#FlashbackFriday - We Show Off Retro Airline Paint Jobs

Retro Paint

One of the reasons I love Pinterest so much is that there are so many retro airline, airport and aviation photos posted. They make my aviation geek heart sing. Airlines change their liveries to reflect changing times or to create a new identity after a merger. This week I tapped my Retro Airline Liveries Pinterest board to show off 10 iconic airline paint jobs.

  • 01 of 10
    Photo courtesy of RuthAS/Wikipedia

    This Braniff Boeing 707 jet is one painted in the carrier's iconic "jelly bean" livery. Colors used on the aircraft fleet included beige, ochre, orange, turquoise, baby blue, medium blue, lemon yellow and lavender. In total, 15 colors were used on the Dallas-based carrier's jets. 

  • 02 of 10
    Photo courtesy of Caribb/Flickr

    This is a Boeing 747, the "William Shakespear," at Montreal's Mirabel Airport in 1974. The livery reflected the carrier's transition from British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) into British Airways. BOAC was formed in 1939 from the merger of Imperial Airways and British Airways Ltd.  Parliament passed an act in 1971 to merge BOAC and British European Airways to create British Airways. The logo remained until the carrier unveiled a new livery, designed by Landor Associates, in 1984. 

  • 03 of 10
    Photo by Benet J. Wilson

    This Airbus A320 is painted in United's Friendship livery, which was used on its fleet in the 1960s and early 1970s. The paint job was chosen by its employees in 2011 to celebrate the carrier's 85th birthday. The friendship livery was replaced in 1973 by the tulip logo, designed by Saul Bass, which remained until 1993.

  • 04 of 10
    Photo courtesy of Aer Lingus

    To help celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2011, Aer Lingus added a new Airbus A320 to its fleet, painted in its old ‘Irish International’ livery, which was used in the 1960s. 

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10
    Photo courtesy of US Airways

    After Phoenix-based America West and D.C.-based US Airways merged, management decided to honor the heritage of all its precedent carriers. This is a photo of the carrier's Airbus A320 jet in the original America West livery. The carrier also had liveries for Allegheny Airlines, Pacific Southwest Airlines and Piedmont Airlines. America West, founded in 1983 in Phoenix, merged with US Airways in 2005.

  • 06 of 10
    Photo courtesy of American Airlines

    After the merger of American Airlines and US Airways, the new management team decided to keep the heritage livery program it began under the latter carrier. This is an American Airlines Boeing 737-800 in the Air Cal livery. Air Cal was formed in 1967 to provide intra-California flights because it couldn't fly outside of the state due to existing Civil Aeronautical Board regulations. It was acquired by American Airlines in 1987, nine years after U.S. airline deregulation.

  • 07 of 10
    Photo by KLM

    The Dutch flag carrier holds the record for being the longest airline continuously operating under the same name in the world, founded in 1919. In 2009, to celebrate its 90th anniversary, KLM painted one of its Boeing 737-800s from a livery it used in the 1960s.  

  • 08 of 10
    Photo courtesy of Delta Flight Museum

    This Boeing 757 sports the classic Widget livery, used by the airline between 1962 and 1997. It first appeared on Delta's Douglas DC-8 fleet in 1962. It was eventually integrated into the entire fleet by September 1968. The words "Air Lines" was eliminated for a more  streamlined look. It was replaced with the interim livery - a red and blue tail with the word "Delta" on the tail - in 1997.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    This is a Boeing 707 in the carrier's classic flying springbok on the aircraft's tail. The flying springbok has been an important symbol of the South African flag carrier since it was created in 1934. The logo went away in 1997 after the carrier took on a new aircraft livery and identity. The airline still keeps springbok as its radio callsign.

  • 10 of 10
    Photo courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines

    This McDonnell Douglas DC-10 jet from 1994 features the iconic Hawaiian native woman, named Pualani, which is Hawaiian for flower in the sky.  Aircraft in the fleet are named after birds found in Polynesia, along with Polynesian constellations used to navigate to the Hawaiian islands. In 2001, the airline unveiled a new version of the Pualani logo.

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