British Airways Rolls Out Its Retro 757 (Airplane Porn)

It’s been way too long since we’ve had some good airplane porn here on Cranky, so I couldn’t resist when I saw British Airways put the airline’s last 757 into this stunning retro paint job.

British Airways 757 Retro

I mean, seriously. Why would they ever change these colors? While I did also really like the next Landor-produced colors, it all went downhill with the whole “World Tails” thing. I think Maggie Thatcher said it best.

We fly the British flag, not these awful things.

Amen. BA got away from these and the Landor colors because it seemed too stuffy and British in their eyes. But that’s why we love BA (and Britain in general), right? It’s called character, and the old colors conveyed that well. While the newest colors have returned to flying the British flag, it no longer has that same regal look.

British Airways 757 Retro Takeoff

So why are they doing this? Well, BA was the launch customer for the 757 and put it into service way back in 1983 (in these colors). The airplane has served the airline well since then, but at the end of this month, the 757 will be retired for good with the airline. BA has been kind enough to give it the 757 a farewell tour.

This particular airplane, registered G-CPET, is a young pup, delivered in May 1998. It still has plenty of life and will find work elsewhere, but for now, the last flight with BA is scheduled for October 30. Enjoy it while it’s still flying around in these colors.


21 Responses to British Airways Rolls Out Its Retro 757 (Airplane Porn)

  1. lh says:

    That looks absolutely stunning.

  2. Andrew says:

    Why is BA retiring the 757? I know they’re growing older and don’t have a direct replacement, but it seems like there’s still a bunch of life left in most of the 757’s out there.

    • CF says:

      While there is some good life in a lot of the 757s, they don’t really fit the BA mission profile these days. BA is focusing its short haul fleet on the Airbus family now, so it has started taking A321s. It doesn’t need the longer range of the 757 anymore, so it’s time to phase it out. The only remaining hope was that Open Skies would take more for its Transatlantic flying, but that’s not happening. These will become freighters, I believe.

  3. JM says:

    Great post, CF.

    Incidentally, I look forward to flying Delta’s 757s until 2083 or thereabouts.

    JM

  4. DGS says:

    On a 757-related note…

    Does anybody know if any of the ex-Eastern 757’s are still in service anywhere? Any place to track such info down?

  5. Oliver says:

    Why would they spend money retro-painting an aircraft that is about to be retired? Should’ve put the livery on an aircraft that will stick around *and* needed a new paint job anyway.

  6. “””””We fly the British flag, not these awful things”””””

    I agree with Maggie, those tails were terrible.

  7. james says:

    Love the old typeface. Reminded me of this movie “Helvetica” – which explored design change in the late 80s and 90s from old serif style lettering to the sleek (some say boring) fonts that’s used for almost everything now – like the skinny new “United” lettering on the Continental logo plane.

  8. chris says:

    Thanks Cranks! I have a plastic model of that plane in my office and never really understood why it had that livery. Now I know! I thought it was some cheap knock off no-name model that was supposed to sorta look like BA, but not really be BA. Happy Friday!

  9. Daren S says:

    I agreed with Mrs T on most things but disagreed with her and probably most of the British population regarding the World Tails, I really liked them. Agree though the retro look is cool. Not particularly nostalgic about the 757, it always felt slightly cramped with its small cabins (in the BA config).

  10. Nice Livery. Many forget that US Air used to fly 767s in the Landor Colors… I’ve got such a soft spot for the 757, and its nice that they’ll be sending one off on my birthday..

  11. Paul says:

    Thanks for posting the retro photo and story.

    PS – Eastern Air Lines was the launch customer per the Boeing site:

    http://www.boeing.com/commercial/757family/pf/pf_200back.html

    First delivery of a 757-200 took place Dec. 22, 1982, to launch customer Eastern Airlines. Eastern placed the aircraft into service Jan. 1, 1983. On Jan. 14, 1983, the British Civil Aviation Authority certified the 757-200 to fly in the United Kingdom. British Airways, another launch customer for the 757-200, is now a major operator of the twinjet.

    Regards, Paul

  12. airjunkie says:

    This is great airplane porn! The livery is timeless. Now, class, compare and contrast this with the new United livery. Be sure to include to explore mash-up versus clean-sheet design.

    I miss the old speedbird logo: seeing it reminds me of watching as a kid the BA Concordes going in and out of JFK. The interest thing to note is roughly about the time this livery was in use, the joke was BA stood for “Bloody Awful.”

  13. DRG says:

    I’d rather see a 757 in BOAC colours

  14. Wow, I had absolutely no idea BA had painted its last 757 in the old livery. I also didn’t realise BA had retired its 757 fleet – I’ve been outside Blighty too long!

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