Moderators: jsumali2, richierich, ua900, hOMSaR

 
sdexplorer00
Topic Author
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 2:27 am

NYT-Exterior Of Jets, A Parade Of Plain Vanilla

Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:10 pm

Interesting article about the evolution of airline liveries.

Excerpt from the New York Times Online

“Airplanes have become just as bland on the outside as they are on the inside.

After decades of frenzied competition and staggering losses, domestic airlines have taken a more sober approach to the business of flying, with their first priority simply making money. And so the fancy fuselages and lively paint jobs — remember TWA’s bold red lines? — have gone the way of free meals, pillows and checked bags.

The color of choice these days is sensible white. White does not fade as fast in the sun and requires fewer touch-ups. And without the added flash of color, less paint is needed, making planes lighter and saving fuel.”


On The Exterior Of Jetliners, a Parade of Plain Vanilla

[Edited 2011-12-23 22:39:30 by SA7700]
 
DCA-ROCguy
Posts: 4207
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2000 5:03 am

RE: NYT-Exterior Of Jets, A Parade Of Plain Vanilla

Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:42 pm

Link didn't appear on your posting. NYT isn't free anymore anyway, so I'll take what you posted to be the gist of the article.

I've never seen proof that leaving planes white weighs less and saves fuel. It's all paint, right? Why would color weigh more? If weight were the issue, wouldn't everybody follow American with bare-metal fuselages? And isn't bare-metal not an option with some Airbus a/c?

Obviously color doesn't seem to be hurting KLM, Singapore, or Southwest's bottom lines. If there is additional cost, surely it must be so minimal as not to be what makes or breaks the difference of profitability. Thank Heaven for carriers such as these and Aer Lingus, Vietnam Airlines, and Air Canada that dress up their planes with color.

Apparently the fact that lots of aircraft are leased has something to do with it, too. But isn't an aircraft generally a long-term item? It's not like most leased a/c would get repainted every month or even every year.

In any event, mostly-white or Euro-white paint schemes are boring. A handful, such as the one that started it all--Air France--are tasteful. But when everyone does it, the result is bland aprons. Bring back color--big, bold cheat lines, colored fuselage tops. Make our skies beautiful again. The 70's (think CP Air) and 80's (think red-meatball Continental) are good places to start for examples.

Jim
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
ABQopsHP
Posts: 461
Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 10:47 am

RE: NYT-Exterior Of Jets, A Parade Of Plain Vanilla

Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:55 pm

Amen DCA-ROCguy. I have never been able to make the connection between white paint and colored paint weighing different. My guess it was cost's due to upkeep on the a/c in general. I love that thread about the airlines wanting Boeing and Airbus to pull as much weight out of a/c only to throw weight back on in Business class, with all the latest gadgets that a seat will have. But lets not give anyone in coach a blanket. Ok sure.

JD CRPXE
ABQ ops, Cactus 202 requesting you order 5 Green Chile Chicken stew for us to p/u on arrival. ;)
 
sxf24
Posts: 990
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 12:22 pm

RE: NYT-Exterior Of Jets, A Parade Of Plain Vanilla

Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:09 pm

Quoting DCA-ROCguy (Reply 2):
I've never seen proof that leaving planes white weighs less and saves fuel. It's all paint, right? Why would color weigh more? If weight were the issue, wouldn't everybody follow American with bare-metal fuselages? And isn't bare-metal not an option with some Airbus a/c?

Almost all liveries require a white base coat (a few have different colored bases), so color adds weight.
 
ck8msp
Posts: 77
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 2:08 am

RE: NYT-Exterior Of Jets, A Parade Of Plain Vanilla

Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:10 pm

Perhaps it is because they paint the plane white first and then add additional coats for each color? AA does save money with their aluminum scheme. That has been written about extensively.
 
cargolex
Posts: 1245
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 5:20 pm

RE: NYT-Exterior Of Jets, A Parade Of Plain Vanilla

Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:53 pm

Quoting DCA-ROCguy (Reply 2):
But isn't an aircraft generally a long-term item?

Most of them, yes. Several of Alaska's 737-400s,mostly the earliest to be delivered, have been leased since the early 90's - more than 15 years. Even some relatively short leases get leased-carrier paint jobs, like Southern Air's 777F in Thai Cargo colors. Both of the Thai Cargo 777F's were ACMI leased from Southern, though one was returned early and is now in Southern/DHL hybrid livery.

Most very short term leases don't get repainted, or only partially - like Hajj leases or earlier this year when EuroAtlantic ACMI leased a 777-200 to Air Madagascar. Air Madagascar titles were applied in a smaller font next to the EuroAtlantic titles.

The worst example of a current livery, in my opinion (and it's only an opinion) is the new Japan Airlines livery. This is a livery that literally looks like the plane is on short-term lease. There basically isn't a livery, it's just the titles in a very simple font and the crane logo on the back. This look, to me, makes JAL look like it could go under at any moment and the planes go back to the lessors, even though this isn't the case.

JAL would've been better off simply paining a modified version of the crane, in white, over the red on the existing tail.

Quoting DCA-ROCguy (Reply 2):
Thank Heaven for carriers such as these and Aer Lingus, Vietnam Airlines, and Air Canada that dress up their planes with color.

AMEN. So many liveries these days are so very, very dull. You can do a mostly white aircraft and accent it in a good way - UPS, Thai, and small canadian carrier Nolinor all use a white fuselage with a highly stylized aft fuselage and tail. These are good liveries, so you don't even need to abandon white for the majority of the aircraft...
 
AsianDude
Posts: 42
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2011 5:47 am

RE: NYT-Exterior Of Jets, A Parade Of Plain Vanilla

Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:02 am

I for one will pay extra $$$ for more legroom, better service, more frequency, meals, etc... on airplanes. That said, I really will not pay an extra $10 or $20 to fly an aircraft that is "colorful" on the outside vs. mainly white. I couldn't care less about how an aircraft looks from the inside, as I will be spending hours upon hours on the inside of it, not the outside of it. While it may look "pretty" at the gate, I don't give a rip. I love Sun Country airlines, and fly them often when in the US. But if they changed their livery to mainly all white, yet nothing else, it wouldn't affect my travel in the least.
 
BMI727
Posts: 11300
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:29 pm

RE: NYT-Exterior Of Jets, A Parade Of Plain Vanilla

Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:32 am

Quoting sdexplorer00 (Thread starter):
remember TWA’s bold red lines?
Quoting sdexplorer00 (Thread starter):
The color of choice these days is sensible white.

Did they forget that that particularly livery was mostly white?

Quoting DCA-ROCguy (Reply 2):
Why would color weigh more?

Marginally I believe. And I think more so for the metallic paints like Virgin and Northwest used.

Quoting DCA-ROCguy (Reply 2):
If weight were the issue, wouldn't everybody follow American with bare-metal fuselages?

It weighs less, but the cost is still about the same or slightly higher because of all the work and chemicals involved with maintaining it. Not to mention that ramp rash looks awful on polished fuselages.

Quoting ABQopsHP (Reply 3):
I love that thread about the airlines wanting Boeing and Airbus to pull as much weight out of a/c only to throw weight back on in Business class, with all the latest gadgets that a seat will have. But lets not give anyone in coach a blanket. Ok sure.

You need to make the distinction between weight that generates revenue and weight that doesn't generate revenue.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
ozark1
Posts: 851
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 4:38 am

RE: NYT-Exterior Of Jets, A Parade Of Plain Vanilla

Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:35 pm

Although I love the Times as a newspaper, I don't really agree with the article. I don't see much difference between now and then---other than no Braniff. I think United erred tremendously by going with the CO logo instead of making all of their planes in their latest color scheme. That white top/blue bottom and the previous gray top/blue bottom were as beautiful a scheme as I had seen in a long time. I do feel though, that American needs a change. I hope that if there is a huge protest to keep the silver polished look, they will at least change the font of the word American. It's outdated and needs refreshing. But really, how can the author compare "then" and "now" when there aren't any airlines left in the United States?!!!"
My personal all time favorites are:

1) the 1965 Braniff look when they pained their planes the first time---stunning with the black radome and area around the cockpit
2) the original Continental Golden Jet, after they had removed the red stripe and just had black and gold. So classy.
3) the Western Airlines livery that was introduced when they bought their first Boeing 720---solid cream, indian head outlined in red that continued down the sides of the plane with red stripes above,through, and below the windows. And then the fantastic stretch of the lettering: W E S T E R N

ok, maybe the author DOES have a point!!! HAHAHA!
 
User avatar
garpd
Posts: 2524
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 9:29 am

RE: NYT-Exterior Of Jets, A Parade Of Plain Vanilla

Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:42 pm

Quoting DCA-ROCguy (Reply 1):
I've never seen proof that leaving planes white weighs less and saves fuel. It's all paint, right?

Paint schemes are heavier the more colours you had.

This is how it works:

You add a primer, then one or two coats of white (depending on the paint being used) as a base coat.
After that dries, you add the first layer in one colour.
Then you add the next layer of a different colour.
And repeat untill the livery is complete.

The more colour, the more layers.
The more layers, the more paint.
The more paint, the more the overall weight.

Some paint jobs can be as heaving as 3 to 6 revenue earning seats, again, depending on aicraft and complexity.

Some airlines have taken to decals for multicoloured elements of a livery, these weight less that the miltiple layers of paint, but come with their own problems mostly centered on maintenance.

[Edited 2011-12-24 07:41:48]
arpdesign.wordpress.com
 
platinumfoota
Posts: 213
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 10:39 am

RE: NYT-Exterior Of Jets, A Parade Of Plain Vanilla

Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:39 pm

One word: U N I T E D   
Never forget United 93
 
canyonblue17
Posts: 667
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 12:22 am

RE: NYT-Exterior Of Jets, A Parade Of Plain Vanilla

Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:58 pm

At Southwest Airlines you get bright colored planes and free bags.
negative ghostrider the pattern is full
 
kl838
Posts: 178
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 6:22 am

RE: NYT-Exterior Of Jets, A Parade Of Plain Vanilla

Sat Dec 24, 2011 4:28 pm

KLM has been using blue for years, and that is highly unlikely to change. They even have a video about painting one of their 747 cargo jets. It explains how their advanced and environmentally friendly paint works.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3x53tIBBoJA

Eurowhite has no longer been limited to only Europeans as the name suggests, but as others have said it is overdone and many airlines just aren't creative with it. The worse offender by far is JAL, and Finnair's new livery is nothing but lots of white a bit of blue.

I don't think that cheat lines could make such a big difference in terms of weight or cost savings, and while no customer will pay to fly an airline because of it livery or corporate image, it doesn't mean they should be seriously lazy by slapping on titles and a logo on a white fuselage. It is just very cheap and ugly looking (JAL that means you)
 
dalfannyc
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2004 2:13 pm

RE: NYT-Exterior Of Jets, A Parade Of Plain Vanilla

Sat Dec 24, 2011 4:30 pm

Look at baseball players. In the 1970's/80's, their uniforms were flash and filled with color. It resembled the times and the styles.

Things today are a lot more simple. Sharp logos and clear designs. If you look at a tail, there is no question what it is: Delta, Lufthansa, UA/CO, etc.

Just my thoughts
 
dxing
Posts: 5859
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:14 pm

RE: NYT-Exterior Of Jets, A Parade Of Plain Vanilla

Sat Dec 24, 2011 4:59 pm

The article in the OP's link says it all:

Until government controls on prices and routes were lifted in 1978, airlines had no incentives to compete on fares and focused instead on their service and image. That was when Braniff Airways hired artists like Alexander Calder to paint its fleet in a rainbow of colors, and Pan Am turned to the Hollywood costumer Edith Head to design uniforms for its flight attendants.

That remains true today. As long as everyone is looking for the bargain basement price or the free upgrade on their ticket why should the airlines spend a lot of money on paint? In countries where the airline is subsidized or price controls are still in effect, they still have money to spend on interesting paint schemes.
Warm winds blowing, heating blue skies, a road that goes forever, I'm going to Texas!
 
DCA-ROCguy
Posts: 4207
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2000 5:03 am

RE: NYT-Exterior Of Jets, A Parade Of Plain Vanilla

Sat Dec 24, 2011 5:09 pm

Quoting AsianDude (Reply 8):
That said, I really will not pay an extra $10 or $20 to fly an aircraft that is "colorful" on the outside vs. mainly white.

A layer of paint isn't adding $10 or $20 to anyone's ticket. If it were, Southwest would fly Euro-white planes. If there is a cost, it's probably pennies per ticket, if that.

Jim

Quoting ozark1 (Reply 8):
I think United erred tremendously by going with the CO logo instead of making all of their planes in their latest color scheme. That white top/blue bottom and the previous gray top/blue bottom were as beautiful a scheme as I had seen in a long time.

  

Huge mistake. The Saul Bass stylized U, including in its "off-the-tail" final incarnation, was a classic of aviation history.

Quoting garpd (Reply 9):
Some paint jobs can be as heaving as 3 to 6 revenue earning seats, again, depending on aicraft and complexity.

That figure seems high. Can paint on a 737 or A320 possibly weigh that much? Is Southwest actually putting that kind of weight into appearance? 1-2 seats seems plausible, but 3-6?

Quoting kl838 (Reply 12):
I don't think that cheat lines could make such a big difference in terms of weight or cost savings, and while no customer will pay to fly an airline because of it livery or corporate image, it doesn't mean they should be seriously lazy by slapping on titles and a logo on a white fuselage. It is just very cheap and ugly looking (JAL that means you)

  

Think of Eastern's snazzy Ionosphere Blue cheatline. Most of the fuselage was white anyway, and the hockey stick added lots of color that didn't use a lot of real estate. EA claimed some weight savings when they announced going to bare metal, but if BMI 727 is correct, that likely had its own costs.

Jim
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
Flighty
Posts: 9963
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:07 am

RE: NYT-Exterior Of Jets, A Parade Of Plain Vanilla

Sat Dec 24, 2011 5:35 pm

Quoting AsianDude (Reply 6):
That said, I really will not pay an extra $10 or $20 to fly an aircraft that is "colorful" on the outside vs. mainly white.

Right but they will not itemize this one. The idea might be that you might purchase a ticket on an airline that you would not otherwise purchase, if a livery speaks to you in some way. Product styling is an important sales driver in various product categories. Tying up a brand with an attractive label is not such a bad idea. Especially lesser known brands, one might argue.
 
PezySPU
Posts: 281
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:27 pm

RE: NYT-Exterior Of Jets, A Parade Of Plain Vanilla

Sat Dec 24, 2011 5:43 pm

You can only imagine how small the difference between the costs of different colors is compared to white when even FR and NK have rather colorful fleets.

[Edited 2011-12-24 09:50:38]
 
User avatar
GSPFlyer
Posts: 298
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 3:15 am

RE: NYT-Exterior Of Jets, A Parade Of Plain Vanilla

Sat Dec 24, 2011 7:36 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 7):
You need to make the distinction between weight that generates revenue and weight that doesn't generate revenue.

Paint could generate revenue, if you think about the aircraft being a billboard for the airline. Also, brand recognition, like the Qantas Kangaroo.

Quoting dalfannyc (Reply 13):
Things today are a lot more simple. Sharp logos and clear designs. If you look at a tail, there is no question what it is: Delta, Lufthansa, UA/CO, etc.

I have lived next to GSP my whole life, thats 20 years. Before I was even old enough to be in school, I could sit in my yard and identify every plane that landed at the airport by it's paint scheme; United and it's "Battleship Grey," Northwest's "Bowling Shoe," the Delta Widget, and my favorite as a kid-USAir's bare-metal finish, which I could easily distinguish from American by the Tail and fuselage stripes. The only one that was mostly white was Continental.

Back in the spring, we were helping a neighbor with some yard work. Because of the prevalent wind directions, the planes normally land on the side of the airport where I live. The wind was different that day and the planes departed on this end of the runway. The runway is 11,000 feet long, so the ERJs and CRJs are pretty high up by the time they get to my neighborhood. We would look up at each plane departing, and I could barely tell what was DL, US, CO, or UA. To my parents are not at all aviation enthusiasts like me, and they couldn't tell what airline was what. Just a white regional jet with a blue tail. The only thing they could really distinguish (and I could easily distinguish) was American Eagle (fuselage stripes) and Southwest (A BLUE plane).

My point, they really aren't that easy to distinguish from any distance. Especially to the average person (I mean people who aren't pilots, flight attendants, airport/airline employees, spotters or A-nutters.)
 
VC10er
Posts: 4252
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:25 am

RE: NYT-Exterior Of Jets, A Parade Of Plain Vanilla

Sat Dec 24, 2011 7:53 pm

I think the "tulip" vs "globe" commentary is Corp BS. It was done as a comprise to keep UNITED employees and loyalists happy by keeping the name and CO employees and loyalists happy by keeping the CO livery. Pan Am used a globe (and the best one) because they were the most global. All globes after that were just unimaginative knock offs.

The UA Pentagram livery would have made a fabulous identiy for a global behemoth. And contemporary.

Still, a great article. I didn't realize some of the unusual ac some US airlines used over the years!
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
dxing
Posts: 5859
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:14 pm

RE: NYT-Exterior Of Jets, A Parade Of Plain Vanilla

Sat Dec 24, 2011 8:49 pm

Quoting GSPflyer (Reply 18):
Paint could generate revenue, if you think about the aircraft being a billboard for the airline. Also, brand recognition, like the Qantas Kangaroo.



What about the white paint being an excellent background for advertising schemes?


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Andy Martin - AirTeamImages


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © David James Clelford [Airplane-Pictures]


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Manuel Fernandez

Warm winds blowing, heating blue skies, a road that goes forever, I'm going to Texas!
 
Viscount724
Posts: 19316
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: NYT-Exterior Of Jets, A Parade Of Plain Vanilla

Sat Dec 24, 2011 9:02 pm

Quoting kl838 (Reply 12):
The worse offender by far is JAL

I don't see much difference between the JL livery and the new LX livery (not sure if any LX aircaft have yet been repainted but you can see it on their homepage), with only the SWISS name on the forward fuselage and nothing else other than the current Swiss cross on the tail, Old LX logos (the two squares) deleted from the engine nacelles. And think how much faster it must be to repaint a JL and LX aircraft with almost no need for masking and related complications with complex designs using several colours.

Quoting kl838 (Reply 12):
Eurowhite has no longer been limited to only Europeans as the name suggests, but as others have said it is overdone

One of the first carriers to use that type of livery was Seattle-based U.S. regional (then called "local service") carrier Air West (result of the 1968 merger of West Coast, Pacific and Bonanza). That livery ("Ameriwhite"?) wasn't used for long as they became Hughes Airwest in 1970 when Howard Hughes acquired the carrier and the livery became slightly more colourful, although still simple.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Bob Garrard
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © John F. Ciesla


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Aris Pappas
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Frank C. Duarte Jr.

 
PC12Fan
Posts: 2129
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 11:50 pm

RE: NYT-Exterior Of Jets, A Parade Of Plain Vanilla

Sat Dec 24, 2011 9:12 pm

Quoting sxf24 (Reply 3):
Almost all liveries require a white base coat (a few have different colored bases), so color adds weight.

Which I don't get. Someone please explain to me why you must paint the whole aircraft white for a multi colored livery when the non-white portions just could be masked off?
Just when I think you've said the stupidest thing ever, you keep talkin'!

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos