Next in a continuing series of depictions of what the airlines of the past might look like today, The Chicken Works presents Piedmont Airlines' first 737-700, "Millenium Pacemaker"...if they were still around in their original form, that is.
Piedmont would have been a natural customer for the 737-700. They were the first of the "local service" airlines to operate the 737-200 and at one point had one of the largest 737 fleets long before 737s were synonomous with Southwest Airlines. They were also the launch customer for the 737-400, but none of the -400s were ever christened with Pacemaker titles as by that point, the merger with USAir was well underway.
As I looked through the pics of Piedmont's planes past and present trying to get some inspiration for what a modern livery might look like, I found that I really liked the old 737-200 delivery livery (also worn by some 727-100s) and thought that a modern take on that scheme might work well today.
I avoided the temptation to use too many colors as seems to be the case with a lot of airlines today. Sometimes the most elegant liveries use only one color, and I decided that a modern-day Piedmont should be no exception- I stuck with a dark blue for the majority of the livery, much as the older retro livery had used. Only the titles are in red. I find that this makes a bolder statement to use one color and these jets will stand out on any ramp.
Is there a name for the Piedmont logo? Whatever it's called, it's pretty sweet and forms the basis for a slightly modernized version. I'm real fond of how Canadian Airlines used the goose logo on their "Proud Wings" livery and that was some of my inspiration for this livery. I used the modernized Piedmont logo in a similar fashion, with the wings sweeping up the tail and the body in line with the main cheatline. It almost looks like the logo is pushing the jet along.
I decided to flare out the cheatline towards the nose in a similar style to the old retro livery, even using a secondary lower cheatline on the forward fuselage. This also gives the lower edge of the cheatlines an arc-like sweep back to the main logo.
The cheatlines and the main logo are also outlined with a thin blue line much like the retro livery had, but in that older scheme it was only on the cheatlines. Since the tail logo is part of the cheatlines in my version, the thin blue line surrounds that logo as well. I think it makes the livery more distinctive yet harkens back to Piedmont's roots as a local service carrier, connecting a modern Piedmont with the days of the DC-3.
I decided to keep the nacelles white and repeat the logo in a smaller version on the engines.
I kept the titles in a similar but darker color of red for contrast and used a modern font that has a passing resemblance to the titles on the retro livery. The titles are the only use of red in this version of the livery.
I kept a polished metal underbelly that goes up to the lower edge of the cheatlines. Again, use of the metal belly gives a more "retro" look.
I really wanted to shoot for something with a strong sense of history but with enough boldness to look modern amongst all the other liveries on a typical airport ramp. It's a cryin' shame how airlines will so radically change their livery these days and blot out all their history and traditions. From what I've read about Piedmont's history, I doubt they would have been one of those airlines if they were around still today.