30 May 2017

7 Coolest Aircraft Exteriors & their Stories


As pilots, sure we all know that the cockpit is pretty much what excites us. But for the spectator and passengers, the ride is what makes it exciting. Either pilot or passenger would enjoy flying one of these airplanes really quirky.

These paint jobs may have been commissioned for marketing purposes, but they might as well serve as an inspiration to paint your own private plane with the wackiest idea that you can come up with!

Who would dare to do so?

We all know, our planes are our most prized possessions ... errr ... of course, next to that watch the wife gave!

Either for marketing purposes or for your personal entertainment, any creative paint job would catch everyone's attention. So if you've been thinking about it for some time, here's a couple of inspirations to choose from.

Without further ado, here 7 of the coolest custom airplane exteriors of this decade.

1 - THE SIMPSONS by WESTERN PACIFIC AIRLINES


The popular Simpsons airplane was part of the Western Pacific Airlines'  AirLogo Program,  a flying billboard program offered by the now defunct airline. The program became so popular and well loved by passengers that the airline FOX Television commissioned to paint one of their planes their famous sitcom, The Simpsons. 

In 1995, the airline FOX paid $ 1 million to promote the show with a design from FOX's ad department in order to boost that month's Nielsen ratings. It was the most popular airlines handled the account and their legacy remains to be until today.

Western Pacific Airlines ceased operations and was liquidated in 1998. They were the first in the airline industry to promote flying billboards, known also as Logojets. Among its AirLogo Program, The Simpsons remain to be the most popular.

2 - SPORTS ILLUSTRATED by SOUTHWEST AIRLINES


Southwest Airlines airplane most controversial was the one with Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Bar Refaeli's portrait in a bikini on a Boeing 737's fuselage.

The plane was launched in March 2009, after a promotional deal with Sports Illustrated to promote the magazine's annual swimsuit issue.

The airline received much criticism from passengers who call it pornography. While it took a toll on passengers, the airplane continued to fly servicing the same usual routes.

What's your take on this paint job? Disgusting, is not it? 😂 

3 - Dita Von Teese by VIRGIN ATLANTIC



Dita Von Teese is Richard Branson's idea of an in-flight good luck charm of a decorated World War II airplane. Branson, always known for his adventurous nature, immortalized the burlesque star, with a painting of her on a  747-400 aircraft .

In June 2010, both Branson and Von Teese launched the airplane painted celebrating Virgin Atlantic's ten years flying nonstop direct flights between London and Las Vegas.

Dita Von Teese is a popular American burlesque dancer who revived burlesque performances, "putting the tease back into striptease" and was formerly married to Marilyn Manson.

4 - THE PEPSI CONCORDE by AIR FRANCE 


In 1996, Pepsi partnered with Air France repainting one of its Concorde planes. It was a big marketing campaign that the paint job was all hush hush before Pepsi's big debut.

Did you know that six Concordes can stretch to 10 inches during high-speed cruise and tend to get too hot for ordinary paint to stay put? Because of this, a Concorde requires a specially formulated high reflective white paint is required to release heat easily.

Pepsi's Sierra Delta was completed and Paris Orly Airport in Air France's maintenance facilities. It was kept with much secrecy that staff covered the aircraft with brown paper.

By the time it was done, the Pepsi Concorde flew to London's Heathrow Airport on March 31, 1996. It was to reveal Pepsi's new branding which was graced by reporters from 40 countries around the world, and presented by supermodels like Claudia Schiffer and Cindy Crawford. Tennis player Andre Agassi graced the occasion too.

With this requirement, the team behind Pepsi and Air France decided to paint the white wings, the body painted blue and applied the Pepsi logo colors on the tail.

Sierra Delta is one of the most significant aircraft in aviation history. Aside from carrying the Pepsi brand, it was also one of the last Concordes manufactured with titanium rivets to add to its lightness, making it the fastest round-the-world flights.

Today it is displayed at the Museum of Air and Space in Le Bourget, France.

5 - THE ALL BLACKS by AIR NEW ZEALAND


This paint job is the coolest we've seen yet. Talk about GOALS!

In 2010, Air New Zealand sponsored the All Blacks, New Zealand's national rugby team. If you did not know it, New Zealanders love rugby as much as you love flying. The airline painted the plane with an all black monochromatic design to match the team's Koru symbol.

Air New Zealand first picked an A320 with the same full black body color until it purchased a brand new 777-300ER in December 2011. It is considered as the world's largest aircraft ever to be painted a full black color.

Contrary to popular belief, the black paint does not attract as much heat than the aircraft's in-seat video screens.

Still, is not that the coolest paint job?

6 - IRON MAIDEN'S 'Ed Force One' 747


In 2008, the famous rock band Iron Maiden hopped on their world tour, Book Of Souls. It required a private airplane that would be able to fit the band, and stage production equipment while traveling across 35 countries.

The plane was commissioned by the band and repainted with the Iron Maiden logo. It was also nicknamed Ed Force One, taken after the band's mascot, Eddie. The tail of the plane was also painted with Eddie's features-which is pretty awesome!


And another fun trivia! The 747 was piloted by its lead singer Bruce Dickinson who is, by the way, a commercial airline pilot and aviation lovers .


7 - R2D2 by NIPPON AIRWAYS

 

No aviation lover will ever skip an all time favorite: the Star Wars series. ANA Airways knows this very well and have painted three of their airplanes with Star Wars characters.

The R2-D2 jet is a Boeing 787 Dreamliner that debuted in March 2016 taking passengers from Japan to various international destinations like Beijing, Jakarta, Munich, Paris and Sydney.

The second Star Wars "is a Boeing 777 jet painted with the BB-8 characters.


The third jet is a Boeing 767 that is a combination of both R2-D2 and BB-8.

ANA's Star Wars inspired fleet are part of a five-year promotional deal between the airline company and Walt Disney.

So how about that? Imagine your own Cessna as R2D2? Check out the seats too!


We hope you enjoyed this one, share it with your friends if you did!



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Blue Skies,
The Air Navigation Pro Team


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