All posts tagged: A350-900
continental airlines A350 fantasy livery
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Inspired by my recent Pan Am A320 and Saul Bass retro 787, I thought it would be interesting to apply the old red and gold “meatball” livery of Continental Airlines to the Airbus A350-900. To be totally honest, I actually thought it was going to look a lot better than this – the A350-900 is very long, and that cheat line has to cover a lot of horizontal real estate across the length of the fuselage. For that reason alone, I tend to prefer this livery on shorter-bodied aircraft.

I was also debating whether or not to add color to the wing tips. I tried it in all colors of this Continental livery, but the red seemed to work the best. If it were a little larger, I’d probably add the meatball logo to it. Speaking of that logo, I think it would look awesome plastered to the side of the engines – but I tried to stay as true to the originally livery as possible, and since Continental didn’t paint their logo on the engines, I didn’t do it with this illustration either.

This old gold and red Continental livery sure does bring back a lot of memories for me. Although my first flight with CO wasn’t until mid 2000, I remember clearly seeing this livery at the airport during my limited travels as a boy (and teen) in the 80′s and early 90′s. As a matter of fact, when I think of Continental Airlines today, I think of this color scheme. Total classic, IMHO.

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Qatar Airways A350

Side-profile illustrations of an Airbus A350-900 in the Qatar Airways livery

I’m trying to limit how many Airbus A350 renderings that I create for the time being, primarily because there is precious little reference material to work from at the time of this writing. All I’ve got are some low-res press photos of the first airframe, mixed with a few outdated beauty shots from the Airbus website itself. Because of this, I pretty much know for sure that I will have to go back and clean up some of the little details once the first one is delivered later this year. It’s going to be much easier to clean up one or two illustrations rather than a full collection!

I’ve already created one version of this A350-900 wearing the Airbus factory livery, but I thought it would also be appropriate to create a version of it wearing the colors of the launch customer: Qatar Airways. For those who don’t follow the airline industry, Qatar Airways is a medium-size long-haul airline based out of Doha and are regarded as one of the best airlines in the world in terms of the quality of their products and services. They were one of the preliminary customers for the Boeing 787 as well, so they are very serious about having a modern and state-of-the-art fleet.

As far as their livery goes, all I can say is that it’s unique. It’s surprisingly dark for a middle-eastern airline (who’s planes spend a lot of time baking in the hot sun), and to me, it lacks the “flair” that competitive airlines in the region tend to have. By that I mean gold colors, metallic paints, and earth tones that are more representative of the region they serve. Of course I know it’s easy to be a critic, but as a designer, these are the things I like to talk about. 🙂 One of these days I’m actually going to find the time to design some of my own airline liveries and do some good old fashioned “before and after” comparisons that everyone else can have fun critiquing.

Like all the images I post to this blog, please feel free to use this Qatar Airways A350-900 illustration however you’d like.

 

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Airbus A350-900 side view rendering

Side-profile illustrations of an Airbus A350-900 WXB in the Airbus livery

The first Airbus A350 hasn’t even delivered yet, but that hasn’t stopped me from illustrating it for my growing series of side-profile airliner renderings. I have been looking forward to creating this one for a while, but high-resolution photos of the A350 are kind of hard to find at the moment. That made this illustration especially difficult to create.

I usually like to scour the web for days gathering as many high-res detail photos as I can before I begin any aircraft illustration, but that wasn’t possible this time. Only one of these things is flying at the moment, so that means all that I had to work with were a small handful of press photos and lightly-detailed 3d renderings found all around the internet. I’m fairly confident that I was able to render everything correctly, but since I was working from photos of prototype aircraft, I suspect I’ll have to update little details in these illustrations to represent final production versions later this fall.

Overall, I like the shape of the A350. But now that I’ve created this first full rendering after creating the blank template, I gotta give the nod to Boeing for their better-looking 787 – thanks in large part to the scalloped engine nacelles and wings that flex beautifully under aerodynamic load. While the A350 is an elegant-looking airplane, it’s just…so…bland. Other than the nicely-sculpted contours around the wing and fuselage connection (and the good looking nose), there’s little about the overall design which makes it unique and stand out. I think many people will have a difficult time identifying it as an A350 at a crowded airport.

There are three variants of the A350 at the time of this writing (-800, -900, and -1000). This illustration represents the -900 (WXB). I chose to paint this first one in the factory Airbus livery, but I will be creating other versions depicting real airlines soon. I will be creating illustrations of the -800 and -1000 as well, so stay tuned for that.

As always, please feel free to use the attached illustration however you like.

All White Airbus A350-900 blank template
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This Airbus A350-900 is the latest in my growing collection of side-profile airliner templates, and I’m relieved as heck that I’m done with it. A lot of you have been asking for a blank template of this aircraft, but there is hardly any useful reference material available for this brand new airplane. Airbus hasn’t even finalized the design of this A350 yet, so finding really good (high res) photos of this beast is not an easy thing to do at the moment. But I did the best I could with what I had, and here it is. Finally!

Airbus A350-900 side view line drawing

Airbus A350-900 technical line drawing

As you can see in the all white version at the top of this post, there are some really nicely designed components of the A350. One of the most interesting things is the area behind the wing, right where it connects to the fuselage. There’s some beautiful sculpting going on there, which (on other aircraft) is usually normally nothing more than a slight bulge. The industrial designer in me really likes organic forms like that, and I’m happy to see that the Airbus engineers care so much about good design. Their A380 didn’t give me as much confidence.

I aslo think the nose of this aircraft is the best looking of any airliner – ever. The Boeing 787 has a nice looking snout, but its a bit too “spaceship” looking for my tastes. The front section of this A350 has the right balance of modern design combined with the shape of a traditional airliner. I like it quite a bit.

Anyway, I know that these templates aren’t totally accurate, but I’ll be sure to update them as Airbus finalizes the design and the first production models are built.