I’ve been looking forward to this one. The Boeing 717 is probably one of my all-time favorite airplanes due to how squat and tough it looks, and I’m convinced that it may be one of the best aircraft designs ever (well, besides the 757 that is). That’s just my option of course, but the proportions of each element are so perfectly balanced with one another that I can’t help but feel the urge to create illustration after illustration of this thing adorned in my favorite liveries (both real and fictitious).
I haven’t been doing as many livery illustrations as I’ve wanted to lately, so this sounds like the perfect excuse to reprioritize my busy schedule…
I actually learned quite a bit about the 717 while creating these templates. For some reason or another I had always thought that the size of the wing had been increased over what was on the DC9-50 and MD80, but it’s actually the other way around. The wing has indeed been redesigned, but its actually quite a bit smaller with a shorter overall wingspan. It’s probably the greatly shortened fuselage that distorted my reality a bit, but I could have swore they made a much more agressive wing for this model.
Many other elements of the 717 have been greatly enhanced over it’s older siblings, however. The vertical stabilizer is an all new design, along with a much larger horizontal stabilizer. The engine is the other big change (both figuratively and literally), which to me, is what gives the 717 such an agressive look. I guess it’s just a guy thing. Those big Rolls-Royce BR715 turbofan engines look great on this little fuselage.
The forward section of this airplane is largely a carryover from earlier versions, but combined with those big new engines and tail section, it looks like a totally new design. And can you imagine what this would look like with a more aggressive wing and winglets? There is most certainly no chance of Boeing re-opening the production line of the 717, but I really can’t help but wonder what 2017 tech the engineers would add to in now to make it even more efficient and powerful. I’m sure it would look even better than it already does!
My only complaint with the Boeing 717 is the name. Sorry Boeing, even though you merged with McDonnell Douglas in 1997 and took over every single part of that old company, the 717 will never truly be part of the Boeing family in my mind. A fine aircraft it is, but I kind of which they would have kept the MD name out of respect for the history of the brand.
Now that this template is complete, I’ve caught up with my own personal needs. There aren’t any other airliner templates I need to create for my travel blog right now, so I’m going to open it up to you and ask for suggestions. Please email me or leave a comment below with your suggestion as to what my next template should be. I’ll tally the responses and pick the #1 most-requested aircraft type. I really mean it! I feel like I’ve been really selfish over the last few months creating only what I want to create, so I encourage you to speak up if there is an aircraft you desperately need side view templates for.