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Old 11-21-2013, 06:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default United Airlines 727s 64-80 MIA

Its well known that United had a whole series of livery variations during the late 60s and early 70s. Here I wanted to look at what we've got in 1:400 for each of the main variants focusing mainly on the 727.

Aeroclassics have recently done a fabulous job producing an interesting range of DC-8-50 series United colours highlighting several of these yet astoundingly Aeroclassics and Gemini have both never produced a 727 from this era. Only Aurora (who I think were different to AC though they used their moulds) and Jet-X have done so and I really do not like the Jet-X 727s.

1. Anyway arguably the most iconic scheme for the United 727 is the delivery colours which were unique to the type and applied to about the first 20 727s delivered. I'd love to see one of these with the shield breaking the titles and the broken gold stripe:



2. Next in about 1965 the livery became more standard. The most obvious change is to the lighter Blue paint and the new 'curve' at the nose. The small United Shield oval has been added to the lower nose and the 'United' titles have been placed further apart.



There were other small changes throughout this period and I highly recommend this Lost Schemes post for more details:
AIRLINERCAFE.COM - Forums - "LS" SPECIAL: United Airlines 727s (1964-68)

3. In 1966 the shield was removed allowing the titles to be moved forward and the doors outlined in black:



4. Around 1970 the livery was updated. The United oval from the lower front was gone and the lower Gold stripe changed to Red with "new" lower case style thin black titles used on the fuselage and tail:



5 & 6. Then around 1972 the Four Star / Friendship scheme debuted with new blue titles though some aircraft still had the thinner black titles also. The red line was much thicker on this scheme:





7. Finally in 1974 the Saul Bass scheme appeared but it'd be into the 80s before United had a uniform scheme and for most of the 70s schemes 3-7 where worn by different aircraft.



So what do we have in 1:400?

Aurora have done no3 on a 727-100 and no6 on both a 727-100 and 200
Jet-X have done no5 on both a 727-100/200 (but only a few were made and the colours are wrong) whilst they also did a Saul bass twin-set.

So the United 727 is ripe for new models which being of a major US trunkliner would surely sell well? Liveries 1,2,4 and 5 would be new whilst some Saul Bass releases would be extremely welcome.
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: United Airlines 727s 64-80 MIA

I respect the earlier schemes and do have a nice 1:200 Jet-x (or is it JC) 727-200 in that scheme (because it was like $30 ), but for me the Saul Bass scheme rocks. I had hoped that Gemini would issue their 727s in Saul Bass after they did their 1:200 version (which I have and love) - maybe they will someday?

As a teenager I had to fly from Madison, WI to Cincinnati via ORD one Friday night after school to be a groomsmen in a cousin's wedding. Such anticipation! (These were the days when I'd flown a few times and my stomach tingled with excitement before a flight - too many long hauls to Shanghai and Singapore fixed that!) There were massive diversions, our American Eagle ATR was cancelled, United loaded us onto a Saul Bass 737-222 where we (and 3 others) Sat at the gate for an hour before they loaded us onto a diverted Saul Bass 727-222 that had diverted all over the place - first to Milwaukee then Madison. A fun 20 min trip down to O'Hare where we finally arrived about 1am! I roamed the empty (except hobos in those days) airport all night but saw so many awesome planes - if only I had a good camera! I remember seeing a DC-8 taxi into a gate! So tiring (no sleep) but so fun (I hadn't flown much). A 737-222 down to Cincinnati that am, and a Brand NEW (2ND revenue flight said captain) AA Fokker 100 on the way home (do have a picture of that - plane ended up in China). Sorry for the ramble - long story short we need more Saul Bass 727s and 737-222s!

Last edited by Republic DC-9; 11-22-2013 at 12:02 AM.
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Old 11-22-2013, 12:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: United Airlines 727s 64-80 MIA

I also just realized that clearly and fondly remembering flights on Saul Bass scheme planes and 727s (and DC9-10s, and 737-200s) makes me quite OLD at 38 - seems like yesterday! But as far as I'm concerned the more classic planes and schemes the better!
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Old 11-22-2013, 12:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: United Airlines 727s 64-80 MIA

My personal opinion is that the battleship livery was United's best. It stood out among their other liveries and also that of most other airlines which were typically all white or mostly white aircraft with a few coloured lines here and there. Furthermore, the battleship livery was what I grew up seeing at SIN.
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Old 11-22-2013, 12:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: United Airlines 727s 64-80 MIA

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Originally Posted by atomicfungus View Post
My personal opinion is that the battleship livery was United's best. It stood out among their other liveries and also that of most other airlines which were typically all white or mostly white aircraft with a few coloured lines here and there. Furthermore, the battleship livery was what I grew up seeing at SIN.
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Old 11-22-2013, 01:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: United Airlines 727s 64-80 MIA

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Originally Posted by atomicfungus View Post
My personal opinion is that the battleship livery was United's best. It stood out among their other liveries and also that of most other airlines which were typically all white or mostly white aircraft with a few coloured lines here and there. Furthermore, the battleship livery was what I grew up seeing at SIN.
Have to disagree on that one. The Battleship faded awfully and the tulip was far too small on the tail. Its ok though.

I'm not sure which is my fav they have all been fine (not a fan of the current Unicon though). I like that United had such variety in the 70s though.
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Old 11-22-2013, 02:38 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: United Airlines 727s 64-80 MIA

I have to agree with Richard!!

Classic United of the 1960s & 1970s were the best, as was Saul Bass with the small titles!!!
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Old 11-22-2013, 02:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: United Airlines 727s 64-80 MIA

Quote:
My personal opinion is that the battleship livery was United's best. It stood out among their other liveries and also that of most other airlines which were typically all white or mostly white aircraft with a few coloured lines here and there.
Battleship was the livery I grew up with as well. The Rising Blue/Blue Tulip gets my vote- not only as my favorite United scheme, but one of my overall favorite liveries. Very sad to see it go in favor of the Continental livery after so short a time (despite thinking that the Continental livery is elegant itself). Always a nice sight when I spot the occasional plane that hasn't yet received the new colors.

On a side note- I vaguely remember reading not too long ago that there are a handful of Regional Jets that still retain the battleship scheme. Is that accurate?
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Old 11-22-2013, 03:45 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: United Airlines 727s 64-80 MIA

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Originally Posted by Republic DC-9 View Post
I also just realized that clearly and fondly remembering flights on Saul Bass scheme planes and 727s (and DC9-10s, and 737-200s) makes me quite OLD at 38 - seems like yesterday! But as far as I'm concerned the more classic planes and schemes the better!
If you are feeling OLD, how should I feel for having actually flown, as a child though, from LGA to DTW on #3 as above?

Quote:
Originally Posted by atomicfungus View Post
My personal opinion is that the battleship livery was United's best. It stood out among their other liveries and also that of most other airlines which were typically all white or mostly white aircraft with a few coloured lines here and there. Furthermore, the battleship livery was what I grew up seeing at SIN.
The battleship livery is one of the lowest in my preferences. It reminds me somehow of another ugly scheme - the KLM "chocolate box" of the 1960s. I am definitely in love with the Saul Bass, especially the updated version with larger titles of the end of the 80's. But have to admit that this is also probably a sentimental reason, as I used to fly a lot out of IAD at the time.

If I may add additional information to such an excellent classification as above, these should be the dates of introduction to the best of my knowledge:
  • #4 in June 1969
  • #5 in October 1972
  • #6 in November 1973
  • #7 in September 1974
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Old 11-22-2013, 04:57 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: United Airlines 727s 64-80 MIA

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Originally Posted by tonycutrella View Post
If I may add additional information to such an excellent classification as above, these should be the dates of introduction to the best of my knowledge:
  • #4 in June 1969
  • #5 in October 1972
  • #6 in November 1973
  • #7 in September 1974
Excellent thanks. Where did you get your information from?
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Old 11-22-2013, 07:34 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: United Airlines 727s 64-80 MIA

[QUOTE=tonycutrella;1068831]If you are feeling OLD, how should I feel for having actually flown, as a child though, from LGA to DTW on #3 as above?

You should feel AWESOME - and you probably actually remember seeing a Braniff Flying Colors scheme in action!
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Old 11-26-2013, 10:54 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: United Airlines 727s 64-80 MIA

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Excellent thanks. Where did you get your information from?
From mixing and matching data on the net with my books, magazines, timetables and, of course, personal knowledge.

Actually I have done further searching and I have some doubts that the date indicated about #5 is 100% correct. Maybe we can discuss and exchange info via PM without taking unnecessary space on the forum.
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:06 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: United Airlines 727s 64-80 MIA

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Originally Posted by Republic DC-9 View Post
You should feel AWESOME - and you probably actually remember seeing a Braniff Flying Colors scheme in action!
INDEED!

It was a long long time ago and honestly can't tell if it was the same day, but I still have memory of a dark blue jellybean Braniff 727 taxing near to the plane I was going to board with family!

But the best was to spot the Calder DC-8-62 in GIG years later. Absolutely gorgeous!
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Old 11-26-2013, 04:33 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: United Airlines 727s 64-80 MIA

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Originally Posted by tonycutrella View Post
From mixing and matching data on the net with my books, magazines, timetables and, of course, personal knowledge.

Actually I have done further searching and I have some doubts that the date indicated about #5 is 100% correct. Maybe we can discuss and exchange info via PM without taking unnecessary space on the forum.
That's what the forum's for - it could do with some more interesting debates! Actually I had assumed that 5 and 6 were rolled out together and 5 resulted from just adding the stars to the existing titles of 4 but looking at it that clearly can't be the case.
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Old 11-26-2013, 05:29 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: United Airlines 727s 64-80 MIA

Quote:
Originally Posted by RStretton View Post
Its well known that United had a whole series of livery variations during the late 60s and early 70s. Here I wanted to look at what we've got in 1:400 for each of the main variants focusing mainly on the 727.

Aeroclassics have recently done a fabulous job producing an interesting range of DC-8-50 series United colours highlighting several of these yet astoundingly Aeroclassics and Gemini have both never produced a 727 from this era. Only Aurora (who I think were different to AC though they used their moulds) and Jet-X have done so and I really do not like the Jet-X 727s.

1. Anyway arguably the most iconic scheme for the United 727 is the delivery colours which were unique to the type and applied to about the first 20 727s delivered. I'd love to see one of these with the shield breaking the titles and the broken gold stripe:



2. Next in about 1965 the livery became more standard. The most obvious change is to the lighter Blue paint and the new 'curve' at the nose. The small United Shield oval has been added to the lower nose and the 'United' titles have been placed further apart.



There were other small changes throughout this period and I highly recommend this Lost Schemes post for more details:
AIRLINERCAFE.COM - Forums - "LS" SPECIAL: United Airlines 727s (1964-68)

3. In 1966 the shield was removed allowing the titles to be moved forward and the doors outlined in black:



4. Around 1970 the livery was updated. The United oval from the lower front was gone and the lower Gold stripe changed to Red with "new" lower case style thin black titles used on the fuselage and tail:



5 & 6. Then around 1972 the Four Star / Friendship scheme debuted with new blue titles though some aircraft still had the thinner black titles also. The red line was much thicker on this scheme:





7. Finally in 1974 the Saul Bass scheme appeared but it'd be into the 80s before United had a uniform scheme and for most of the 70s schemes 3-7 where worn by different aircraft.



So what do we have in 1:400?

Aurora have done no3 on a 727-100 and no6 on both a 727-100 and 200
Jet-X have done no5 on both a 727-100/200 (but only a few were made and the colours are wrong) whilst they also did a Saul bass twin-set.

So the United 727 is ripe for new models which being of a major US trunkliner would surely sell well? Liveries 1,2,4 and 5 would be new whilst some Saul Bass releases would be extremely welcome.
I just sold one of the Aurora and two of the Jet-Xs to Mike Warfel of Wafflecollectibles.com. He may still have them if anyone is interested.
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Old 11-26-2013, 07:56 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: United Airlines 727s 64-80 MIA

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I just sold one of the Aurora and two of the Jet-Xs to Mike Warfel of Wafflecollectibles.com. He may still have them if anyone is interested.
I have the Aurora stars and bars series 100 on its way from last week's collection sale - it was the inspiration for this thread. Could be one of yours
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Old 11-26-2013, 08:17 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by tonycutrella View Post
INDEED!

It was a long long time ago and honestly can't tell if it was the same day, but I still have memory of a dark blue jellybean Braniff 727 taxing near to the plane I was going to board with family!

But the best was to spot the Calder DC-8-62 in GIG years later. Absolutely gorgeous!
Oh man, that's awesome! I have the Gemini version as well as lots of photos in my books and I'll bet it was something awesome to see first hand!
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Old 12-01-2013, 06:59 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: United Airlines 727s 64-80 MIA

Here's my newly arrived Stars & Bars Aurora United 727-100 - the inspiration for the thread:

United Airlines Boeing 727-100

United Airlines Boeing 727-100

United Airlines Boeing 727-100

United Airlines Boeing 727-100
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Old 12-01-2013, 08:00 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: United Airlines 727s 64-80 MIA

Here's a 727-22 taken by me at Baltimore's Friendship airport in the late 60s. Would seem to be the third livery in Richard's sequence. Kodachrome, a tad fuzzy. Later, Doug

Last edited by doug seeley; 09-07-2015 at 07:29 AM.
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Old 12-02-2013, 01:16 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: United Airlines 727s 64-80 MIA

Richard,

I don't think the "mainliner" scheme deserves the term "iconic" as much as "Fly the Friendly Skies" had earned for United. Your base research looks fine but pitching these schemes to the manufactures is like applying for new routes to the CAB; you won't get an answer and your application will be rendered stale after X number of years. This was so true for United because while the CAB was helping small airlines like Continental grow, United was left bone dry for 20 years. This is why United split from the major trunks in favor of some form of deregulation in the early '70s. That was behind the scenes.

As for the paying middle class customer, those were probably some of the best of times in service quality when there was no hiccup like a union strike.

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Old 12-02-2013, 05:24 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Richard,

Your base research looks fine but pitching these schemes to the manufactures is like applying for new routes to the CAB; you won't get an answer and your application will be rendered stale after X number of years.
You're probably right but it keeps me interested and Andrew did read it at least!
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Old 12-02-2013, 12:59 PM   #22 (permalink)
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It could be!
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