USAirFLL
Topic Author
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Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:40 am

USAir Livery Early 90’s

Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:19 am

Quick question for any USAir experts.

USAir had a variety of paint schemes following the ingestion of PSA and Piedmont. This along with a few experimental schemes they did on their own. What year did they finally get all the jets into the red white blue on the polished fuselage? This would’ve been the pre Wolf era livery. It seemed to be forever as I r,ember maybe up to 5 years. An interesting time as I don’t recall any airline with so many different liveries

Thanks
 
910A
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Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2015 2:11 am

Re: USAir Livery Early 90’s

Sat Jan 19, 2019 3:03 am

How about DL, with their pre-1997 widget, the 1997 interim, 2000 colors in motion, and then the 2007 onward and upward, and throw in the NW schemes.
 
N649DL
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Re: USAir Livery Early 90’s

Sat Jan 19, 2019 3:18 am

Not that long I don't think. Probably by like 1992. Some of the last to be repainted were the ex-Piedmont 767s and the removal of the "767ER" decal on the tail.
 
shoelessjoe
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Re: USAir Livery Early 90’s

Sat Jan 19, 2019 6:03 am

I remember seeing aircraft in the basic white/blue Piedmont livery with USAir titles at DCA in July 1992.
 
steeler83
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Re: USAir Livery Early 90’s

Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:41 am

N649DL wrote:
Not that long I don't think. Probably by like 1992. Some of the last to be repainted were the ex-Piedmont 767s and the removal of the "767ER" decal on the tail.

I'd say by December of 1992. Just recently on the "airliners from the past" Facebook page, someone posted a picture dated October 10, 1992 of a 727 in the orange-red-brown livery. To me, changing the livery again in 1996/97 was silly, and it was my least favorite of all the USAir liveries. You know what's messed up? When I was flying back to PHL in 2006, we taxied around the end of "A" heading to runway 26R for our takeoff, and I saw an old Beech1900 in the red and blue livery.
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DL_Mech
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Re: USAir Livery Early 90’s

Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:54 pm

This one is dated March 1993.

This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.
 
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jsnww81
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Re: USAir Livery Early 90’s

Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:48 pm

I remember connecting in Charlotte in the summer of 1991 and seeing a hodgepodge of schemes for sure. The red-and-blue striped tail was new and I was really excited to see it, and I can recall being disappointed at how many aircraft were still in Piedmont colors with a "USAir" decal, as in the photo above.

The 1997 changeover wasn't a surprise - Stephen Wolf had a history of favoring dark schemes with very professional titles and a very formal look. Repainting into that livery from the 1989 scheme happened much faster - I'd say by 1999 (maybe 2000) just about all of the mainline fleet was repainted.
 
N649DL
Posts: 516
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Re: USAir Livery Early 90’s

Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:48 pm

steeler83 wrote:
N649DL wrote:
Not that long I don't think. Probably by like 1992. Some of the last to be repainted were the ex-Piedmont 767s and the removal of the "767ER" decal on the tail.

I'd say by December of 1992. Just recently on the "airliners from the past" Facebook page, someone posted a picture dated October 10, 1992 of a 727 in the orange-red-brown livery. To me, changing the livery again in 1996/97 was silly, and it was my least favorite of all the USAir liveries. You know what's messed up? When I was flying back to PHL in 2006, we taxied around the end of "A" heading to runway 26R for our takeoff, and I saw an old Beech1900 in the red and blue livery.


Oh yeah, those regional airplanes had the old USAir scheme for YEARS. It's like they didn't even bother trying to update them. I'm trying to remember but I recall flying US on LGA-MCO-LGA in 1999 and it was on an old ex-PSA MD-80 that might've still been in the older early 90s paint scheme but can't recall.

I actually liked the late 1990s USAIRWAYS paint scheme but it didn't age well. Lot's of paint chipping and wear down, much like the "Battleship Grey" UAL livery. Dark colors at the top of the plane are going to obviously be subject to it.

The US / AW post merger scheme was really nice though. It looked really sharp on the 757 as did the late 90s scheme on it as well.
 
CFWAD
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Re: USAir Livery Early 90’s

Sun Jan 20, 2019 1:04 am

I swear the Scott Wolf-era livery was evident around at least one DH8 and maybe some CRJs until the cusp of the 2010s.
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USAirFLL
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Re: USAir Livery Early 90’s

Sun Jan 20, 2019 2:16 am

What was the logic behind so many variations of these liveries? It seems they changed their minds in Pittsburgh half way through the merger on what corporate identity they wanted for the carrier.

From a cost perspective I would’ve stuck with painting all the aircraft into the 3 shades of rust scheme. Heck all the LUS and most of PSA were already done. Also many Piedmont birds were flying in a partial PI/US rust scheme.
 
midway7
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Re: USAir Livery Early 90’s

Sun Jan 20, 2019 1:11 pm

I may be wrong, but I think the new terminal at PIT had them look at changing the livery in the late 80's. I know they wanted to ditch the old rust belt image and likely get rid of the remaining images transferred from Allegheney a decade earlier. It seems a lot of the image rebranding and new marketing was around that 1991 - 1992 era. That new terminal was a huge game changer in their minds at the time. I thought I heard that they did not change any of the old signage at the old PIT terminal. I cannot recall for certain, but I think when I went through the old terminal in August 1992, it was three shades of rust signage all over. I do remember the roof leaks, sewer gas smell, and overcrowding. It was great, but ready to be closed.... Of course, at opening, the new terminal was completely branded in the new livery, etc.
 
USPIT10L
Posts: 1998
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Re: USAir Livery Early 90’s

Sun Jan 20, 2019 8:48 pm

The only signs US changed at Greater Pitt were at the ticket counter. All the old USAir signs at the gates remained until the demolition of the building in October 1999.
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Ionosphere
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Re: USAir Livery Early 90’s

Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:00 pm

Air Midwest had Beechcraft 1900s in the 1989 USAir Express livery until at least 2007
 
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Runway28L
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Re: USAir Livery Early 90’s

Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:37 pm

CFWAD wrote:
I swear the Scott Wolf-era livery was evident around at least one DH8 and maybe some CRJs until the cusp of the 2010s.

I flew PIT-PHL on an A319 in 2009 which still had the dark blue livery. I think the last few A319s and A321s weren’t repainted until 2011.

The YX (ex-MidAtlantic) E170s weren’t repainted at all until 2012 and I still remember seeing a ZW CRJ2 at DCA in dark blue in May 2012.

Three Dash 8s (N327EN, N328EN, N337EN) were never given the white livery. They just went from dark blue directly to AA colors.
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PI4EVER
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Re: USAir Livery Early 90’s

Sun Jan 20, 2019 10:01 pm

There were a variety of schemes for several years because of fleet size, new aircraft deliveries between US and PI, retirement of aircraft and the number
of airplanes required to fly the merged schedules as of August 1989 when PI was officially merged as US.
PSA was merged in 1988 and the aircraft were re-painted into the rust scheme and "stickered" with USAir beginning that year. PI in turn was receiving
new deliveries of 737-400's that appeared in an interim scheme because the company wanted a new design for the new and bigger USAir, hence the
blue/red stripe with polished metal look as the "new" airline. There had been at least five test schemes trialed before this new design was selected.
USAir was also receiving new F-100's that appeared in the old rust and new polished scheme depending on delivery dates. Throw in that the Shuttle fleet
was destinguised by a white crown and all Express aircraft also painted in white as the polished aluminum was more difficult on these various aircraft
types. The Shuttle fleet even had the "Shuttle" name added to the white crown to distinguish this special service.
It took a long time to standardize the fleet as aircraft were retired and paint became a cost item due to escalating financial losses that began in the 4th quarter
of 1989. It took a long time as well to standardize interiors just to the sheer number of aircraft.
A polished DC-9 or 737 in the "merger" blue/red stripe scheme was an attractive aircraft, but the previously painted PS and PI aircraft never looked as nice as
the always previously polished fleet of US. EA had the same dilemma. A previously painted aircraft never polished up the same as a never painted one.
The Stephen Wolf "Darth Vader" dark blue scheme was a classy and more sophisticated look to the fleet of an airline suffering from image problems, but was
difficult to maintain a nice look due to fading and lack of routine cleaning. It also introduced the A330 fleet and "Envoy Class" that elevated US to a higher level
as a large domestic and growing international airline. IATA rules at the time required a First Class, Business and Economy class on all flights.
And of course over time, we can write the book on huge financial losses, cost reductions including pay freezes, furloughs, tragic accidents and a rapid loss of
customer perception of service.
There were a lot of good US, PS and PI people who tried hard to provide good service and make this airline work. It should have been a powerhouse to compete
with AA, US and DL. It had the Northeast to Florida and a strong California market to itself and yet a combination of many factors, including the new emerging
Southwest that US was unprepared to compete with. Huge financial losses for years on end certainly took its toll on this airline, but I believe Stephen Wolf tried to re-direct US to a more successful operation, and his successors almost shut down this airline.
A favorite saying was "We continue to succeed in spite of ourselves."
And this was the US prior to the HP takeover. This has nothing to do with Douglas Parker and he was not in the picture leading up to the almost shutdown of 2005.
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