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ATA Airlines Boeing 757-200 (N520AT) and Boeing 727-200 (N772AT) in the 25th Commemorative Anniversary livery at Midway Airport
Douglas DC-8 of ONA Overseas National Airways in its tribute to the U.S.A.'s Bicentennial Commemorative livery at Zurich in 1975
SkyWest Airlines celebrates its 30th anniversary. Notice red and blue untraditional "wavy" cheatline along the fuselage compared to the more traditional linear cheatline of American Eagle (MQ) regional jet plane in the background.
Close-up of the tail of one of Frontier's newest Airbus A318s, N809FR. This aircraft, features "Spike" the Porcupine.
Row of Frontier Airplanes DEN

Aircraft livery is a paint scheme applied to an aircraft, generally to fuselage, wings, empennage (tail fin), or jet engines. The term aircraft livery comes from the more general term livery.


Types of aircraft livery


Heritage or retrojet

Heritage or retrojet livery is a livery that an airline has used in the past (apart from any modern livery used by an airline). Aircraft in a heritage or retrojet livery is called heritage aircraft.


A cheatline is decorative, horizontal, single or multiple, bands of color applied to both sides of a fuselage.


Commemorative liveries are one off paint schemes applied by airlines to celebrate a milestone in their history. One such example would be ATA Airlines 25th anniversary paint scheme, celebrating the airline's inception under George Mikelson, the founder of American Trans Air[1], or SkyWest Airlines paint scheme used to commemorate 30th anniversary of that airline.


Eurowhite is a livery that uses paint schemes which are predominantly white.

Jelly Bean

A "Jelly Bean" livery is a color scheme in which an airlines corporate logo and image is displayed in multiple colors or hues upon its aircraft. Among the most notable "Jelly Bean" type liveries used among North America airlines would be that used by Braniff International Airlines, although other airlines such as Air Canada's Jazz & Zip and Vanguard Airlines, have used this concept. A slight variant of the "Jelly Bean" concept is the Jelly Tails of JetBlue Airways, Mexicana, and Frontier Airlines. Upon the Eurasian "sub-continent," Air-India Express uses the "Jelly Tail" concept. These liveries are characterized by the vertical stabilizer and sometimes aft fuselage being painted in multiple designs as is the case with British Airway's short lived Newell and Sorrell World Tails design. PLUNA of Uruguay is one of the most recent airlines to adopt this attractive and colorful corporate imagery.

Airlines often apply and paint specialized liveries to their standard airline liveries and logos of their airplanes, examples being:

  • the logo of a sports team
  • images of a city, usually a hub or other city of importance to the airline
  • advertising for a company (logojet)

Southwest Airlines is famous for its various liveries promoting Sea World (painted to resemble an Orca), various US states where Southwest has operations (painted to resemble the states' flags), and other entities such as the NBA and the Ronald McDonald House.

Bare metal liveries


Military air forces generally paint non-combat aircraft in a national livery, while combat aircraft are normally camouflaged.


Air transports of heads of state and government are often painted in unique colour schemes. The US President's aircraft, Air Force One, uses a light-blue and sky-blue color scheme, with the Seal of the President of the United States just above front gear and the flag of the United States on the tailfin designed by French-American industrial designer Raymond Loewy.[2]

An aircraft used to transport state or government leaders is often painted in a livery that represents national colors of a country or colors of a particular government office, and most of the time is coordinated with flag, seal and other insignia.

Boeing 747-200B with the Presidential Seal of the United States Government

See also


  1. ^ N772AT Priceless Memories
  2. ^ Walsh, Kenneth T. Air Force One: A History of the Presidents and Their Planes. New York: Hyperion: 2003. ISBN 1-4013-0004-9.


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