• What is the livery of an aircraft?

    Some of them are true works of art…

In one of our publications we told you about spotters, aviation photography enthusiasts, who spend hours and hours in the vicinity of airports in search of the perfect photo.

The light, the focus, or the proximity to the aircraft, are fundamental to get the best shot, but there is also a collector’s desire in aeronautical photography. Yes, you read that right.

Many spotters ‘collect’ different liveries. Don’t know what they are? Well, stay and read the post because today we will explain what a livery is, why it is so called and, most interestingly, we are going to see the most spectacular aircraft liveries ever seen.

What is the livery of an aircraft?

The livery is the set of symbols, insignia, colours and identifiers that aircraft are painted or vinyl-coated with.

Yes, it is the way aircraft are customised to identify them, obviously, but also to commemorate dates, as a marketing strategy or, why not, as another form of art.

The choice of livery is fundamental for any company, as it must represent the company’s values and ideas. It is also the first impression passengers get before entering the aircraft.

And why is the livery so called?

The term ‘livery’ originates from the uniform-style clothing worn by servants of wealthy families or government representatives until the mid-20th century.

With the advent of stagecoaches and trains, the term also came to be used to refer to the external decoration of the trains, which is also a somewhat peculiar ‘uniform’.

Evolution of liveries

As with fashion and music, liveries have changed over time, adapting to trends, colours and the contemporary political and economic situation.

In the 80s and 90s of the last century, airlines opted for a sober, very classic design, in which grey was one of the main colours and almost the entire aircraft was painted in the same colour.

Over time, it has been discovered that the most efficient paint is white, which means that the fuselage of the aircraft does not heat up as much. This reduces fuel costs and increases the service life of the aircraft. That is why most aircraft today are white.

But fortunately for the nostalgic, airlines continue to maintain aircraft with retro-style liveries or large artistic compositions.

Photo by Toni Marimon on aviationcornet.net

The most original aircraft liveries

Showing you all the artistic liveries that exist is an impossible task, so we have prepared a compilation of some of them, the ones we have liked the most, will you join us?

Emirates airline has decorated one of its A380s to celebrate the World Expo in their country this year.

Icelandic airline Icelandair has decorated one of its Boeing 757s with an outline of an aurora borealis.

Aircraft manufacturer Embraer has decorated its display aircraft with an image of a shark.

In the same vein, Embraer has also used a tiger livery to dress up another of its display aircraft.

Belgian airline Brussels Airlines has one of its Airbus A320s dedicated to its most popular cartoon, the Smurfs.

And finally, Aeromexico has one of its Boeing 787-9s painted in the Quetzalcoatl livery.

We hope you have enjoyed this compilation of some of the most striking liveries and that, the next time you board a plane, you will take a look at all the details of its livery.

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