Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Approaching Aircraft Artwork

Pretty up the skies.
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Aeroplanes, by and large, are good looking machines. Few can approach the elegance of the Spitfire, but even your everyday airliner has it's own grace, backswept wings attached to a smooth, white fuselage that glints in the sun from any angle. Except for the underside.

Like most Londoners, I live under a flightpath and that means that all I really see of these machines is the underneath. Invariably gun-metal grey and covered in carbuncles, the underneath of a plane resembles the underside of a ship. Not for us the joys of tail-decal spotting, every plane looks just like the last: grey and ugly.

How much more interesting it would be if airlines invited artists to decorate the underneath of their planes. Great splashes of colour could be marching through the skies, each vessel different from every other - an individual. The endlines lines of aeroplanes would liven up the grey skies instead of trying (and failing) to blend in with them. Up and coming artists would have the opportunity to hang their work on a huge canvas where all the world can see it, a high-profile high-gallery.

Of course they would be constrained by the shape of the aircraft, an unusual shape for a canvas which would require creative solutions - and therein lies the challenge for the artist. The fun lies in getting out of their cramped studio and painting a 60m canvas with a spray gun.

I will be waiting in the garden with a surface-to-air paintball launcher for the first airline to use this space for advertising.

wagster, Apr 13 2005

Concept Sketch http://www.purple-p...bakery/planeart.jpg
Who painted this one? [wagster, Apr 13 2005]

painted airbirds http://www.pbs.org/.../features/warbirds/
[po, Apr 14 2005]

Virgin ‘billboard’ takes to the sky for Gillette http://www.bandt.co...ews/b1/0c02d3b1.asp
Virgin Blue claims the aircraft, which has been labelled the ‘Gillette M3Power Plane’, is the biggest mobile billboard or ‘skyboard’ ever seen in Australia. [xaviergisz, Apr 14 2005]

Bennie and his Jets http://www.airtran....ws/elton_planes.jsp
[krelnik, Apr 14 2005]

Dot-matrix skywriters http://daryllang.co...dex.php?m=2004&w=24
[AbsintheWithoutLeave, Apr 15 2005]

[link]






       Kudos to the first person to recognise the artist featured in the concept sketch.
wagster, Apr 13 2005
  

       Spice Girls?
skinflaps, Apr 13 2005
  

       In practice, from the ground it's hard to see anything on the belly of an aircraft in flight due to the high contrast against the sky. They all look black no matter what the paint scheme; even all white, they look black.
bristolz, Apr 14 2005
  

       You should get this one [skin], you introduced me to the artist's site.   

       [UB] - Yeah, like that. Why haven't I seen any? Maybe they didn't take off...   

       [bris] - That's a valid point and a problem. Maybe we could mount uplighters on the top of the engines. I might try and photoshop that into the sketch.
wagster, Apr 14 2005
  

       benfrost!
skinflaps, Apr 14 2005
  

       The very man.
wagster, Apr 14 2005
  

       //due to the high contrast against the sky// Ahem, [wagster] said he was in London - no high contrast against the usually leaden skies.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Apr 14 2005
  

       Ahem. I live in Seattle whose sky is the backdrop for my observation.
bristolz, Apr 14 2005
  

       A 'little' fiddling with the turbojet exhausts and one could write contrail vapor letters.
FarmerJohn, Apr 14 2005
  

       [FJ] There is (or used to be) a team of sky-writers who fly in simple line-abreast formation, with computer controlled smoke generators, writing dot-matrix messages. I'll try to find a link.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Apr 15 2005
  

       Mixed feelings; since we are subjected to such a barrage of visual imagery anyway, why do we have to have more? As Le Corbusier memorably remarked, "what we need is a good visual laxative."   

       Well, he was French. Lucky he didn't mention seagulls or something, really.
moomintroll, Apr 15 2005
  

       Make the external skin of the aeroplane out of some form of plasma screen display to avoid the sky contrast problem.
DenholmRicshaw, Apr 16 2005
  

       Gilbert & George?
Azazello, Jul 22 2006
  
      
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