Greatest Aircraft Paints Jobs Of All Time

1 Duracell Battery Plane

Greatest Aircraft Paints Jobs Of All Time
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As you probably guessed, this C-130 Hercules plane serves as a flying billboard, if you will, for Duracell Inc. More importantly, it was used symbolically to launch Duracell’s “Power a Smile” program, in which the company teamed up with Toys for Tots to collect batteries and toys for children in need. Their aim was to see as many as 1 million batteries donated to needy kids during the 2013 holiday season.

“As a father it’s a joy to see my children’s faces light up on Christmas morning as they unwrap their gifts,” Jeff Jarrett, former Marketing Director for Duracell, said in a press release. “It’s a memorable moment that shouldn’t be spoiled because the toy is missing batteries. Through Duracell Power a Smile, we want to ensure every parent and child, no matter their circumstance, can experience that joy.”

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2 Star Wars Planes

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Japanese airline All Nippon Airways (ANA) launched its Star Wars Project in April 2015 after signing a five-year licensing contract with Disney. The result of that project was four themed jets, including three that are based on droids (R2-D2, BB-8, and C-3PO) from the Star Wars movies. The fourth, which the airline added to its fleet a little later, is the Millennium Falcon, the iconic starship in the Star Wars franchise. How awesome is that!

By the way, scheduled flights for the Star Wars jets include the U.S. cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Houston, and Washington D.C. Other cities include Brussels, Frankfurt, Ho Chi Minh City, Haneda and Narita (which are in Japan), and Hanoi (which is in Vietnam).

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3 Magic Of Disneyland

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Alaska Airlines rolled out the “Magic of Disneyland” 737 back in 2005 to celebrate Disneyland’s 50th anniversary. Tinker Bell appears on the side because she is the official hostess of the theme park.

“In the 1950s when Walt Disney shared his new theme park with television audiences across America, Tinker Bell often took the audience on aerial flights to Disneyland. Her pixie dust, filled with the power to make you fly, became the magic ingredient that could transport audiences anywhere,” Claire Bilby, former senior vice president of Disneyland sales and distribution marketing, said in a press release.

Magic of Disneyland is the second Disneyland-themed airplane born out of a partnership between Seattle-based Alaska Airlines and Disneyland Resort. The first was dubbed the “Spirit of Disneyland” and featured the faces of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, and Donald Duck. It debuted in December 2002.

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4 T-33 Mako Shark Jet

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Yeah Motor
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The T-33, also known as the T-Bird or the Silver Star, has a long history with the Canadian Forces. It is the world’s first purpose-built jet trainer and evolved from America’s first successful jet fighter, the Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star.

As for the mako shark that’s painted on this bird, it’s likely there to symbolize that this jet is super fast. The shortfin mako is the fastest known species of shark, reaching moving speeds of 31 mph, with bursts up to 46 mph. You definitely don’t want to be in the water when this creature starts circling. There’s no way you could get away in time.

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5 The Simpsons Airplane

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This Boeing 737 belonged to the now-defunct Western Pacific Airlines (WestPac). I don’t know the story behind this livery, but it’s pretty cool. Additionally, there are a number of websites where you can purchase a miniature model of this plane if you want to include it in your model plane collection.

FUN FACTS

  • In addition to The Simpsons, WestPac advertised other things on their planes as well, including casinos, hotel resorts, credit unions, and car rental companies.
  • WestPac operated a low-fare airline from its hub at the Colorado Springs Airport. It was formed in 1994 under the name Commercial Air. Its headquarters were in unincorporated El Paso County, Colorado, near Colorado Springs.
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6 Ryanair’s Santa Plane

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Yeah Motor
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“Sorry Kids, Ryanair have killed Santa.” That’s how @OverheardDublin captioned a photo of this plane on Twitter. That is too funny.

But what’s the story behind this livery? Well, according to AeroTime Hub, Irish airline Ryanair began a tradition of painting their 737s for the holiday season in 1997. It was in 2005 that the airline decided to give up the tradition altogether and decided to go out with a bang, as AeroTime Hub puts it. That’s when they painted Santa Claus on the nose of a 737-800 to make it look as if he had been hit by a speeding plane.

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7 Aerosmurf

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This has got to be a JetBlue plane, right? Nope! It actually belongs to Brussels Airlines.

The airline adorned this plane with one of its country’s most iconic characters. That’s right. The Smurfs is a Belgian comic franchise created by a cartoonist who went by the name Peyo.

The idea behind the design came from a contest submission and was created to celebrate The Smurfs‘ 60th anniversary in 2018. The design was done by Marta Mascellani and fine-tuned by Brussels Airlines’ marketing department before going onto the Airbus A320.

There are 19 Smurf characters along the plane’s fuselage, with Smurfette as the captain and Papa Smurf as the co-pilot.

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8 Magic Plane

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This Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 aircraft is Canadian airline WestJet’s first Disney-themed plane. In 2013, the airline unveiled “Magic Plane.” It features Mickey Mouse in his famous role, Sorcerer Mickey. It took 36 different paint colors to complete the paint job. The design was created by WestJet and Disney Parks & Resorts (Canada) to tell a story from tail to nose.

The interior used to feature special decals but has since been updated to reflect WestJet’s new 2×2 seating and cabin reconfiguration.

The plane performed its inaugural flight from Calgary to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and then began flying throughout WestJet’s domestic, trans-border, and international network.

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9 The Bird Plane

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Bangkok Post
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It’s a bird. It’s a plane. Well, actually, it’s both. This airplane belongs to Nok Air, an airline based in Thailand.

This isn’t the only bird plane in Nok Air’s fleet. In fact, all of their planes have birds painted on them. What’s more is that according to the airline’s website, nok means ‘birds’ in Thai. “It is a symbol of freedom, air travel and friendliness,” the airline wrote.

Unfortunately, none of us here in the U.S. can see these planes in real life because Nok Air only does flights around Asia. But if you ever fly to any of the Asian destinations on their list, you just might be able to catch a glimpse of one.

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10 The Incredibles Plane

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Alaska Airlines unveiled this special-edition airplane ahead of the release of Disney Pixar’s Incredibles 2 in 2018. The livery, which was unveiled to a crowd of over 2,000 cheering students during Aviation Day at the airlines’ Seattle hangar, is Alaska Airlines’ first livery for a Disney Pixar film.

“These characters are among the most celebrated characters in the Pixar family,” Incredibles 2 producers Nicole Grindle and John Walker said, according to an article published by WDW News Today. “After waiting 14 years to see them on the big screen again, fans will love seeing them on their Alaska Airlines plane, too.”

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11 Flying 101 Plane

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Travel + Leisure
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This one was just too funny to pass up. The “Flying 101” plane is part of the South African airline Kulula’s fleet. It’s covered with quirky messages labeling every part of the airplane.

The Flying 101 concept is part of a series of clever decals Kulula’s in-house graphic design team has come up with. For example, another plane in the airline’s fleet has a huge sign on the side of it that reads “THIS WAY UP,” with giant arrows on either side pointing upward.

According to an article published by Daily Mail, the planes are popular with passengers. “Our customers are accustomed to flying on uniquely designed aircrafts. They love it,” a spokesman for Kulula told Daily Mail. “Our aircraft livery is designed to make sure that every aircraft has its own unique Kulula personality,” he added.

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12 Pepsi Plane

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Pepsi paid Air France to repaint a Concorde in its corporate colors at a hangar in Paris back in 1996. It took over 2,000 hours and 200 liters of paint to complete the job.

The whole thing was kept quiet until the completed livery was formally unveiled in London during a PR event launching the new Pepsi brand. Afterward, the plane made a promotional tour of 10 European and Middle Eastern capital cities.

The plane was eventually retired and was sent to Le Bourget—the same airport that holds the Paris Air Show.

FUN FACT

The paint job made the plane unable to break the sound barrier for long periods. That’s because light colors—specifically, the color white—radiate and reflect heat far more effectively than darker colors.

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13 Lord Of The Rings Plane

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After debuting the Lord of the Rings livery on a Boeing 747 back in 2002, Air New Zealand dubbed itself “the official airline to Middle-earth.” The livery is the result of a marketing campaign with the movie trilogy’s producer, New Line Cinema.

The trilogy was filmed entirely in New Zealand, and the plane serves as a way for the country to capitalize off the movies’ successes.

“We want to ensure New Zealand’s identification with the film is carried to the broadest audience during this critical period,” former Air New Zealand vice-president of marketing and alliances, Ed Sims, said, according to NZ Herald.

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14 Salmon Thirty Salmon II

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Salmon is an important part of Alaska’s economy, so it makes sense the state’s airline would paint one on an airplane.

The Salmon Thirty Salmon II livery, as it’s called, is an image of a wild 129-foot-long Alaska king salmon, complete with scales on the winglets. Additionally, “Alaska” is written across the fuselage in salmon pink.

According to the airline’s website, “the 2012 design is among the world’s most intricately painted commercial airplanes and was produced in partnership with Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, which promotes wild, natural and sustainable Alaska seafood.”

FUN FACT

This isn’t the airline’s only sea-creature livery. It recently unveiled its new Boeing 737 MAX 9 livery featuring the orca whale.

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15 Dream Chaser 5

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This brightly colored rainbow plane, officially known as Dream Chaser 5, is a Learjet model 35 that, once upon a time, would take children from the Make-A-Wish Foundation on thrilling flights over their respective towns. The company had been doing these flights on different planes since 1990. Unfortunately, Dream Chaser 5 took its last flight in May 2019 and is now retired from service.

The children who were on that flight got the chance to sit in the cockpit and talk to the pilots. They each received a commemorative hat and t-shirt, and they also got to sign their names on the side of the plane. Sounds like they all had an awesome day!

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16 Toy Story Plane

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Shanghai Disney Resort teamed up with China Eastern Airlines to create this Toy Story-themed plane to celebrate the opening of Disney Pixar Toy Story Land at the resort.

But it isn’t just the outside of the plane that has a Toy Story theme. On the inside, you will find Toy Story characters on just about everything, including the tray tables, seats, overhead bins, and even the ceiling!

The plane, which flies between Shanghai and Beijing, is the third collaboration between Disney and China Eastern Airlines. Previously, there was a Mickey Mouse-themed plane to celebrate the opening of Shanghai Disney Resort in 2016.

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17 The Smoking Plane

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Unfortunately, I don’t know anything about this plane. I don’t know the official name of the livery, I don’t know what airline it’s a part of, or if it’s even part of an airline’s fleet at all. It could be a private charter plane. There are a number of possibilities. One thing’s for sure, though, and that is that the artwork on it is pretty cool.

Okay, artists, help me out here. Is the “cigar” a part of the plane that’s sticking off or is it 3D art that’s made to look like it’s protruding from the plane? I’ve seen lots of 3D images drawn on paper that looked like they were actually sticking up. Either way, the person who designed this was very creative.

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18 Frozen-Themed Plane

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Canadian airline WestJet unveiled its Frozen-themed plane back in 2015. “This aircraft takes the relationship between WestJet and Disney to a completely new level of cool,” WestJet Executive Vice-President Bob Cummings said in a press release. “It’s a truly unique and unforgettable design that Disney Fans and WestJet guests alike will enjoy for years to come,” said Marlie Morrison, managing director of the Walt Disney Company (Canada) Ltd., Parks & Resorts.

The custom paint job, which features Elsa, Anna and Olaf, took 21 days of round-the-clock work and over 170 gallons of paint to complete! There’s even a Frozen theme on the inside of the airplane, too.

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19 Amur Tiger Plane

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Russian carrier Transaero unveiled a special new livery that featured the face of an Amur tiger. The livery, which was painted on one of the airline’s long-haul Boeing 747-400 planes, served to help raise awareness of the tiger’s plight. As you probably guessed, it’s an endangered species.

The plane also was painted to promote the conservation work of the Amur Tiger Centre.

According to The Siberian Times, Transaero said that their aim was to put the plane on its most popular routes both in Russia and abroad to maximize exposure about the tiger’s plight. They had also made plans to show documentaries about the animal to passengers on board during their flight.

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20 Flying Honu

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The “Flying Honu,” an Airbus A380, was added to the Japanese airline All Nippon Airways (ANA) in May 2019, making ANA the 15th airline to operate the A380.

Designed to resemble a sea turtle, it took 16 different kinds of paint to complete the livery. Additionally, the plane’s name bears the word honu, which is a term used for sea turtles in Hawaii, this airplane’s destination. The plane marked the first time the first class was made available on ANA’s Honolulu route.

Meanwhile, the airline unveiled two additional versions—an emerald green one and an orange one—of this sea turtle airplane later that same year.

Roberta Seldon

Roberta has always had a love for words, as evidenced by her daily obsession with crossword and word search puzzles. When she's not writing, she spends her time binge watching TV crime dramas like Criminal Minds and NCIS.

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