Airbus A330-900 NEO side view

Does anybody know how I could apply for a position on the Airbus Board of Directors? You see, I’ve got a lot of opinions about the A330 NEO (both good and bad) and I’d love to sit down and chat with the people who made the decision to go ahead with this next-generation variant of the A330. I’d also like to offer a few suggestions as well, and I know that the only way that anybody at Airbus would ever listen to me is if I had a seat on the board. Hold on a second while I check Craigslist to see if there’s an opening…

My biggest issue with the A330 NEO is how much overlap there is with the A350, and I can’t help but to wonder if Airbus is competing against itself and driving customers away from the more expensive aircraft (one that I assume has higher profit margins). But then again, my assumptions could be totally off base and perhaps it’s the A330 NEO that generates more revenue?

But what about all the development costs that went into revamping this old airframe? It couldn’t have been cheap, and I’m still scratching my head as to why they would spend all that effort and money putting lipstick on a pig when they could’ve used those resources to drive more sales to the A350.

The A330-900 NEO is basically an A330-300 with larger Rolls Royce Trent 7000 engines and A350-style blended winglets. The cockpit windows are all new as well, and are very similar to what’s on the A350 – black bandit paint included (which looks totally cool by the way). These changes were significant enough to make the creation of this template very time-consuming, and in order to get the blended winglet looking correct I basically had to re-draw the entire wing. And as I’ve mentioned before, the wings are the most complicated part of any of my templates. The rest cake.

A330-900 NEO blueprint

Technical side profile line drawing of an Airbus A330-900 NEO

Speaking of the Rolls Royce Trent 7000, all I can say to that is: wow! The A330 never really looked right to me from any angle, but this huge new engine gives the aircraft a completely different look and it’s really impressive to see the size comparison of this engine compared to some of the older variants. I’m still not sure what I think about the blended winglet, but this new engine is enough for me to consider the A330 NEO to be one of the best looking commercial airplanes available at the moment.

Despite my reasoning to question the existence of the A330 NEO, it seems as if Airbus has a hit on their hands and they made the right decision to go forward with the program. A quick check of Wikipedia reveals that there are 214 confirmed orders for the -900 at the time of this writing, which is very respectable and solid proof that it’s a viable product that the airlines want. Malaysia Airlines is leading the demand at the moment with 66 firm orders. Delta and Iran Air are number two and three, but each of them are way back with roughly 25(ish) orders each. Oh – and a quick check of the A350 reveals that there are 847 confirmed orders at the time of this writing, which is impressive, but I would bet that number would be much higher if the A330 NEO didn’t exist.

Do I even have to tell you what my next template is going to be? Most of you should be able to figure it out without any hints from me, but I’ll say it anyway. It’s the A330-800 NEO! Yes, I know that Airbus has exactly 0 orders for that variant so far, but I’m going to template it anyway just so that I can have it as part of the full collection. It’ll be posted in just a few days!

737 MAX 9 all white side view

I know that there are many of you out there who have been wondering why the hell it is taken me so long to create a template of the 737 MAX 9. After all, I’ve already done the MAX 7 and 8, so it seems logical that a simple stretch my existing templates wouldn’t seem like such a big deal, right? In theory, that is correct. There isn’t anything significantly different about the max 9 over the max 8 other than fuselage length (and a few other minor details), so what was the problem?

In order to answer that, I need to take you back to 2012 when I first started creating side view airliner templates. Back then, I really had no idea what I was doing, and I was just trying to figure out how to draw airplanes. The very first template I created was the McDonnell Douglas DC-10–30, and I followed that up quickly with the Boeing 737–800. I was a bit disorganized still, as I was so excited to draw those airplanes that I wasn’t really thinking about how to develop a process for creating these templates. Basically, that’s just a long-winded way of saying that my first templates were a bit rough and there were some unfortunate discrepancies between my line drawings and the fully rendered all white versions.

To make matters worse, I’ve based every single one of my 737 templates on that original 737–800 illustration. That means that all of those inconsistencies have been growing as I continued to build up my entire 737 series, and it has been bothering me quite a bit. You should all know by now that I am a total perfectionist, so before I could go and create new variants of the 737 (everything from the classics to the latest versions), I really needed to go back and redo my base 737 template from scratch. That’s what I’ve been working on in my spare time for the past few months.

737 MAX 9 line drawing blueprint

Technical side profile line drawing of a Boeing 737-9 MAX

You probably didn’t even notice, but I have recently updated my posts about the MAX 7 and 8 with all new illustrations. And now that those have been updated, it allows me to post these templates of the MAX 9 without worrying that it would be inconsistent with them.

This also means that I will be updating all of my other 737 template posts with updated illustrations (yay!). I don’t have an exact time frame for that, but I’m planning to have everything updated over the next few weeks. My best suggestion is to check back a month from now, and I can pretty much guarantee that all my 737 templates will be updated by then and you’ll know that you’ll have the latest and greatest versions. Those of you who have purchased the high-resolution source files on my online store will also have access to the new versions. You’ll get an automated email notifying you of the update as soon as it happens.

Additionally, this also means that I am now able to start working on some of the 737 classics. I’ve been holding off doing those for a very long time now because of how much work needed to go into fixing my base 737 template, but now I’m free to forge a head with those and eventually I’m going to have the entire 737 family of aircraft templated and posted here to the blog. I’m looking forward to that as much as you are!

McDonnell Douglas MD-11 side view

I’m actually really glad that I spent the last week or so working on this MD-11 template, because it has reminded me just how much I’ve always liked this big McDonnell Douglas three-holer.

I’m pretty sure that it all started way back in the 1980s with the DC-10, because I vividly remember drawing pictures of them during class and getting in trouble for it. It was totally worth it though, because drawing was the only thing that could hold my attention and it was also a perfect way to let my crazy imagination run loose. I occasionally added missiles and machine guns to the bottom of the wings, and seriously considered writing McDonnell Douglas a letter to propose the idea of a top-secret fighter version. Back then, I was totally convinced that was a brilliant idea. But now, 30 years later, I’m starting to think my obsession with the A-Team and Blue Thunder on TV greatly distorted my perception of reality. Wasn’t 1980’s television awesome?

Interestingly enough, the DC-10 was the very first aircraft template I created way back in 2012. I can’t quite recall exactly why I wanted to start illustrating airplanes, but starting with the DC-10 was the obvious choice since it was one of my all-time favorites and I thought it would be fun to see if I could do it. I did it of course, and the rest is history. Unfortunately, since it was my first ever aircraft template, there is a lot that is wrong with it and a big part of me has been wanting to go back and redo the entire thing to bring it up to my current standards. It’s been on my mind for a while now, but it all came to a head last week when I tried to base this MD-11 template on that old illustration. It wasn’t until I started modifying that old DC-10 that I realized that there was too much wrong with it and I was going to have to start over from scratch.

MD-11 blueprint

Side profile line drawing of a McDonnell Douglas MD-11

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the MD-11, it was essentially the second-generation version of the DC-10. Although it shares a vast majority of structural components from that old bird, there are actually some very significant visual differences which essentially made it an all new design:

  • The fuselage was lengthened by 18 ft 7 in (5.66 m) over the DC-10-30
  • It has an all new screwdriver-style tail cone
  • The wingspan was increased by 4 ft 2 in (1.27 m) over the DC-10-30
  • Winglets were added to the wings
  • The airfoils under the wings are slightly modified
  • It features all new engines (General Electric or Pratt & Whitney)
  • The new engine options necessitated a slight redesign of the number two engine housing attached to the vertical stabilizer. This actually started with the DC-10-40, but it carries over to the MD-11 as well.

There are also a huge number of other little minor visual differences, such as the size and location of the smaller aerodynamic fins on the top and the bottom of the fuselage. Access panels and sensors (such a static ports) are also quite different compared to all DC-10 versions. The landing gear is slightly different as well but visually it’s almost the same.

Anyway, thanks all of you out there who suggested the MD-11 as my next template! I had a lot of fun with it, even though I had to build it from scratch (something that I wasn’t planning on doing). FYI, there will be a slight two-week pause on my airliner template production, as I’m going to be traveling over the next week which is going to cause a backlog on all the projects that I’ve got going on at the moment. As of right now, I’m tempted to do the A330NEO next – but I’ve got a long list of illustrations that I need to do so I’m not really sure which one it’s going to be yet…

alaska Airlines Boeing 737-990/ER in the 2015 updated livery

It was about two months ago that I flew from San Diego to Orlando on Alaska Airlines to visit family, and I was very much looking forward to it because of how much I always enjoy flying with them (oh yeah, and seeing family is always nice too). I’ve never once had a bad experience on Alaska Airlines (knock on wood), so I was expecting nice things as I strolled into the airport that morning to check in for the flight.

Not only was I looking forward to the flight, I was very much looking forward to seeing what livery that plane to MCO would be wearing. Alaska Airlines unveiled an all-new livery and visual brand back in 2016, and somehow I’ve managed to avoid every single one of their airplanes that wear it so far. Considering that the majority of Alaska Airlines airplanes that I see nowadays are wearing that new livery, I figured my chances were pretty good as I walked up to the window to check her out.

Unfortunately, what I saw led me to assume that the plane that would be taking me to Orlando that morning was wearing the old livery (created way back in the mid-1990s), and you could almost hear the excitement and enthusiasm escape out of me with a high pressure “pssssshhhh!” as my face went blank. Yup, I was that disappointed.

Alaska Airlines 737-990/ER in the 2015 updated livery

Alaska Airlines 737-990/ER in the 2015 updated livery over a white background

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Fast forward to last weekend, when I sat down to create the illustrations of this aircraft for the trip report for this segment over on my travel blog. I create highly detailed side-view renderings of all the aircraft that I fly on (weird, eh?), and I figured it was going to be really easy since I already created an illustration of the old Alaska Airlines livery on the 737-900 several years ago (and this 737-800 as well), and all that I would have to do is just update the registration number. Oh how wrong I was.

It turns out that this particular airplane wasn’t wearing the old livery at all (which I learned was actually nicknamed the “icicles” livery for obvious reasons). It was actually sporting the “updated” design that was unveiled in February 2015, which upon first glance, looks exactly the same as the old one. But it’s not until you look at a direct comparison of the two that you start to notice some differences:

alaska airlines livery comparison

Side by side comparison of the mid 1990’s Alaska Airlines “icicle” livery and the 2015 “updated” version

The biggest feature of this update was the modernization of the Alaska Airlines typeface – to put it in the simplest terms possible, they smoothed out the font to look more modern and a lot less like icicles. They also replaced the black accent colors with dark blue, which to be quite honest, is difficult to even notice unless you’re looking at the airplane under direct sunlight. It’s so dark as a matter of fact, that it still looks black under overcast conditions and I never would’ve even known this if I hadn’t found a slightly over exposed picture on the Internet of an airplane wearing this update. Who says over exposed pics are worthless?

Additional modifications included the removal of the green outline around the portrait of the Eskimo (Chester) on the vertical stabilizer, as well as an intricate (and swoopy) version of the dark blue and green stripe on the winglets.

I am happy to report that the airplane for the return flight home to San Diego was sporting that fancy new livery that had eluded me for so long. I’m going to be creating that illustration sometime within the next two days, and I’ll post it here to the blog next week.

De Havilland DHC-8-300 side view

Here’s another one that I’ve been getting a lot of requests for recently. It never would have occurred to me that the DHC-8-300 (also known as the Q300) would be as popular as it is today considering that it was launched into service way back in 1989. That’s nearly 30 years of continued operation, and from what I hear, the used market for these things is still insanely strong and competitive. As a car guy, that seems so backwards and odd to me – most used cars (with the exception of some special editions) become generally worthless after 10 years.

It was back in January that I illustrated the smaller version of this aircraft (the DHC-8-200), and to be honest I wasn’t really expecting to do the -300 so soon. It just so happened that one of my clients needed an illustration of a -300 for a proposal he was putting together, so It was relatively easy for me to modify that other template and get him the illustrations he needed. I know a lot of you have been asking for other larger aircraft such as the MD-11 and A330NEO, and don’t worry – those are both currently on my drawing board right now and I hope to have them done relatively soon. I guess what I’m trying to say here is that if there’s a particular type what you need, paying me to do it will make it happen a lot faster. Just contact me and I can arrange to make it happen!

Dash 8 Q300 blueprint

Side profile line drawing of a De Havilland DHC-8-300

For those of you not familiar with Dash 8 lineup, the –300 is a stretched version of the -200. It’s 3.3m (or 11.3ft) longer to be exact, and 6.83m (22.4ft) shorter than the -400. It also happens to be powered by the same Pratt & Whitney PW123 engines are on the -200. And since I’m being nerdy and talking numbers, the –300 carries 52 to 56 passengers, whereas the –200 carries 37 to 39. But what about the –400 you ask? Well, that varies based on which sub type you’re talking about. In a nutshell, the Q400 will carry anywhere from 68 to 78 passengers depending on configuration. As I said before, the Dash 8 family is a colossal and confusing mess of variants and sub types that are difficult to keep track of. If it wasn’t for Wikipedia, I’d have no way to keep it all straight.

OK, so who wants to see a visual comparison between the –200, –300, –400? I know a lot of you really enjoyed visual comparison I did of the Embraer ERJ family of aircraft in my last post, so now that I have three variants of the Dash 8 completed, here’s a graphic depicting the visual differences of the three that I have already illustrated:

Visual comparison between the Dash 8 -200, -300, and -400

Visual comparison between the Dash 8 -200, -300, and -400

I don’t know about you, but I can’t help but to think that the Q400 is…well…kind of ugly. I have a lot of respect for it as a capable and competitive commercial airliner of course, but it looks like they were all doing shots of whiskey one afternoon in the design studio and stretched it a little bit too far on a stupid dare. It’s kind of like what Boeing is doing with the 737 series right now. The MAX 8 is an amazing piece of machinery, but the MAX 10 is pushing it just a little bit too far and beyond the scope of what the original 737 was intended to be. That’s just my opinion anyway.

The next template is one that I know a lot of you are going to like. Finally, after all these years, I’m wrapping up the MD-11! I’m pretty excited about that one as well, because I’ve always had a thing for those big McDonnell Douglas tri jets, and I’ve been having a lot of fun working on the illustrations. Stay tuned, because it’s coming soon!

ERJ-135 side view all white

Well, I guess I have to stop kicking the can down the road and just get this over with. I actually completed this ERJ-135 blank illustration template about a week and a half ago, but the problem is that I’ve pretty much run out of things to say about the ERJ family of aircraft since I’ve said so much about the -145XR, -145, and the -140 already. I was already scraping the bottom of the literary barrel when I wrote the post about the -140, so you can imagine how blank my mind is right about now as I try to write this post about the smallest Embraer regional jet of them all. What else is there to say about this family of aircraft that I haven’t said already?

Well, for starters the ERJ-135 is a 37-seat aircraft, which is noticeably smaller than the ERJ-140. In my opinion, it doesn’t look all that much different than it’s bigger brother, and I’m not even sure that I would be able to tell the difference between the two if I wasn’t able to see them together side-by-side. It takes a courageous AvGeek to admit something like that, but since I’m feeling brave (and still struggling for things to say) you should probably also know that I still have a hard time discerning between an A320 and an A321 if I can’t see them together to make a direct comparison. Do I need to turn in my AvGeek card for admitting something like that? Gee, I really hope not. I quite like being an airline and aviation nerd thank you very much.

Now that I’ve created blank illustration templates for this entire family of aircraft, it’s time to do a direct visual comparison between them all:

Visual differences between the ERJ family of aircraft

Visual differences between the entire ERJ family of aircraft (ERJ-145XR, ERJ-145, ERJ-140, and ERJ-135)

Which one is your favorite? I think I would have to go with the big daddy of them all: the ERJ-145XR. It’s not even a fair comparison if I’m being honest, because any aircraft with large winglets strapped to it’s wings will always look better than an aircraft without them (by default). That’s my opinion anyway, and it’s a good thing that the XR has winglets because if any of the smaller versions did it would be insanely hard for me to pick a winner.

ERJ-135 blueprint line drawing

Side profile line drawing of an Embraer 135 regional jet

Thankfully, this post wraps up what has been a long and grueling series of posts about the ERJ family of aircraft, and I don’t blame you if you’re sick and tired of these posts just as much as I am. It’s not like I have anything against these airplanes, but I made a commitment to illustrate them all, and I never would’ve guessed how much of a challenge that would be for my painfully short attention span. Now that I’ve reached the end of the series, I’m pretty much over it and I’m chomping at the bit to get on to the next batch of templates. Truthfully, I was over it way back with the -145 so it was a real struggle to get this -135 posted. But there. I did it!

Next up will be the DHC-8-300, which wrangled its way into my schedule because I needed it for a client rendering that I was recently working on. The good news is that it’s already complete, and I’ll get it posted as soon as I think of some things to say about it…

American Airlines 757-200 side view

I’m not sure how many of you have been paying attention recently, but I’ve been doing a lot of organization and clean up to this blog over the past several months. Most of it involves removing old irrelevant content that has nothing to do with my core brand anymore (which happens to be aircraft illustrations and 3d rendering), so if you came here looking for generic low res background images and abstract vector illustrations, I’m sorry to tell you that they’ve been eliminated from the site and they’re never coming back!

Part of the organization and cleanup process involves redoing some of my old airliner art which isn’t quite up to my current standards of quality. Yeah, it’s hard for me to go back and look at some of my earlier work and see how sloppy and inexperienced I was when I first started. But that’s just it. I was inexperienced and therefore unable to produce quality of work that I do now. That doesn’t stop me from cringing every time I look at some of those older illustrations though, so I’ve been slowly redoing some of them one by one (such as this Emirates 777-200) if only to satisfy the annoying levels of perfectionism that I have sloshing around inside of me. It’s a ton of work, and I know my time is better spent creating new aircraft templates and livery illustrations. And that brings me to the purpose of this post…

It’s been exactly two years since I last posted an airline livery illustration, and as much fun as I had illustrating that Southwest airlines E190 concept, busy life got in the way and I haven’t posted any others since. I have been creating a lot of these highly polished airline illustrations over the past few years for my travel blog, but I just haven’t had the time to post them here to Norebbo.com. The good news is that all changes starting today. From this point forward, you were going to see a lot more of these type of illustrations posted here, just like I used to do several years ago. No more slacking!

So to kick things off, here is an illustration of one of my all-time favorite aircraft: the American Airlines 757–200, wearing the newest livery which was created by Future Brands several years ago. Those of you who have been following me for a while will know that this is not the first American Airlines livery that I have illustrated. This 737–800 in the old color scheme is one of my all-time favorites, and it just happens to be one of the illustrations that I completely revamped over the past several weeks. The first version of this one was not pretty, and trust me – you’re better off not knowing what that original version looked like.

American Airlines 757-200 side profile

American Airlines Boeing 757-2B7 over a white background

Buy full size airliner illustration

There hasn’t been much love for this new version of the American Airlines brand in the airline and aviation community, but I’m going to go on record saying that I consider it to be one of the most brilliant airline livery designs ever created. Yes, really! I still think it would’ve looked better with polished aluminum instead of silver paint, but the way most aircraft are constructed now with composite materials, it’s just not going to happen. Normally I’m a fan of the progression of technology, but in this case it’s just downright unfortunate that we’ve reached a point where polished aluminum airplanes are all but dead. Total bummer.

Hope you like this illustration. There is lots more to come, and yes, don’t worry – that includes a bunch of new aircraft templates!

ERJ-140 side view all white

Yeah, the process of completing my ERJ templates is going a bit slower than I had originally planned, but the good news is that I am more than halfway done now with the completion of this ERJ-140. For those that don’t know, the ERJ-140 is a 44-seat version of the 50-seat ERJ-145. If you’re like me and you need pictures to help visualize the differences, check this out:

ERJ-145XR, ERJ-145, and ERJ-140 comparison

Visual differences between ERJ-145XR, ERJ-145, and ERJ-140

Pretty neat, huh? Unfortunately, as interesting as that diagram may be, it reveals the fact that there really aren’t that many differences between the -145 and -140. As a matter fact, there aren’t any differences other than fuselage length – which isn’t helping my case any when I try to defend myself for taking so long to create all of these templates.

The honest truth is that this series of templates is probably one of the easiest I’ve done in a long time, for the simple fact that there aren’t any major visual differences between each variant. The vertical stabilizers, wings, landing gear, and engines are all the same (for the most part). In comparison, the primary competitor to this aircraft (the Canadair Regional Jet) is all over the place when it comes to consistency between it’s variants. Check out my template of the CRJ-200, then compare it against the CRJ-900 and you’ll see that the only thing similar between those two types is pretty much the fuselage and a handful of minor details.

ERJ-140 side view blueprint

Side profile line drawing of a Embraer 140 regional jet

Thinking back on it, it’s probably a really good thing that this series of templates has been so easy to make. I probably would’ve skipped over the -140 altogether if it weren’t for the fact that it was just a simple shortening of the fuselage. All the research that I did prior to starting this one suggested that the -140 is the least popular variant of the entire ERJ family, and it may not even have been worth creating a template at all. I couldn’t find the exact numbers to prove just how unpopular it is, but a simple search of the airliners.net photo database revealed how frustrating it is to find good reference material for this particular aircraft. There are tons and tons of pictures of -145‘s and -135’s, but the -140 is the proverbial needle in the haystack. Lucky for you, my sick and twisted determination to finish what I start kept me going all the way through to find the reference material I needed.

On a sidenote, I’m writing this post at the Radisson Blu hotel at Zürich airport (ZRH), overlooking the runways from my room, and I’ve been watching a steady stream of ERJ-145 business jets take off and land over the past several hours. I had no idea they were so popular here, and it’s weird to see so many of them in one place! I guess what they say about Switzerland being one of the wealthiest nations in the world is actually true. If that didn’t convince me, the handful of Lamborghini’s and Ferrari’s pulling up to the terminal would have done it for sure. There’s money here. And a lot of it.

Ok then, I’m only one template away now from finishing up this ERJ family of aircraft. The last and final one (the ERJ-135) is next!

ERJ-145 side view drawing

Hold on a second! Before you dash on over to the Contact page and skewer me over the fact that I already made a post about my ERJ-145 templates (just last week!), you need to know that this is actually something completely different. Well, not totally different, but different enough to warrant it’s own post.

My last post was about the ERJ-145XR. This post is about the ERJ-145. Two completely different kinds of aircraft! I’m not sure if everybody would agree with me on that, but I think we can all agree that there are enough differences between the two which requires separate templates. Here, check out this graphic I made which shows the visual differences between the ERJ-145XR and the base model ERJ-145:

visual differences between ERJ-145XR and ERJ-145

The highlights in red are the visual differences between ERJ-145XR and ERJ-145 (base model).

XR stands for “extended range”, which means that there are some additional aerodynamic add-ons to the base model which helps facilitate higher fuel-efficiency for extended range operations. There are a ton of internal modifications of course, but since I am just an illustrator focused on the exterior of these airplanes, here’s the breakdown of what the XR has over the base model -145:

  • Winglets
  • A large horizontal aerodynamic fin on the underside of the aircraft between the wings
  • Vertical slats at the aft of the fuselage underneath the vertical stabilizer

I’m sure there are a ton of other tiny little differences as well, but those are the major items which helps airplane nerds like us quickly identify the differences between these two different aircraft types. And if I’m being honest, I think it’s this base model -145 which looks the best out of the entire ERJ family of aircraft. The XR looks too fancy with all of its flashy add on‘s (kind of like how people add a bunch of crazy shit to Honda Civic‘s thinking that it makes them look faster), while the -140 and -135 (both templates coming soon) look like victims of tragic knife accidents.

ERJ-145 base model side view blueprint

Side profile line drawing of a Embraer 145 regional jet (base model)

Perhaps another reason why this base model -145 is my favorite is because it was the launch type for this family of aircraft way back in 1995. It was designed to be the successor for the EMB-120 Brasília, and I was totally on board with it because of my hatred for riding in small turboprop aircraft such as that little 120. I vividly remember when these small regional jets started appearing on the scene, and for someone like me who was terrified of small turboprops, I couldn’t help to think that it was a glorious time to be a traveler. That feeling only lasted five years or so, until most every airline decided to use these tiny little jets for everything – even flights longer than three hours in length. As a passenger, that was downright torture! Regional jets were excellent replacements for the turboprops, but not as replacements for larger mainline aircraft such as the 737.

OK then, can you guess which templates are coming next? If you guessed the ERJ-140 and ERJ-135, you’re a smart cookie. I’m working on them both as I type this (well, not exactly as I’m typing) and I hope to have them posted to the blog very very soon…

ERJ-145XR side view

One of the most interesting things about doing all these airliner templates is the fact that I learn a lot about which aircraft are really popular (or not) in an indirect sort of way. Did you know that my Boeing 747–400 template is one of my least downloaded? And that the Airbus A320 is the most popular? It’s data like this which has convinced me that the rest of the world just doesn’t share my enthusiasm for large commercial aircraft, and it kind of bums me out a little bit. I would’ve thought for sure that the big stuff like the 747’s and A380s would be the runaway favorites, but it turns out that the little guys (such as narrowbody Airbuses and tiny regional jets) seem to be what everyone is clamoring for.

Was that the perfect segue into this post about my all-new ERJ-145 templates or what? This little Embraer has been near the top of my most-requested list for quite a while now, which is strange to me considering that I personally don’t see many of these here in the US much anymore. They used to run rampant here at SAN and up north at LAX, but they’ve all been replaced by the larger ERJ-175’s thanks in large part to Skywest and their aggressive fleet renewal program over the past few years. I know that ORD still sees quite a few of these things (both American and United still have a ton), but they definitely seem to be approaching the endangered species list at a ridiculously fast pace and it may not be long until they’re all gone for good.

ERJ-145XR line drawing side view

Side profile line drawing of a Embraer 145XR (Extended Range) regional jet

Regardless of how popular the ERJ-145 still is these days, I’m really glad to have a template created for it. Unfortunately, there are so many variants of this particular aircraft that I didn’t really know where to start once I realized that one template wasn’t going to cover everything. Because of that, I decided to start at the top of the food chain with the big daddy of them all: the ERJ-145XR – which is the extended range version of the largest model available in this family of aircraft.

The ERJ-145XR is a little different than the run-of-the-mill -145, sporting a pair of really cool-looking winglets and a smattering of other aerodynamic add-ons underneath and along the rear of the fuselage. As a matter fact, I didn’t even know that this model existed before I started doing research. I thought it looked pretty nice though, and since it was the most complicated version of them all, I figured that it would be the best one to start with so that I could work my way down to the other (smaller) variants using this illustration as a starting point. I don’t know why, but it’s always easier for me to downsize a template than it is to make one larger.

Even though the Embraer ERJ family of aircraft is quite extensive, there aren’t any significant differences between most of them other than fuselage length. Therefore, I should be able to crank through all of the other major variants at a very rapid pace now that I have this main illustration complete. Keep your eyes peeled for the standard -145 next, and then I’m going to tackle the -135 immediately after that. You’ll be happy to know that these are going to come very fast, and I hope to have everything uploaded here on the blog by the end of next week.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go sit in a corner for a while and listen to calming mediation music to fend off this anxiety I just inflicted on myself for promising a lot of illustrations by the end of next week…