bass scheme- it really represented the friendly skies. Once that gray dominated the fleet, everything went dark for United. Hopefully, the new scheme will bring friendly, blue skies for UA. I wish they used the Saul Bass font with the "new" globe.
 
FriendlySkies
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:02 pm

I think this would mean today is the first time in almost 19 years that there is not a United aircraft wearing grey...does that make it the longest run of a livery at UAL? I think the rainbow scheme was introduced in 1978 and was replaced in 1993...not sure how long the friendship colors were around but I don't think it was 20 years.
 
WESTERN737800
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:47 pm

Quoting NWAROOSTER (Reply 3):
Glad to know they are finally getting rid of that damn grey. It was lousy from the start and faded to chalk. I don't know who dreamed up that color
Quoting Mr737sjtc (Reply 12):
Hooray It's finally gone. I have always hated seeing a see of battleship gray at SFO. Too bad the last( tulip ) livery did not come sooner
Quoting planesntrains (Reply 18):
Personally, I'm glad to see it go. Replacing the previous livery with the Battleship Grey was, I believe, a poor decision. It seemed to look dated for me from the outset
Quoting ual777uk (Reply 29):
Sad to see it go but it did need to go and should have gone a lot earlier.
Quoting hugo (Reply 34):
Good riddance to that awful paint scheme! I associate United's decline with that gray!!!

I agree 100% with all of these replies. The grey was an absolute dissappoitment to the livery that it replaced.

Quoting ADent (Reply 16):
So 8 years and 1 day to repaint the fleet.

About 7 years too long in my opinion.

Quoting JeffSFO (Reply 25):
Good riddance. That livery was starting to look really shabby:

Well said. It just faded way too quickly.
Bring back Western Airlines!
 
PHLBOS
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:10 pm

Quoting FriendlySkies (Reply 35):
I think the rainbow scheme was introduced in 1978 and was replaced in 1993...

That scheme, along with the tulip, was introduced in 1973.


View Large View Medium
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Photo © Jochen Beeck



Although the Stars & Bars variant of the Friendship scheme was still on planes into 1978.


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Photo © Aris Pappas

If the below-photo indeed has the correct year listed; the Friendship scheme was still flying in 1979.


View Large View Medium
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Photo © Urs Ruf - Euro Airport Photography

Quoting FriendlySkies (Reply 35):
not sure how long the friendship colors were around but I don't think it was 20 years.

According to A.net's photo database; that red & blue scheme was around since 1958.


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Photo © James A. Oliver

"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
jrosa
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:47 pm

On Feb 11, Saturday, I've flown this plane (or another UA 777 once I do not remember tail numbers) from IAD to GIG via GRU and it was funny that it had the battleship livery with the brand new cabin interior.

[Edited 2012-02-21 10:52:26]
 
MD80Nut
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:53 pm

Goodbye and good riddance to one of the ugliest liveries I've ever seen. The UA liveries before and after it are so much nicer to look at. IMO, of course.

Cheers, Ralph
Fly Douglas Jets DC-8 / DC-9 / DC-10 / MD80 / MD11 / MD90 / 717
 
ckfred
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:19 pm

Quoting NWAROOSTER (Reply 3):
. I don't know who dreamed up that color.

Steve Wolf, when he was UA CEO. If you remember the last livery at Republic, before it was sold to NW, it was gray. The last livery at US, before it merged with HP was a very, very dark blue (almost black) with a gray lower body.

For whatever reason, Steve Wolf was partial to gray, and the airlines he has run, at some point, went to paint schemes that involved a fair amount of gray.

Quoting United_fan (Reply 6):
I'm sure UA's air conditioning cost went down when they changed to a white-topped scheme.

I remember an article in the WSJ that indicated that fuel consumption increased every so slightly, after a while plane with the orange, red, and blue strips went to the gray and blue paint scheme.

They were also hard to see, especially on a very overcast day. Gray just doesn't reflect sunlight the way white and bare metal do.

And, the number of incidents involving ground crew bumping into aircraft went up, with the gray and blue scheme.
 
tu154
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:15 pm

Quoting hugo (Reply 34):
Good riddance to that awful paint scheme! I associate United's decline with that gray!!!

AGREE!! This scheme only reminds me of our bankruptcy, the awful way we were treated by mgmnt, and just plain incompetence! I am so glad to see it go!!
FIRST ON THE ATLANTIC.....FIRST ON THE PACIFIC.....FIRST IN LATIN AMERICA...FIRST 'ROUND THE WORLD.....PAN AM!!
 
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ADent
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:38 pm

Quoting Rising (Reply 33):

Repaints take longer with a refresh, such as in United's case in the 2000's, because repaints while ascetically pleasing, cost money. They made the decision to do it during heavy checks to save on cost.

Are you sure the UA planes were being painted during heavy checks?

How long does a new plane go before its first heavy check - one of the last two battle ship grey planes was not painted for over 12 years.
 
adambrau
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:53 pm

Thank goodness it's gone. It launched at UA's peak and was replaced when we hit rock bottom. Onward and upwards UA!
 
bohica
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:07 pm

Quoting ckfred (Reply 40):
They were also hard to see, especially on a very overcast day. Gray just doesn't reflect sunlight the way white and bare metal do.

And, the number of incidents involving ground crew bumping into aircraft went up, with the gray and blue scheme.

They were next to impossible to see at night. Depending on the A/C type you could hear one long before you could see it.
 
AADC10
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:59 pm

Quoting NWAROOSTER (Reply 3):
Glad to know they are finally getting rid of that damn grey. It was lousy from the start and faded to chalk. I don't know who dreamed up that color.

I have said this before but I was told by a UA employee many years ago that they were told that they wanted white but the paints available at the time could not meet environmental regulations in that color. On the other hand it could have just been Wolf's preference and that was the rationalization.

Quoting JeffSFO (Reply 25):
Good riddance. That livery was starting to look really shabby:

Is that photo of the 744 that was temporarily pulled from the desert a couple of years ago? I think it was N194UA or something. UA would definitely not bother to repaint that one.
 
MSPNWA
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:12 am

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 45):
Is that photo of the 744 that was temporarily pulled from the desert a couple of years ago? I think it was N194UA or something. UA would definitely not bother to repaint that one.

Yes it is. I think the moisture in the air on the day of the photograph made it look worse than it really was. Looks like some condensation enhanced the contrast in the paint. I flew on 194 a couple times, and although it wasn't a pretty sight, it didn't look that bad.
 
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EA CO AS
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:21 am

Quoting Rising (Reply 33):
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 21):
Gordon's point was that it was incredibly important to employee morale to get into a common livery QUICKLY and to make a key initiative of achieving that goal as fast as possible rather than going along with the common practice of only repainting aircraft when a C or D check rolled around.

This common sense revelation was unique to Continental?

No, quite the opposite prior to Gordon's arrival - CO had taken their sweet time getting planes repainted and it was a drag on employee morale and customer perception.

Quoting Rising (Reply 33):
Before Gordon Bethune, airlines took decades to repaint aircraft in a common livery when they merged?

No, however it wasn't uncommon for it to take several (2-4) years. Now 1-2 years max is more the standard.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
ckfred
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:51 pm

When did UA adopt the gray and blue livery? I seem to recall two things.

A) When UA announced its 777 order, the model was in the prior white scheme with orange, red, and blue striping.
B) When UA sent letters to its F/F members about the livery change, they were looking at a 3-year time frame for repainting the fleet.

That said, I remember that TWA adopted its last paint scheme in 1996 or 1997, and I flew on an MD-80 in the prior scheme in November of 2001 between STL and LAS. So, TWA wasn't in any hurry to repaint its planes.
 
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RE: UA Battleship Gray Is Now History (on Mainline)

Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:35 am

Quoting ckfred (Reply 48):
A) When UA announced its 777 order, the model was in the prior white scheme with orange, red, and blue striping.

The very first 777 that UA got was never in the white scheme with orange, red and blue. It was delivered in the battleship grey.
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