Not just a plane paint job
Designers and painters take a novel approach to the 777-300ER
BY RICK ROFF
Specifically, elements of the Boeing livery go where graphics designers and painters have never gone before: under the airplane.
The familiar sweeping array of colors starts at the front belly, swings upward around the wings and finishes with each color coming together on the underside of the tail.
When Boeing asked graphic designer Jim Cameron to come up with some schemes for the new 777-300ER, it's not a coincidence that his imagination led him to the belly of the airplane.
''What we as a company decided was, well, why not?'' said Cameron. ''We wanted to show something dramatically different, that really held the airplane out there as new and exciting—because it is. There has never been an airplane like this that does what this airplane can do, and that was our inspiration.''
Inspiration came from another area as well. Cameron, a ''military brat'' whose father was a U.S. Air Force colonel, grew up attending air shows and watching the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds roar overhead.
''I remember how sleek and fast they looked, and how the paint schemes reflected that and that they were really colorful on the underside of the fuselage,'' he said. ''I've always wanted to incorporate the Boeing livery on the belly of one of our airplanes. It's what led me to start thinking about what we could do with the 777-300ER.''
Boeing for years has put its own livery on airplanes, whether launching a new model or a derivative. On the 737 ''Building on Success'' and 767-400ER ''Leading the Way'' airplanes it also used recent ''out-of-thebox'' concepts that twisted the traditionally straight red, white and blue lines.
Teague, a design firm that has worked on every Boeing model for the past 50 years, developed the final characteristics for the paint design on these airplanes and worked to ensure that each passed Boeing's trademark and branding requirements.
Marketing Director Debra Santos said the paint scheme captures the mystique of the 777 airplanes, which includes the fact that the new 777-300ER joins a family of twin-aisle airplanes that remains the fastest-selling in the world.
A map of the world displayed on both sides of the forward section shows major city pairs reachable with the 777-300ER.
''The 777-300ER continues to build on the capabilities of the 777 family, which gave way to the sweeping lines and pointto- point city pairs,'' Santos said. ''And let's face it, the airplane is unique. It's downright sexy. It blows away the competition, and we felt that the paint scheme should somehow reflect all of those aspects.''
Gary Wicks, 777 Marketing manager, said another challenge was to come up with a paint design that drew attention to the airplane, which continues to be well known for its capabilities.
''Not only is speed reflected in the lines, but we think the overall paint scheme is distinctive for this airplane, which already has a strong reputation for technology, comfort, reliability and elegance,'' Wicks said.
''You always want to have a look on an airplane that grabs people's attention,'' he said. ''At the same time, we didn't want to overwhelm the airplane, either. The scheme definitely gets across the idea that this airplane is expanding the boundaries of passenger travel.''
The Boeing paint crew admittedly had its hands full with tooling, and with painting the giant globe and the flowing stripes. But, Pat Covello, paint operations manager, said, it wasn't a problem—the painters have responded to many requests for unusual customer paint schemes throughout the years.
''It's always exciting to be part of something like this, not only because our people like to paint the traditional Boeing colors, but in this case because of the flair that this particular design adds to one of our company's airplanes,'' Covello said. ''This look is new age for us, which is exactly what the 777-300ER represents.''
The 777-300ER with its distinctive paint scheme is scheduled for first flight early in 2003.
|Contact Us | Site Map| Site Terms | Privacy | Copyright|
|© 2002 The Boeing Company. All rights reserved.|