All posts tagged: A321
American Airlines A321 side view rendering
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These American Airlines renderings are getting to be fun. I complained a lot in my post about the American Eagle ERJ-175 last week, but I’m really liking the way that these colors can make boring aircraft such as this A321 look halfway decent. Part of me still thinks that their official logo (as seen on the forward part of the fuselage) doesn’t mix well with the tail art, but it’s not enough of an annoyance to keep me up at night. Hey – I tend to dwell on the details sometimes!

If I can ever find the time I’m going to to create a full design exploration of the American Airlines brand (just for kicks). It’s so close to being perfect IMHO, but the logo / tail art issue I mentioned above could stand a bit of tweaking. Perhaps the logo can replace the flag art on the tail? Or what if the logo and flag art are combined somehow to create one cohesive mark? Maybe the current logo needs to be eliminated altogether and replaced with one that is more symbolic of the American flag? These are just simple questions, but coming up with a solution would not be easy given the history of this brand (and company as a whole). I have huge respect for the design teams responsible for refreshing well-established brands such as this and I fully admit that it’s not something I’d like to spend the majority of my time working on. Design is a naturally subjective thing, and it only gets more complicated when there are historical and political factors at play. None of this will stop me from creating my own design concepts however – I’d only do it for fun so at least I won’t have to stress out about making the corporate office in Dallas happy.

As far as the background for this illustration is concerned, I thought that a shiny silver texture with a subtle “American Airlines” graphic would do well to accentuate the silver and bold tail colors of this aircraft. You’ll recall that I did something very similar with my American Airlines 767-200 rendering a while back, and the only reason I did it then was because I was trying to create a background texture that mimicked the polished aluminum of the fuselage. AA has since moved on from that livery (unfortunately), but silver remains a dominant color of their brand so I didn’t think it was too far out of place to do a silver background again. I actually like it a lot better than the dark blue I used in that ERJ-175 illustration.

That logo is still bothering me though…

A321 cm56 engines
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This Airbus A321 side view template was supposed to be as quick and easy as my 777-300 set was, and I jumped into this project thinking it was going to be done in no time. All I needed to do was stretch my A320 files a bit, right? Wrong.

It turns out that I was a bit sloppy when I created those A320 source files, and those vector illustrations were not drawn to scale. Keeping everything the proper scale right from the beginning is important when passing files between Illustrator and Photoshop, and they way I set up these drawings didn’t jive with my new “production line” method of creating these templates. The bottom line is that things were a mess, and I ended up having to redraw a lot of this A321 from scratch. That’s not what I had in mind!

But it’s done, and at least I feel good knowing that the changes I made will make it easy to do the A319, which will be my last variant on this fuselage – for now at least, until Airbus creates major modifications to this airframe.

Here is the wireframe version of the version at the top of this post (cm56 engines with rakelets on the wingtips):

a321 line drawing with cm56 engines

Airbus A321 technical line drawing with cm56 engines and rakelets

Here is the same cm56-engined variant with sharklets instead:

A321 all white cm56 engines and sharklets

All white Airbus A321 drawing with cm56 engines and sharklets

A321 side view line drawing

Airbus A321 technical line drawing with cm56 engines and sharklets

Now, here are templates of the v2500-engined A321 with rakelets and sharklets:

A321 v2500 engines and rakelets

All white Airbus A321 drawing with v2500 engines and rakelets

A321 line drawing v2500 engines

Airbus A321 technical line drawing with v2500 engines and rakelets

A321 all white sharklets

All white Airbus A321 drawing with v2500 engines and sharklets

A321 with sharklets line drawing

Airbus A321 technical line drawing with v2500 engines and sharklets

On a side note, I’ve never been a big fan of the A321. I have always seen it as a direct competitor / replacement for the Boeing 757 (probably my favorite aircraft), and the style of the A321 just falls short for some reason. Keep in mind that I’m not talking about performance figures here – I’m an artist and not an engineer after all – I’m just saying that they aesthetics of the A321 don’t seem to come anywhere close to the graceful lines and proportions of the ’75. It just looks like a small airplane that is trying to do more than it was ever designed for. Perhaps when Airbus re-engines this thing it will look better – but for now, I’m not a fan.

So yeah – look for the A319 templates to come soon!