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American Airlines Rebranding


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A friend who works for AA at ORD mentioned off-hand that "the Silverbird's about to be history." She went on to say that AA is working on a rebranding and that is true. I totally missed this 'cause that article is from November 2011. Don't know how long it will be on hold.

For having been created in 1968, their look IMO remains timeless. Part of the rebranding, that being the Silverbirds (polished metal fuselage) going away, is a necessity driven by technology. We've seen "composite creep" through the years and IIRC the 727s were the last true Silverbirds because everything else since has a composite tail that has to be painted. Even the 727s had parts painted (tail engine intake, area around horizontal stabilizer).

AA has ordered the all-composite 787 so obviously you can't polish metal that isn't there. My friend says they're trying to come up with a way to do the silver look with paint. Which I hope they can, because the painted A300s looked absolutely terrible. She also said they're reworking the eagle logo and that the goal is a "blend of retro and the future." Should be interesting to see what they come up with.

727

tumblr_l5y15jeg3H1qbkwn4o1_500.jpg

Painted A300

a300aaln.jpg

Polished A300

a300amri.jpg

787

787Dreamliner.jpg

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They gotta find a way to keep the silver birds. Could they use some sort of wrap type thing like NASCAR uses? Or would that compromise aerodynamics, etc? In any case, I hope they come up with something. The silver bird is one cool looking airplane.

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Keep the silver planes, but I think they should find a way to go all-1960's vintage with the actual logo, design, uniforms, etc... I don't care if they have to rip off that awful ABC show (Trans-Air???), but something like that would be very cool in my opinion.

(FYI, I would say their current look is very early 1980s... )

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They gotta find a way to keep the silver birds. Could they use some sort of wrap type thing like NASCAR uses? Or would that compromise aerodynamics, etc? In any case, I hope they come up with something. The silver bird is one cool looking airplane.

They have techniques that can mimic chrome with just paint. I believe it's called Spectrachrome, or something like that.

Found the website for it. Cool stuff and a great look.

http://www.sprayonchrome.com/index2.html

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They gotta find a way to keep the silver birds. Could they use some sort of wrap type thing like NASCAR uses? Or would that compromise aerodynamics, etc? In any case, I hope they come up with something. The silver bird is one cool looking airplane.

They have techniques that can mimic chrome with just paint. I believe it's called Spectrachrome, or something like that.

Found the website for it. Cool stuff and a great look.

http://www.sprayonch...com/index2.html

The big question is whether it can stand up to the wear and tear an aircraft gets. Flying through rain at 200 mph and so on. Plus, for American it's never been about finding the right paint. The polished metal was a conscious choice and was as much about saving money as having a distinctive look. Water weighs 8 lbs a gallon so imagine what paint weighs, then multiply that by the amount needed to paint something as big as a 777. A mainline jet flies from 1 (international long-hauls) to maybe five (shorter domestic segments) legs a day so the fuel needed to carry around hundreds and hundreds of extra pounds on every flight adds up quickly. Regional aircraft fly even more (up to 10 or 12 legs) a day but they're smaller so that balances the cost somewhat.

Plus...they'd have to recalculate the EOW (empty operating weight) for every plane in their fleet.

BTW, forgot to mention that my friend says word within the company is that they'll return to the original name, American Airways. It was changed to American Airlines following the 1930s airmail contract debacle (those interested can read about it here). One of the terms of the resulting Air Mail Act was that companies who had previously held airmail contracts could no longer bid on them, so a number of carriers simply changed part of their name to become eligible again.

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I work at a company who manufactures and supplies parts for Airbus, having walked out my office for lunch then I just noticed on the wall right bang opposite the door... a photo of a frickin' A300 in painted AA livery. Now I can't un-notice this. I know the rebrand may happen soon but guaranteed that photo will still be there for the next 15 years. Gonna bother the hell out of me.

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