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Venturing into the land of the Dutch...KLM ROYAL DUTCH, that is...


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Fifteen strong, and still rollin' along!

Quick recap of the first fourteen:

American Airlines

United Airlines

Northwest Airlines

US Airways

Delta Air Lines

Southwest Airlines

Midwest Airlines

Continental Airlines

AirTran Airways

America West Airlines


Air Canada

JetBlue Airways

Independence Air

And now, as promised, the AFLCS ventures acorss that big pond to the right of the contiguous 48 and over into European territory. Yep, that's right--the AFL goes GLOBAL!!!

This first foray takes us straight into the municipality of Haarlemmermeer, in north Holland, where one can find the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, home base of Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij--or, for those who don't speak Dutch, Royal Aviation Company, which is how KLM (look back at the first three letters of the Dutch name) Royal Dutch Airlines got its name. The "royal" epithet was granted by Queen Wilhelmina to KLM back on the 12th day of September, in 1919, and the national airline of the Netherlands made its maiden voyage on May 17, 1920, from Amsterdam to London, making KLM Royal Dutch the world's oldest continuous airliner*. (Betcha didn't know that, now did you??? And I'll explain that asterisk in a lil' bit.)

Over the years, save for very early in its history, or at least since the advent of color photography, the basic look of KLM's livery hasn't changed much. Peep this example from the 1960's. Here's another example. Same look, with differing tail designs. (I point that out for this reason: anyone happen to notice another airline, highly popular these days--for which a concept was just recently unveiled--basically stole...that...idea from them?) From the '60s to present day, one can see KLM has maintained a pretty basic look. Appropriate for that world's longest operating carrier, huh?

So anyway--you can see what I had to work with here (at least the present-day livery, anyway)--yeah, not much. So I did the best I could to add some sort of visual appeal to what otherwise could have comprised an otherwise very dull set, but still make it fitting for a royal airline #1, and the world's oldest #2. So I went traditional with this one, save for the numbers, which are done in the same typeface KLM uses for its wordmark (well, the "Royal Dutch Airlines" part, anyway)--Helvetica. The home shirt is in light blue, just like the top portion of the airline's livery, with white pants to go with it. The dome is also white, with the crown/KLM logo on the sides. My first draft didn't include this, but I also added a light blue stripe, accented in the darker blue used for the livery's cheatline, on the helmet and pants. (The numbers, by the way, have the same treatment.) I also added the crown logo just above the rear nameplate, you know, to sorta evoke "royalty" to the name--and in this instance, the name of Queen Wilhelmina appears on the rear nameplate (the third female name to appear on my concepts!), along with "19", the year the airline was born. The crown logo is also on the front left hip. The roads are almost exactly the opposite of the homes, except I kept the white pants, for a very clean and (I believe) classy white-on-white look.

Now, as far as the 3rd/alt, I had about three different ways i could have gone with this. For those who know about KLM, you may also know that for a good long while (since 1971, to be exact), KLM and Northwest Airlines have shared a very strong alliance with each other--appropriate, since in that year KLM acquired 20% of Northwest. So I COULD HAVE done a retro Northwest retro concept here as one option. Then, since Air France now owns KLM, I could have done an Air France type throwback, too. But Air France as its own concept upcoming, so I backed off that. (Air France's takeover of KLM, by the way, is the reason for that asterisk mentioned up above. That takeover happened in 2004, creating, in essence, Air France-KLM, althouh both still operate under their separate names.) The 3rd/alt I eventually wound up going with came from the pre-60's KLM aircraft (seen here). If you look really hard on the tail, you'll see KLM's original logo, a winged crown. That's on the silver domes of the 3rd/alt, and it wasn't easy to reproduce, either. Notice the black line at the front of the tail and the red/white/blue stripes on the back half. I wanted to tr to translate that as best I could into the helmet stripe, so keep that in mind when you see it. The numbers on the white shirt are all black, as was the lettering on the white portion of the fuselage. The pants are silver, and the stripe mimics the cheatline of the fuselage--sort of. The socks repeat the same pattern as the back half of the tail. The surname you see is that of KLM's current CEO, and the number 29 represents the launch year of KLM's regular Amsterdam-Batavia service, which, before the outbreak of World War II, was to be the longest regular air link in the world.

Okay, so I've explained it enough...here's the visual.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, for the masses!


C&C...let's hear it!

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Nice. I flew in one of those ones. I love everything about everything in this concept. One thing though: is it possible to put more color on the 3rd uni?

I wanted to, originally, but in trying to keep within my parameters of design, I figured that would be the best way to make it look "old-school".

Thanks for the C&C, you two. Anyone else got anything else to say about that?

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If this is a Dutch team, does that mean that their stadium has hash bars and a red light district? :P

Seriously, these look really good, I especially like the little detail on the striping of the throwback helmet.

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