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Old 04-04-2020, 05:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Squashed Eggs

Today I discovered some more information about American Airlines’ Astrojet livery, which inspired me to take a couple of group shots. AA was inspired to rename its aircraft Astrojets by the advertising agency Doyle Dane Bernbach. The same agency had at the time recently turned the Volkswagen Beetle from an ugly German car into a cult counter-culture classic.

The Convair 990s were the first aircraft in the fleet to be called Astrojets rather than Flagships, but this was prior to the adoption of the new livery. In fact, the new American Airlines logo was adopted in advertising material well before the livery was changed.

The new logo placed the double A above American titles with the Eagle between the AA, and all of this inside a white ellipse with red rim. It was a rather full-on design. This new emblem could be seen on timetables and posters from 1962 but always in combination with the former Jet Flagship scheme.

American Airlines Astrojet Livery by rstretton, on Flickr

It wasn’t until the delivery of the first 727-023 in January 1964 that the full new livery and logo were put on the actual aircraft. The new ellipse logo was placed on the tail and the lightning bolt on the fuselage modified to a pointed end. The titles were also streamlined. The new colours were officially international orange and astrojet blue.

Apparently one of the reasons C.R. Smith was ok with all the changes was that his brother Bill had joined AA as director of corporate design. He sought the advice of the design firm Visual Marketing Inc. and their opinion was that American had too many variations in visual identification. This is what led to the adoption of the new logo as the main livery feature and the retirement of the previous orange markings.

It doesn’t seem like the livery was particularly well liked and apparently some employees referred to it as “the squashed egg”. Within less than four years American would be looking for a new visual identity and of course the next one would stick.

American Airlines Astrojet Livery by rstretton, on Flickr

In terms of models what I am obviously missing is the Boeing 720. Dragon made a 707-100 but it's metal magic fuselage stands out unfavourably.

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Old 04-04-2020, 11:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Squashed Eggs

I've long thought thought this livery is attractive. But it is very much of its period, for lack of a better phrase. I can see why the airline moved on.

The greatest need in 1:400: Reissues of Major Passenger-Carrier 747 Classics: -100/200, -300, and SP, of NG / Aeroclassics / Big Bird Mk. 1 quality. Examples: American; United Blue-Star, Bass; TWA double globe, double stripe; Pan Am delivery; British Airways Negus, Landor; KLM 70's-80's blue top; Air France 70's-80's; Lufthansa 70's-80's; Aer Lingus delivery; Sabena 80's circle-s; Japan Air Lines 70's-80s; All Nippon 70's; and Qantas 70's-80's.

Last edited by BWI-ROCman; 04-04-2020 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 04-04-2020, 12:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Squashed Eggs

Way cool livery... When I was a teenager and just gaining interest in airliners, this livery appeared, and I loved it. The streamlined titles were unique, and the overall balance of the livery seemed perfect. Nice collection, Richard.

The added 727-100 Astrojet photo is mine taken at Washington National sometime in the 1960s, and where, as I said before, you could get comfortable close to planes. What's not to like with that livery? Doug
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Last edited by doug seeley; 04-05-2020 at 06:53 AM.
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Old 04-04-2020, 01:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Squashed Eggs

I only have the Bac-111 in these colors.
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Old 04-04-2020, 04:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Squashed Eggs

I can’t even imagine cruising along routinely at 650mph in the Convair.
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