Anyone know what blue might be standard for NASA birds? Also, what is the
largest a/c painted in their blue/white scheme? I'm doing sort of a 'what
if'--an aircraft not normally associated with NASA, but would have been
appropo, and I'm wondering if the paint scheme varies enough from plane to
plane, or if there's a standard pattern adapted to any a/c regardless of size.
When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your
eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to
return. --Leonardo Da Vinci
The standard blue color used on the main stripe for their current
scheme is not an official FS color but a paint mix from Dupont ( I
recall). The brand name is Ditzler (spelling?). Somewhere in my notes
I actually have the exact Ditzler paint numbers used by NASA but I
have not been able to find this reference since one of my past house
moves. I believe there are at least two different blues being used for
the main stripe. There is a dark blue as can be seen on the NASA F-18
and a slightly lighter blue as seen on their B-52H and B 747.
With that said, I have found that you can get quite close to the color
of the stripes used by NASA by matching up some blue stripe decals
available from several sources. I am not near my decal storage area
right now to give the exact company and decal number but there are at
least two versions of blue stripe decals that look pretty good. I did
this for a 1/144 NASA Guppy and it looked spot on.
For those interested in NASA aircraft, I have posted a partial (read:
in progress!) list of NASA aircraft flown in NASA markings that I have
been able to confirm. Here's a link to the page:
If you are talking about the 747 used to carry the shuttle, why
not try and see what American Airlines used to paint the red
white and blue stripes in the first place ???
It was their A/C after all :)
"Only a Gentleman can insult me, and a true Gentleman never will..."
Which brings up a very funny story. True even. Some years ago I was an
insurance adjustor. We insured a local retail paint store. A smallish
airline based in Oakland, CA, leased a 747 from American Airlines and
repainted the 747 in their own colors. The lease ended. Under the terms
of the lease, the bird was to be repainted in American Airlines colors
before being returned. The Oakland-based airline went to our paint
retailer to get the necessary paints, specifying American Airlines red,
white and blue. Our guy went through his catalogues. He found the white
and the blue no trouble, along with orange, but the customer didn't ask
for orange. No red, at first. Finally, after a lot of research, he found
out what red AA used. He ordered the three colors in the amounts
specified by the customer, and delivered them. The Oakland people did up
the bird in the red, white and blue according to what they thought the
AA specs were, and returned it to AA.
AA was hopping mad to see how their airplane was painted. It turns out
that the primary livery colors were blue, white and orange; the red was
only used for fire-warning stencils, fire extinguishers, emergency exit
markers and the like. They stripped the plane and repainted it
themselves, then presented a bill for umpty-dump thousands of bucks to
the Oakland carrier. The Oakland guys turned around and demanded the
money from our paint guy for giving them the wrong stuff. What saved his
ass (or, more precisely, the insurance company's money) was the original
purchase order, which specified Amercian Airlines red, white and blue,
without any language discussing how it was to be used.
Good point! It all depends on which time frame you are modeling a NASA
747. NASA's first 747 is an ex-American Airlines aircraft. NASA flew
this in the AA stripes for several years. NASA did repaint this
aircraft in the now typical NASA blue stripe in the early 1980s/late
1970s I believe. I have the actual time frame info buried in my notes
somewhere. Using the AA colors is good only for one of NASA's 747s and
for a somewhat limited time frame. The second NASA 747 is an ex-Japan
Air Lines (JAL) bird and I believe this was painted in the current
NASA stripe colors right from the start. As of a few years ago when I
had a tour of this aircraft, it still had the JAL airline lavatories
inside the mostly empty interior!