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InnsbruckFlyer
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When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:34 pm

Anyone know when United phased out the Battleship Grey livery, as well as which tail number was the last aircraft to have it?

Greets,

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xxcr
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:41 pm

I want to say like early 2007-2008 was the last time i saw any UA plane in the Battleship Gray livery! I did not like that livery at all. It was dull, had no taste, and looked terrible after a few years.
 
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kann123air
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:49 pm

I want to say it was around 2012. I think the last airplane to wear it was either the CRJ-700 or the E120.
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September11
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:51 pm

xxcr wrote:
I want to say like early 2007-2008 was the last time i saw any UA plane in the Battleship Gray livery! I did not like that livery at all. It was dull, had no taste, and looked terrible after a few years.


And livery had UNITED AIRLINES (not just UNITED) lettering on fuselage. Who came up with that font...

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The777Man
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:52 pm

Around early 2012. I have picture of a UA 777-200/ER in that livery taken 19Feb12 and remember that the aircraft went for paint a few days later.

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intotheair
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:57 pm

About a third of the mainline fleet was still in the battleship colors at the time of the CO merger. UA had a fleet of about 360 aircraft, so that's about 120 frames. I want to say the last mainline battleship plane was repainted around 2013, and UAX could have taken slightly longer.

Here's a cool video that shows a repaint from the battleship into CO colors:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PI20wEUlmNw

Here's one I'd never stumbled across until today – repainting a 777 from the battleship to the shades of blue livery circa 2004. I really miss this look:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIBbBcowFwk
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fraspotter
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:59 pm

The777Man wrote:
Around early 2012. I have picture of a UA 777-200/ER in that livery taken 19Feb12 and remember that the aircraft went for paint a few days later.

The777Man


Correct. According to the link below it looks like it was N229UA and it flew LHR-LAX on 19 Feb 2012. Granted it also said that there was still at least 1 Brasilia still in the gray but as far as mainline aircraft it looks like it was N229UA.

https://www.flickr.com/groups/[email protected] ... 447728187/
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:02 pm

Agreed that it did not weather well but put me in the minority who liked the look.
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:04 pm

It's funny but when UAL first came up with the battleship grey I hated it. Thought it was awful. But by the time they got rid of it, I had come to love it. Like many things, it grew on me. But what they replaced it with never grew on me, I thought it was awful. And today's Continental livery I am OK with but really feel they need to go back to some tradition and use the tulip. Yes, I know it's still more legacy CO than UA but still, branding is branding.
 
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:10 pm

I had the chance to fly on a 777 in battleship grey a couple times both post-merger. Both also has the old F and J seating. It was an interesting peek into the past. The old J seat was basically what W is today. And the old F is Polaris J with more open space.

Everything old is new again!


I believe out there some place is a cool photo of a line up on sUA planes around that time. One in grey one in blue and with retro and one in CO Globe with UA titles. So briefly all the liverys were together
 
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:16 pm

richiemo wrote:
It's funny but when UAL first came up with the battleship grey I hated it. Thought it was awful. But by the time they got rid of it, I had come to love it. Like many things, it grew on me. But what they replaced it with never grew on me, I thought it was awful. And today's Continental livery I am OK with but really feel they need to go back to some tradition and use the tulip. Yes, I know it's still more legacy CO than UA but still, branding is branding.



they should bring back the Blue livery. Some sort of wave from of that livery would be nice IMO! Bright colors and fresh i think.
 
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:21 pm

ClipperYankee wrote:
Agreed that it did not weather well but put me in the minority who liked the look.


My only fault with the look was the tulip logo was not large enough on the tail.
 
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:31 pm

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Last edited by InnsbruckFlyer on Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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InnsbruckFlyer
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:32 pm

InnsbruckFlyer wrote:
September11 wrote:
xxcr wrote:
I want to say like early 2007-2008 was the last time i saw any UA plane in the Battleship Gray livery! I did not like that livery at all. It was dull, had no taste, and looked terrible after a few years.


And livery had UNITED AIRLINES (not just UNITED) lettering on fuselage. Who came up with that font...



At the time I hated that livery too, but in retrospect I want it back. I miss the tulip, especially compared to the meatball/globe nowadays....
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rph99
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:40 pm

Unpopular opinion I’m sure....but I loved this livery. Being born in 1992 and growing up in Denver, it’s just the United I remember. Back when they had happy meals for kids on board!

I remember getting to fly in 747 once, it was a domestic flight....Denver to Orlando but I think we connected somewhere because I don’t think United ran 747s on DEN-MCO.
 
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:49 pm

I flew DEN-LAX on N666UA in October of 2010. At the time it still had the battleship livery. That was the last time I flew a battleship plane. I also remember seeing a battleship 757 in DEN sometime around December of 2011. I don’t think I saw any other ones after that.

I actually always loved that livery. I thought it looked really smart. I agree that it I didn’t age well due to neglect on United’s part, but it was something special. I just love the level of detail it has: the small organge, red, and blue bands that separate the gray from the dark blue are a subtle yet brilliant call back to the previous livery. I love the little “Worldwide Service” titles too, and the alternating blue shades on the tail.

It’s a very 90’s design, but I think it worked really well. Compare it the Continental livery, and I think it shows how much thought was put into the battleship one. I would say it’s akin to the Northwest “Bowling Shoe” scheme as each of them have so many unique pieces.
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:56 pm

Mixed feelings here, like other posters said, I like how they incorporated the 'tulip' and the 'sunset' colour gradation from the saul bass livery, didn't mind the grey either but the font was horrible, characterless 'times romanesque' and "airlines" was not needed, we always just knew it as United.
 
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:59 pm

xxcr wrote:
I did not like that livery at all. It was dull, had no taste, and looked terrible after a few years.

I loved this livery. When I think of United Airlines, I think of these colours. I remember boarding my very first United Airlines flight at Schiphol Airport in February 2000. It was also my first 777 flight. I really liked the words "Worldwide Service" on the fuselage. And I still remember what the purser said: "Welcome aboard United flight 947, nonstop service to Washington."
 
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:18 pm

honestly, I had an appreciation for all of United's liveries. Battleship to me just made it seem like all of the airplanes were important and the people on them were important. It's like an aircraft wearing a business suit! The blue united livery that came after was okay too.

Anything is better than the currently "United" livery though. It's dated, ugly, and bland. Their entire branding honestly is just so bad.
 
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:27 pm

Veigar wrote:
Anything is better than the currently "United" livery though. It's dated, ugly, and bland. Their entire branding honestly is just so bad.


It may be a broken record by now, but the CO branding just needs to go away. Its almost 30 years old, was never engaging to begin with, and continues to serve as a divisive symbol for two airlines that just don’t want to combine. No matter how many Polaris seats you have or how many times you can shoehorn Rhapsody in Blue into commercials, until they get rid of the CO branding it will always come across as an indecisive and apathetic mule of a carrier.
 
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intotheair
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:41 pm

rph99 wrote:
Unpopular opinion I’m sure....but I loved this livery. Being born in 1992 and growing up in Denver, it’s just the United I remember. Back when they had happy meals for kids on board!

I remember getting to fly in 747 once, it was a domestic flight....Denver to Orlando but I think we connected somewhere because I don’t think United ran 747s on DEN-MCO.


Funny you should say that. I was also born in 1992 and grew up in Denver. I'd beg my dad to drive me out to DIA on weekends so we could go out to the concourses and watch the planes. I loved UA, though as a kid I always thought the grey looked so boring. I felt the same way about whenever I'd see the old BA livery, which, I don't think it's a coincidence how similar those two are.

By the time the CO look took over, I started to appreciate the old battleship look. It reminded me of those times back when UA was a big badass business airline. I guess UA is back to being that again to some degree, though the UA of the late 90s was quite a beast. Flying C in the upper deck on a battleship 747 to Asia was an experience I'll never forget.
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:49 pm

rph99 wrote:
Unpopular opinion I’m sure....but I loved this livery. Being born in 1992 and growing up in Denver, it’s just the United I remember. Back when they had happy meals for kids on board!

I remember getting to fly in 747 once, it was a domestic flight....Denver to Orlando but I think we connected somewhere because I don’t think United ran 747s on DEN-MCO.


I can relate! Growing up in Denver in the 90's and 00's as well, there is a nostalgic element to it. Flying United all those years is part of what got me into aviation.
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:55 pm

fry530 wrote:
rph99 wrote:
Unpopular opinion I’m sure....but I loved this livery. Being born in 1992 and growing up in Denver, it’s just the United I remember. Back when they had happy meals for kids on board!

I remember getting to fly in 747 once, it was a domestic flight....Denver to Orlando but I think we connected somewhere because I don’t think United ran 747s on DEN-MCO.


I can relate! Growing up in Denver in the 90's and 00's as well, there is a nostalgic element to it. Flying United all those years is part of what got me into aviation.



Battleship gray! Loved it. I also flew domestic 744 flights DEN-LAX back in early 2000 on numerous occasions.
 
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:58 pm

Nice font! Current liveries should learn from it!
 
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:00 pm

ACCS300 wrote:
Mixed feelings here, like other posters said, I like how they incorporated the 'tulip' and the 'sunset' colour gradation from the saul bass livery, didn't mind the grey either but the font was horrible, characterless 'times romanesque' and "airlines" was not needed, we always just knew it as United.


The font was of its time. Don't forget that CO, DL, NW and I'm sure a few others also had serif fonts on their livery then too.
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:02 pm

M564038 wrote:
Nice font! Current liveries should learn from it!

Learn how to look hopelessly dated with “90’s business” styling?

I like the battleship livery (when it was freshly painted and clean), but the font used is a definite product of the livery’s time, it has not aged well.
 
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:04 pm

nry wrote:
ACCS300 wrote:
Mixed feelings here, like other posters said, I like how they incorporated the 'tulip' and the 'sunset' colour gradation from the saul bass livery, didn't mind the grey either but the font was horrible, characterless 'times romanesque' and "airlines" was not needed, we always just knew it as United.


The font was of its time. Don't forget that CO, DL, NW and I'm sure a few others also had serif fonts on their livery then too.


"Delta Air Lines" read on fuselages.... "Delta" in darker color font and "Air Lines" in lighter color font
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Polot
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:08 pm

September11 wrote:
nry wrote:
ACCS300 wrote:
Mixed feelings here, like other posters said, I like how they incorporated the 'tulip' and the 'sunset' colour gradation from the saul bass livery, didn't mind the grey either but the font was horrible, characterless 'times romanesque' and "airlines" was not needed, we always just knew it as United.


The font was of its time. Don't forget that CO, DL, NW and I'm sure a few others also had serif fonts on their livery then too.


"Delta Air Lines" read on fuselages.... "Delta" in darker color font and "Air Lines" in lighter color font

Font and inclusion or exclusion of “Air Lines”/“Airlines” are two different things.
 
F27500
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:29 pm

.. Not soon enough. It was hideous.
 
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:05 pm

Was there ever a point when United had planes in "Battleship Grey", "Shades of Blue", and "Borrowing Continental's Forever" schemes? I know there's crossover between two, but did it happen with three?

And how quick did United get rid of the 70's/80's classic orange/red/blue scheme? Seems to me like when battleship grey made its appearance it was almost immediate...
 
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:14 pm

I know for certain I was on a B727-200 in battleship but I also have a vague notion of flying on a B737-200 in battleship colors. Would that have even been possible? I liked the scheme, BTW
 
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:23 pm

RJNUT wrote:
I know for certain I was on a B727-200 in battleship but I also have a vague notion of flying on a B737-200 in battleship colors. Would that have even been possible? I liked the scheme, BTW


Yes. There are two of them here:

 
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:39 pm

PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
Was there ever a point when United had planes in "Battleship Grey", "Shades of Blue", and "Borrowing Continental's Forever" schemes? I know there's crossover between two, but did it happen with three?


There was. The new UA/CO livery began in 2011 and battleship wasn't completely gone until early 2012.
 
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:50 pm

DarthLobster wrote:
Veigar wrote:
Anything is better than the currently "United" livery though. It's dated, ugly, and bland. Their entire branding honestly is just so bad.


It may be a broken record by now, but the CO branding just needs to go away. Its almost 30 years old, was never engaging to begin with, and continues to serve as a divisive symbol for two airlines that just don’t want to combine. No matter how many Polaris seats you have or how many times you can shoehorn Rhapsody in Blue into commercials, until they get rid of the CO branding it will always come across as an indecisive and apathetic mule of a carrier.


Agreed. When I knew nothing of aviation a couple years ago, I assumed that UA's current livery was ancient, like 15-20 years old. Only later did I find out it was just a few years old. The colours are fine, but the globe symbolism just smacks of 1990s image art pasted in from WordPerfect. Few liveries strike the same combination of fussy and generic (most are one or the other).

The gunship grey livery was at least contemporary, even brave.
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gunsontheroof
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:00 am

I've still never flown UA, but they've never really had a livery I didn't like. I'm not crazy about the current one, but I was fine with it as the CO livery--just wish they'd have picked something new post-merger. I remember the transaction from Saul Bass to the battleship being the first time I was really aware that airlines don't keep the same livery forever. There was a good mix of both for much of the mid 90s when I'd go to SEA back then.

*Hot take* the older jets (727, DC-10) looked strangely cool in this livery.
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gunsontheroof
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:00 am

I've still never flown UA, but they've never really had a livery I didn't like. I'm not crazy about the current one, but I was fine with it as the CO livery--just wish they'd have picked something new post-merger. I remember the transaction from Saul Bass to the battleship being the first time I was really aware that airlines don't keep the same livery forever. There was a good mix of both for much of the mid 90s when I'd go to SEA back then.

*Hot take* the older jets (727, DC-10) looked strangely cool in this livery.
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Bald1983
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:43 am

DarthLobster wrote:
Veigar wrote:
Anything is better than the currently "United" livery though. It's dated, ugly, and bland. Their entire branding honestly is just so bad.


It may be a broken record by now, but the CO branding just needs to go away. Its almost 30 years old, was never engaging to begin with, and continues to serve as a divisive symbol for two airlines that just don’t want to combine. No matter how many Polaris seats you have or how many times you can shoehorn Rhapsody in Blue into commercials, until they get rid of the CO branding it will always come across as an indecisive and apathetic mule of a carrier.


I got over the disappearance of the name "Continental" and you can get over the loss of your precious tulip. The idea was to show that it was a merger of "equals" and elements of both carriers went into the new company. It also made economic sense in that the old UAL was really, since it came out of bankruptcy, just looking to be merged. Its airplanes had different liveries while Continental just had one. I think the real issue with the "BRING BACK THE TULIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" crowd is they resented actually having to see their airline change. At this juncture, particularly with Smizek gone, the company is making great strides, making a lot of money, and its product is turning into something of quality. You say the carriers did not want to merge; you may be part right in that people for some reason, value an airline brand differently then they would a grocery store. However, in the end, people are looking for an airline to get them from point A to point B with bags and on time. People do not shop airlines for liveries; they shop to get the best fare with the best service that their money can buy. It is only the strange among various blogs that are needing therapy over the loss of the tulip or the name Continental.
 
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:43 am

The battleship gray looked great when it was first painted but it did not age well once it started fading. UA tended to let the planes go far too long between repaints and the result was a fleet that did not put UA in a good light.
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:51 am

intotheair wrote:
rph99 wrote:
Unpopular opinion I’m sure....but I loved this livery. Being born in 1992 and growing up in Denver, it’s just the United I remember. Back when they had happy meals for kids on board!

I remember getting to fly in 747 once, it was a domestic flight....Denver to Orlando but I think we connected somewhere because I don’t think United ran 747s on DEN-MCO.


Funny you should say that. I was also born in 1992 and grew up in Denver. I'd beg my dad to drive me out to DIA on weekends so we could go out to the concourses and watch the planes. I loved UA, though as a kid I always thought the grey looked so boring. I felt the same way about whenever I'd see the old BA livery, which, I don't think it's a coincidence how similar those two are.

By the time the CO look took over, I started to appreciate the old battleship look. It reminded me of those times back when UA was a big badass business airline. I guess UA is back to being that again to some degree, though the UA of the late 90s was quite a beast. Flying C in the upper deck on a battleship 747 to Asia was an experience I'll never forget.


Continental never "took over." The airlines merged and parts of the old carriers were incorporated into the new. From a customer stand point, there were several plusses. Customers on Continental had better options in the western United States. United was all but shut out of New York until it merged with the very strong Continental presence in Newark. Continental had a very strong European presence. There were more mid continent like Denver, Chicago, and Houston. Continental had a lot of orders for new aircraft, including the 787, whereas United had almost no orders for nearly two decades. United had great presence in the Pacific as well. The issues were, in my very uneducated view was Mr. Smizek's group looked more at deal making then running a quality operation and Mr. Munoz seems to understand that making a product people actually want to buy increases revenues. In short, the current United has things from the old Continental and the old United and seem to be making headway. Time to stop lamenting the name Continental and the tulip.
 
Bald1983
Posts: 622
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:04 pm

Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:52 am

fraspotter wrote:
The battleship gray looked great when it was first painted but it did not age well once it started fading. UA tended to let the planes go far too long between repaints and the result was a fleet that did not put UA in a good light.


United, in its later years, put little effort and money in refurbishing its brand. It had different liveries and the planes' appearance was not maintained.
 
EChid
Posts: 538
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:00 am

Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:53 am

Bald1983 wrote:
DarthLobster wrote:
Veigar wrote:
Anything is better than the currently "United" livery though. It's dated, ugly, and bland. Their entire branding honestly is just so bad.


It may be a broken record by now, but the CO branding just needs to go away. Its almost 30 years old, was never engaging to begin with, and continues to serve as a divisive symbol for two airlines that just don’t want to combine. No matter how many Polaris seats you have or how many times you can shoehorn Rhapsody in Blue into commercials, until they get rid of the CO branding it will always come across as an indecisive and apathetic mule of a carrier.


I got over the disappearance of the name "Continental" and you can get over the loss of your precious tulip.

Do people actually miss the tulip that much? Brands move on, it's fine. I think we're at a point though where United just needs to do an image reinvention that loses both old CO and old UA behind. It just dredges up old differences now and leaves the brand feeling tired.
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Bald1983
Posts: 622
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:04 pm

Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:58 am

EChid wrote:
Bald1983 wrote:
DarthLobster wrote:

It may be a broken record by now, but the CO branding just needs to go away. Its almost 30 years old, was never engaging to begin with, and continues to serve as a divisive symbol for two airlines that just don’t want to combine. No matter how many Polaris seats you have or how many times you can shoehorn Rhapsody in Blue into commercials, until they get rid of the CO branding it will always come across as an indecisive and apathetic mule of a carrier.


I got over the disappearance of the name "Continental" and you can get over the loss of your precious tulip.

Do people actually miss the tulip that much? Brands move on, it's fine. I think we're at a point though where United just needs to do an image reinvention that loses both old CO and old UA behind. It just dredges up old differences now and leaves the brand feeling tired.


I believe the airline with the 787 and the Max planes are changing it up a little. In the end, people buying tickets are not going to care. I would rather see United put their money into the actual product.
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
Posts: 764
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Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:11 am

777PHX wrote:
PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
Was there ever a point when United had planes in "Battleship Grey", "Shades of Blue", and "Borrowing Continental's Forever" schemes? I know there's crossover between two, but did it happen with three?


There was. The new UA/CO livery began in 2011 and battleship wasn't completely gone until early 2012.


Thank you! I thought I remembered my Hawai'i trip in 2011 on UA SAN-LAX-HNL-SFO-SAN CR9/767/777/757 being on three different schemes - the CR9 and 757 were the all-blue, the 777 was a Continental bird, as it was my first United-in-CO-colors flight, and this confirms then that my memory is correct that N666UA was still in battleship grey at this point. I get the registry of all my planes; however, I didn't remember clearly the liveries. Thanks again for the info!!
 
BUFJACK10
Posts: 105
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2016 6:09 pm

Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:27 am

Bald1983 wrote:
intotheair wrote:
rph99 wrote:
Unpopular opinion I’m sure....but I loved this livery. Being born in 1992 and growing up in Denver, it’s just the United I remember. Back when they had happy meals for kids on board!

I remember getting to fly in 747 once, it was a domestic flight....Denver to Orlando but I think we connected somewhere because I don’t think United ran 747s on DEN-MCO.


Funny you should say that. I was also born in 1992 and grew up in Denver. I'd beg my dad to drive me out to DIA on weekends so we could go out to the concourses and watch the planes. I loved UA, though as a kid I always thought the grey looked so boring. I felt the same way about whenever I'd see the old BA livery, which, I don't think it's a coincidence how similar those two are.

By the time the CO look took over, I started to appreciate the old battleship look. It reminded me of those times back when UA was a big badass business airline. I guess UA is back to being that again to some degree, though the UA of the late 90s was quite a beast. Flying C in the upper deck on a battleship 747 to Asia was an experience I'll never forget.


Continental never "took over." The airlines merged and parts of the old carriers were incorporated into the new. From a customer stand point, there were several plusses. Customers on Continental had better options in the western United States. United was all but shut out of New York until it merged with the very strong Continental presence in Newark. Continental had a very strong European presence. There were more mid continent like Denver, Chicago, and Houston. Continental had a lot of orders for new aircraft, including the 787, whereas United had almost no orders for nearly two decades. United had great presence in the Pacific as well. The issues were, in my very uneducated view was Mr. Smizek's group looked more at deal making then running a quality operation and Mr. Munoz seems to understand that making a product people actually want to buy increases revenues. In short, the current United has things from the old Continental and the old United and seem to be making headway. Time to stop lamenting the name Continental and the tulip.


I agree with the sentiment of stopping to lament the loss of the Continental name and the United Tulip. I like both the globe and the tulip, in fact I chose United as my first flight because I loved the look of the double U's. IMO the tulip doesn't really represent what United is today and that is a truely global carrier, the globe however does. Is it time to move forward and try somehing new? Maybe, but as it stands now the globe does a good job of defining who United is today. As previously commented by other people, I loved the battleship grey when it was freshly painted, but it did not age well.
AA AK AL AQ AS B6 CO DL EA FL F9 HP KN NY MO NW PA PE PI RC QX TW UA UR US WN AF AN AO CS IB OA TR VS
A300 A319 A320 BAE146 BAC111 DC8 DC9 DC10 MD80 707 717 727 737 747 757 767 777 787 L10 F27 F28 F100 ERJ CRJ SE-210 SSC B1900 ATR42 ATR72 DH8 E120 SWM
 
VC10er
Posts: 4035
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:25 am

Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:59 am

The “Battleship Story”
A handful of people from Landor SF left to take a job at one of the world’s first internet/Digital focused agencies in NYC called “March1st”. (The agency took its name from the day it opened) They had A LOT of backers financing them. Their first office (vs starting small) was to take a small 6/7 story 1960’s, very ugly, building and fix it up to the pinnacle of retro-cool. No expense spared! I worked 1 block away at Landor NY as we were trying to figure out what impact this new thing called the “internet” would do to the branding business and what to do about it - including hiring people who had already anointed themselves “Digital Branding Experts”- and down the block was this AMAZING looking “March1st”— one of the people there had top level contacts at United. March1st being so “HOT” at the time was given an old fashioned branding project (by Wolfe I believe) CEO of UA. He said he wanted United to look like Air Force 1, powerful, stature and convey American strength.
SOOO ODD that the first big project unveiled by March1st was “Battleship” - NOTHING digital about it at all. In fact, and ironically while being a new agency reinventing a mega brand like United it sort of hurt their reputation immediately. Lots of “Ho hums” about how ordinary it was, not something that demonstrated the future power of the internet- and MASSIVE complaints from air traffic controllers who said “what moron would paint a plane the same color as the grey apron, taxiways and runways?” - “we can’t see a United aircraft in almost any weather”
The Bodoni type was meant to look a bit like AF1’s 747s.
At the time fliers who loved the Saul Bass “sunset” scheme it replaced said “it no longer looks like the ‘Friendly Skies” - admittedly the Saul Bass design was a “happy” design, and perfectly reflected the United strategic “brand” positioning.
March1st did not last long.
But had they actually created the first beautiful and fabulous and functional United.com, it would have been a MAJOR achievement.
The mistake IMHO (aside from doing something you promised the industry would be ground breaking instead of a typical branding project) was that the folks from Landor that went to March1st were NOT any of LANDOR’s AIRLINE EXPERTS!

I’m not saying I liked or hated the Battleship grey scheme- not the point of my story. But sometimes things are best left in the hands of the experts!
(Ok, I preferred Saul Bass, or Pentagram’s shades of Blue)
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
ord
Posts: 1403
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 1999 10:34 pm

Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:11 am

VC10er wrote:
The “Battleship Story”
A handful of people from Landor SF left to take a job at one of the world’s first internet/Digital focused agencies in NYC called “March1st”. (The agency took its name from the day it opened) They had A LOT of backers financing them. Their first office (vs starting small) was to take a small 6/7 story 1960’s, very ugly, building and fix it up to the pinnacle of retro-cool. No expense spared! I worked 1 block away at Landor NY as we were trying to figure out what impact this new thing called the “internet” would do to the branding business and what to do about it - including hiring people who had already anointed themselves “Digital Branding Experts”- and down the block was this AMAZING looking “March1st”— one of the people there had top level contacts at United. March1st being so “HOT” at the time was given an old fashioned branding project (by Wolfe I believe) CEO of UA. He said he wanted United to look like Air Force 1, powerful, stature and convey American strength.
SOOO ODD that the first big project unveiled by March1st was “Battleship” - NOTHING digital about it at all. In fact, and ironically while being a new agency reinventing a mega brand like United it sort of hurt their reputation immediately. Lots of “Ho hums” about how ordinary it was, not something that demonstrated the future power of the internet- and MASSIVE complaints from air traffic controllers who said “what moron would paint a plane the same color as the grey apron, taxiways and runways?” - “we can’t see a United aircraft in almost any weather”
The Bodoni type was meant to look a bit like AF1’s 747s.
At the time fliers who loved the Saul Bass “sunset” scheme it replaced said “it no longer looks like the ‘Friendly Skies” - admittedly the Saul Bass design was a “happy” design, and perfectly reflected the United strategic “brand” positioning.
March1st did not last long.
But had they actually created the first beautiful and fabulous and functional United.com, it would have been a MAJOR achievement.
The mistake IMHO (aside from doing something you promised the industry would be ground breaking instead of a typical branding project) was that the folks from Landor that went to March1st were NOT any of LANDOR’s AIRLINE EXPERTS!

I’m not saying I liked or hated the Battleship grey scheme- not the point of my story. But sometimes things are best left in the hands of the experts!
(Ok, I preferred Saul Bass, or Pentagram’s shades of Blue)


CKS Partners, which was formed in the early 1990s in California, designed the "battleship" livery. It was only after a series of mergers that CKS became MarchFirst in 2000.
 
klkla
Posts: 799
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 8:51 am

Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:38 am

The livery wasn't bad looking but gray oxidizes quickly (loses it's shine) and they looked really bad in the end.
 
questions
Posts: 1951
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:51 am

Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:46 am

VC10er wrote:
The “Battleship Story”
A handful of people from Landor SF left to take a job at one of the world’s first internet/Digital focused agencies in NYC called “March1st”. (The agency took its name from the day it opened) They had A LOT of backers financing them. Their first office (vs starting small) was to take a small 6/7 story 1960’s, very ugly, building and fix it up to the pinnacle of retro-cool. No expense spared! I worked 1 block away at Landor NY as we were trying to figure out what impact this new thing called the “internet” would do to the branding business and what to do about it - including hiring people who had already anointed themselves “Digital Branding Experts”- and down the block was this AMAZING looking “March1st”— one of the people there had top level contacts at United. March1st being so “HOT” at the time was given an old fashioned branding project (by Wolfe I believe) CEO of UA. He said he wanted United to look like Air Force 1, powerful, stature and convey American strength.
SOOO ODD that the first big project unveiled by March1st was “Battleship” - NOTHING digital about it at all. In fact, and ironically while being a new agency reinventing a mega brand like United it sort of hurt their reputation immediately. Lots of “Ho hums” about how ordinary it was, not something that demonstrated the future power of the internet- and MASSIVE complaints from air traffic controllers who said “what moron would paint a plane the same color as the grey apron, taxiways and runways?” - “we can’t see a United aircraft in almost any weather”
The Bodoni type was meant to look a bit like AF1’s 747s.
At the time fliers who loved the Saul Bass “sunset” scheme it replaced said “it no longer looks like the ‘Friendly Skies” - admittedly the Saul Bass design was a “happy” design, and perfectly reflected the United strategic “brand” positioning.
March1st did not last long.
But had they actually created the first beautiful and fabulous and functional United.com, it would have been a MAJOR achievement.
The mistake IMHO (aside from doing something you promised the industry would be ground breaking instead of a typical branding project) was that the folks from Landor that went to March1st were NOT any of LANDOR’s AIRLINE EXPERTS!

I’m not saying I liked or hated the Battleship grey scheme- not the point of my story. But sometimes things are best left in the hands of the experts!
(Ok, I preferred Saul Bass, or Pentagram’s shades of Blue)


After Wolfe left UA he went to USAir. To position USAir as a more serious international player, he renamed the airline US Airways and changed the livery — battleship gray below the stripe and dark blue above, i.e., the reverse of UA’s livery.
 
User avatar
intotheair
Posts: 1711
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 12:49 pm

Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:53 am

Bald1983 wrote:
Continental never "took over."


Slow down there. I said the CO look took over. I never said Continental as a whole took over United as a whole. I am merely talking about the merged airline's visual identity. As far as design goes, UA's current livery is the same as PMCO's with only a name change.

I actually did really like the navy and gold globe look on CO, and I really liked UA's shades of blue livery and logo. I did not like how the merged airline inelegantly combined one brand with another, and I still think it was all done for cost purposes of having to repaint fewer planes rather than picking one or another.

But! But! But! I did get over it. It is nice to have a consistent look fleetwide, and I do like how UA is different with the navy and gold compared to its more patriotic-looking competitors.

I get the sense UA is getting ready to unveil a new look in about 2-3 years. Moving forward, I'd like to see the globe reworked into a simple, more durable logo that is consistent on aircraft tails, in airport signage, and online. The globe has never been able to consistently translate well into large and small sizes, and that is more important now with so many digital applications of brand logos in any industry. UA has indicated that it is beginning to thoughtfully reexamine its visual identity, which is good.
300 319 320 321 332 333 345 346 717 733 734 735 73G 738 739 744 752 753 762 763 772 77W 788 789 CR2 CR7 CR9 Q400 E175 DC10 MD82 MD90
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slcdeltarumd11
Posts: 4365
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2004 7:30 am

Re: When Did United Fully Phase Out Battleship Grey?

Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:00 am

They got rid of the grey and went white for the same reason pretty much everyone else has.....to save money

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