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dennypayne
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Southwest Desert Gold Color Change 1980's

Tue Oct 22, 2019 3:31 pm

I found a few old threads which mention a change in the main color of the original Southwest Desert Gold color scheme, from a 'pea green' to more of a brown/gold, but most of them veered off into discussion about the Canyon Blue livery without detailing what precipitated this change to the Desert Gold livery itself.

This shot shows the difference with the radome in the new version.



Can anyone shed more light on when/why this change occurred?
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bob75013
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Re: Southwest Desert Gold Color Change 1980's

Tue Oct 22, 2019 3:41 pm

Since I've been flying WN since 1978, my recollection is that planes looked like the one in our pic until the canyon blue colors scheme emerged.
 
jetmatt777
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Re: Southwest Desert Gold Color Change 1980's

Tue Oct 22, 2019 3:46 pm

I may be wrong, but I vaguely remember reading an article in a magazine 10-15 years ago that the original color was chosen because they wanted a cheap color and that was what the supplier offered. They did later refine the color to a more reflective, brown/orange color.
 
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LotsaRunway
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Re: Southwest Desert Gold Color Change 1980's

Tue Oct 22, 2019 4:13 pm

Someone may know better, but I think the only true change towards a gold was/still is the retro paint jobs still flying. They are definitely more gold than the historical color. I also recall some older aircraft having more of a pea green, but I think they were exceptions in the fleet.
 
JFKPurser
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Re: Southwest Desert Gold Color Change 1980's

Tue Oct 22, 2019 4:45 pm

My understanding has always been that Braniff was ordered by a court to provide WN a certain amount of aircraft paint as part of the anti-trust lawsuit they lost against WN during WN’s inception. The original WN tone was BN’s original OCHRE shade. Apparently it was left up to Braniff to decide what paint they wanted to forfeit. So Braniff gave Southwest orange, ochre and red from their inventory.

See this photo link to a BN 707-327C in an ochre shade that matches the original WN fuselage hue:

https://www.airteamimages.com/boeing-70 ... large.html
 
Cody
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Re: Southwest Desert Gold Color Change 1980's

Tue Oct 22, 2019 4:50 pm

I know what you are referring to. The original 737s had the orange and red trim, but the main color was sort of a desert brown. Around 1979, the desert brown sort of took on a pea-greenish, caterpillar gut hue. This pea-greenish hue is displayed well on the very first 727-200 delivered to the company. I have a picture of a slew of 737s sitting around the terminal at DAL and you can definitely see a difference among some if the airplanes.

If I remember correctly, the late 80s brought in a slightly different shade than the original desert brown and the later pea-green. The new airplanes seemed to take on a hint of mustard yellow and that became the shade that would remain until they became desert blue.

To make things even more confusing, the second batch of 727's were almost a copper color.

I have no idea why there were so many variations in the desert brown and honestly it may be the lighting in the photos, but if I could wager a guess it may be something as simple as a different paint vendor.

I remember many years ago when USAir became US AIRWAYS, Chautauqua had a SAAB that was purple instead of navy blue. That particular plane, N152CQ, had some sort of paint that was applied that had been generated incorrectly.
 
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dennypayne
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Re: Southwest Desert Gold Color Change 1980's

Tue Oct 22, 2019 4:50 pm

LotsaRunway wrote:
Someone may know better, but I think the only true change towards a gold was/still is the retro paint jobs still flying. They are definitely more gold than the historical color. I also recall some older aircraft having more of a pea green, but I think they were exceptions in the fleet.


Well the picture is from 1987, well before any 'retro' versions were conceived, but look closely at the radome. The orange is the same but the brown (both on the radome and the strip at the top of the tail) is quite different. I don't think either shade actually qualifies as full-on 'gold' - which the 3 retros definitely are. And as I mentioned, other threads spoke about a change in the 1980's but did not detail why it occurred.

Also compare N63SW in 1983 vs 1987 - I don't think that's all just lighting differences.

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dennypayne
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Re: Southwest Desert Gold Color Change 1980's

Tue Oct 22, 2019 4:53 pm

JFKPurser wrote:
My understanding has always been that Braniff was ordered by a court to provide WN a certain amount of aircraft paint as part of the anti-trust lawsuit they lost against WN during WN’s inception. The original WN tone was BN’s original OCHRE shade. Apparently it was left up to Braniff to decide what paint they wanted to forfeit. So Braniff gave Southwest orange, ochre and red from their inventory.

See this photo link to a BN 707-327C in an ochre shade that matches the original WN fuselage hue:

https://www.airteamimages.com/boeing-70 ... large.html


Fascinating, and yes that 707 does look like it matches the earlier WN shade.
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tomaheath
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Re: Southwest Desert Gold Color Change 1980's

Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:37 pm

Is there any ramp equipment still gold?
 
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N776AU
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Re: Southwest Desert Gold Color Change 1980's

Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:09 am

tomaheath wrote:
Is there any ramp equipment still gold?

Saw this when I was changing planes in STL last summer. Couldn't believe anything in those colors still existed.
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WN732
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Re: Southwest Desert Gold Color Change 1980's

Wed Oct 23, 2019 5:37 am

tomaheath wrote:
Is there any ramp equipment still gold?


Yes just go to the really old WN stations. LAX especially.
 
kabq737
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Re: Southwest Desert Gold Color Change 1980's

Wed Oct 23, 2019 5:45 am

tomaheath wrote:
Is there any ramp equipment still gold?

Last I saw a lot of the stuff at ABQ is gold.
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dennypayne
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Re: Southwest Desert Gold Color Change 1980's

Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:39 pm

Cody wrote:
I know what you are referring to. The original 737s had the orange and red trim, but the main color was sort of a desert brown. Around 1979, the desert brown sort of took on a pea-greenish, caterpillar gut hue. This pea-greenish hue is displayed well on the very first 727-200 delivered to the company. I have a picture of a slew of 737s sitting around the terminal at DAL and you can definitely see a difference among some if the airplanes.

If I remember correctly, the late 80s brought in a slightly different shade than the original desert brown and the later pea-green. The new airplanes seemed to take on a hint of mustard yellow and that became the shade that would remain until they became desert blue.

To make things even more confusing, the second batch of 727's were almost a copper color.

I have no idea why there were so many variations in the desert brown and honestly it may be the lighting in the photos, but if I could wager a guess it may be something as simple as a different paint vendor.


Seems likely that it may be just as simple as that, a different vendor. Although I think the pea-green was the earlier variety based on the dates of photos I've gone through (and that matches what JFKPurser mentioned about BN giving them their ochre paint). I'm not finding any photos of 737-300's or -500's in the pea green at all. It seems to be evident on -200's only. However, here is a 1987 photo of a -300 with a pea-green radome - essentially the opposite of the photo in my OP. I'm guessing the radomes were interchangeable between -200's and -300's?

Anyone else have any hard data on when/how the switch from pea-green to brown/gold occurred?

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