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

buy source file ERJ-140 airliner template

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)

buy source file ERJ-145 airliner template

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

buy source file ERJ-145 XR airliner template

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…

boeing 757-200 tools royce engines side view

Sorry for the lack of an exciting update today, but I really needed to get my Boeing 757–200 template updated with Rolls Royce engines as soon as possible. You see, I create illustrations of all the aircraft that I fly on for my travel blog, and several weeks ago I flew on a American Airlines 757–200 from Phoenix to San Diego (a really great flight by the way). As you are probably aware, American Airlines 757s are all Rolls Royce powered (and I only had the Pratt & Whitney version illustrated), so this had to be done in order for me to keep up with my normal posting schedule over there. Sometimes I’m really starting to think that my blogs own me, and not the other way around…

Simply drawing a new engine and applying it to my existing 757 template is not as easy as it sounds. The problem was that I needed to find decent reference material which clearly showed all of the tiny little differences between the two versions of this aircraft. Considering that most of those details are under their wing and in the shadows, it’s never easy to find a single “Holy Grail” pic revealing everything. It usually involves scouring through hundreds of photos and picking out a handful of the best to compare with my existing illustration to figure out what the differences are.

It’s exactly like being six years old again and I’m struggling with one of those stupid books which are showing me two silly pictures and I have to figure out which one has the cat holding a hotdog and which one doesn’t. Well, at least I can say that my education paid off, right?

boeing 757-200 rolls royce engines side view blueprint

Side profile line drawing of a Boeing 757-200 with winglets and Rolls Royce engines

buy source file 757-200 rolls royce engines airliner template

The complexities don’t end there either. In this particular case, I created that original 757 template three years ago, back when I was still learning how to do side view airliner templates and I didn’t necessarily have my technique refined and down pat as I do now. Therefore, as I’m working with those old templates, I start to notice little problems here and there that need fixing before I can proceed with the new engine integration. It always takes time to go back and redo portions of those old illustrations to get them up to snuff with my current level of quality, which is a good thing I guess considering how much of a perfectionist I am. I always want to make sure I’m giving you guys the highest quality that I can when it comes to my original source files.

boeing 757-200 rolls royce engines side view

Here’s the all white version without winglets

boeing 757-200 rolls royce engines side view blueprint

And the line drawing without winglets

By now you are probably asking yourself, “Scott, which version of the 757 do you think looks better? The Pratt & Whitney version, or the Rolls Royce version?” Okay, it’s probably more likely that this particular question never even crossed your mind, but I’m really itching to tell you which one I like the best – because I’m opinionated like that! The winner in my book is the Pratt & Whitney powered version, simply because I think the Rolls Royce engines look too small compared to the overall size of the airframe. What do you think?

For my next template, I’m thinking about doing something from scratch instead of making a small update to one of my existing templates such as I did with this one. I haven’t done any Russian aircraft yet other than the SSJ-100, and I know very little about commercial Russian aircraft in general, so I think that would be a lot of fun. But don’t get your hopes up! I haven’t even started anything yet, and I’ve got a week long vacation coming up soon, so my mind could change by the time I come back and get started again. It’s really anyone’s guess which aircraft is coming next…

White Boeing 727 side view

Before I begin, could you please give me a moment so that I can grab another tissue and wipe the tears of nostalgia from my eyes? It should only take a second or two, and you can pass the time browsing some of the other side view airliner templates in my ever-growing collection. The L-1011 is a neat one – I’d recommend giving that one a good look while I compose myself to write this blog post…

*sniffle*

OK, I’m ready now. I don’t know what it is about the 727 that brings on such strong feelings of nostalgia in me, but it does so in a very big way each and every time I see one of these things. My first ever flight was way back in the spring of 1982 on a Republic Airlines Boeing 727 from Detroit to Sarasota, and for an eight-year-old boy just starting to become fascinated with airplanes, it was a life-altering experience that I would never forget.

The funny thing was that one of my classmates was also flying to Florida that same week (it was spring break, and nearly all of Michigan migrates to Florida at that time), but he and his family were lucky to be flying a Northwest DC-10. I was so jealous of that, and I remember feeling disappointed that we were only going to be on a stupid little 727. But once we arrived at the airport and I saw that airplane sitting at the gate ready to take us to Florida, it was stimulation overload and I had the time of my life. It was an amazing flight!

The Boeing 727 is the airplane of my childhood. Just as the 737 is the most common airliner in existence today, the 727 was the workhorse of airline fleets worldwide and they were literally everywhere in the 1980’s. It seems that every single airport (big and small) had 727’s flowing in and out of them like water, and I specifically remember watching these airplanes fly low and slow over our house on approach into DTW. *sniff* I think I’m going to need another tissue…

boeing 727-200 blueprint

Technical side profile line drawing of a Boeing 727-200

buy source file 727-200 airliner template

To this day, I consider the Boeing 727 to be one of the best aircraft designs ever – and that’s not just the nostalgia talking. To think that this thing was designed in the 1960s is just astounding considering that there were no computers back then to help figure out some of the aerodynamic complexities. It still looks as sleek and beautiful today as it did back then, and with slightly bigger engines it could easily pass as a modern-day airliner. The best part to me, by far, is that aggressively swept wing. The wings of the 727 are much more aggressive compared to what we are seeing on modern day aircraft, and it was truly a design way ahead of its time. I had a lot of fun illustrating this one, though I will admit that there were no surprises for me since this is my favorite aircraft, and I pretty much knew everything about it that there is to know (design wise at least – don’t you dare ask me about the technical stuff).

I’ve logged 12 flights on the 727 over the years, with my last one being November 26, 2000 from DEN to SAN on United Airlines. It’s amazing to think that the 727 lasted two more years beyond that at United, with the last one being retired in 2002. Even more amazing is the fact that at the time of this writing, there are still 56 of these aircraft in service today around the world. The 727 has had a really good run, and it will forever hold a place in my heart as the airplane that kicked my fascination with commercial aviation into high gear.

And that’s the end of this blog post, which is a good thing because…well…I’m out of tissues.

MD-90 side view all white

Ok you guys…what is it about the MD-90 that makes you all seem to want a template of it so badly? I mean, this was never really a very popular aircraft with the major airlines, and if it weren’t for Delta Airlines, every last one of them would’ve probably been chopped up and converted into beer cans by now. That can of Redbull sitting next to you on your desk? Yup, that would likely have started it’s life as a McDonnell Douglas MD-90 if it weren’t for Delta’s quirky habit of acquiring older aircraft which every other airline can’t seem to get rid of fast enough.

Let’s look at the numbers. According to Wikipedia, there were only 116 of these things built over the span of seven years (1993-2000), and at the time of this writing, Delta Airlines is the sole remaining operator. They’ve got 61 of these airplanes still in service, and that number is dwindling more and more with each passing year. Oddly enough, I’ve been getting requests to create side view templates of the MD-90 at the rate of roughly one per week for the past year and a half (mostly from different people but there have been a few repeats). If you’re good at math, you’ll know that that is roughly 75 requests for what is essentially an aircraft that was never very popular and is all but extinct. What gives?

Is it safe to assume that the MD-90 has a cult following that I didn’t know about? I’m a fairly regular reader of airliners.net, and I’m usually in tune with what’s going on in the world of commercial aviation, but I’m not seeing the fascination with this aircraft on the forums over there. Perhaps there really is a secret underground cult following of the MD-90, and if that’s the case, my only conclusion is that you guys aren’t vocal enough. Somebody needs to start a website called md90love.com or something to take advantage of this hugely untapped market. It sounds stupid, I know, but smelling a business opportunity here is the only thing that pops into my head when trying to decipher the data.

Anyway, on to the templates! I knew right from the beginning that this MD-90 illustration wouldn’t be all that much different from my MD-80 template, as they are basically the same aircraft differentiated by a few minor changes. The biggest change, of course, is that the MD-90 has much bigger and better looking engines then it’s predecessor. The V2500 engines give the MD-90 a really stout and tough looking appearance (especially from a front three-quarter view), which unfortunately makes the MD-80 look absolutely weak and pathetic in comparison. Maybe it’s just because I’m a guy, but judging an aircraft based on how big the engines are and how strong it looks is…well…such a guy thing to do. Size matters!

MD-90 blueprint

Technical side profile line drawing of a McDonnell Douglas MD-90

buy source file MD-90 airliner template

Another difference which I didn’t know about is the fact that the MD-90 has the same squared-off vertical stabilizer as the Boeing 717. I had originally thought that it was Boeing who created that sharper vertical stabilizer, but it was actually McDonnell Douglas right before the merger. Oddly enough, that’s probably the most interesting tidbit of info that I learned from creating this template. There’s always something, and that’s what makes these templates so dang fun.

So there you have it. The MD-90 templates are now complete, which does make me feel pretty good for getting them done and out of the way. Not as good as realizing that it will stop the inflow of email and requests that I get for this aircraft though! I never could understand the fascination with this oddball aircraft, but I imagine these templates are going to make a lot of you happy. My sincere apologies for the long wait!

all white airbus a318 side view

Did you know that the Airbus A318 has a taller vertical stabilizer than the A319? And that there is a completely different engine option as well? I didn’t either until the evening I sat down to modify my A319 template into this cute little baby bus. The heartburn started heating up after just 30 seconds on Wikipedia, realizing that this one-evening hack job was going to take a lot longer than planned. I hate when that happens, especially when I’ve got so many other airliner templates on my to-do list.

And it wasn’t the taller vertical stabilizer and different engine option that made me reach for the Tums – it turns out that there are a lot of little differences in the engine coverings (for both the CFM56 and Pratt & Whitney options) compared to the A319, and it ended up being faster for me to redraw them from scratch rather than mess around trying to modify the other ones. Oh – and let’s not forget about the details in the engine connection to the wing as well. This ended up being one of those templates that seemed to get more and more complicated the deeper I got into it, and I was kind of regretting taking it on at first.

But you know what? Although it sounds like I’m complaining, the truth is that I’m actually pretty stoked that I learned that the A318 is a lot more than just an A319 with the ends chopped off. There is a lot more that went into the design and engineering of this aircraft than I originally thought, so it’s it’s kind of a shame that it was essentially a failure for Airbus (from a sales and marketing point of view). As a designer myself, I know exactly how demoralizing that can feel. Sometimes the projects I spend the most time on are the biggest failures. It happens, and all you can do is push it aside and move on to the next one.

Airbus A318 side view blueprint

A technical side profile line drawing of an Airbus A318 with cfm56 engines – basically, the line drawing version of the illustration at the top of this post.

The Airbus A318 was produced from 2001 through 2013, with only four Airlines operating them at the time of this writing (Air France, Avianca Brasil, Avianca, and TAROM). They never gained traction in the US, and the only ones I ever saw buzzing about were here in Southern California. Frontier Airlines had a handful of them, and occasionally I’d see them operating between DEN and SAN. Unfortunately, I never got a chance to get a ride on one, but I’m pretty sure I wasn’t missing much. I can’t imagine it being much more than a fat regional jet anyway, and I’m not a big fan of small airplanes.

On the other hand, the traveler in me is slightly bothered by the fact that this is an active aircraft in regularly scheduled service that is deeply established as an “endangered species” – and time is running out if I want to add the experience to my personal flight log. I’ve been wanting to take a trip to South America soon, so perhaps it would be wise to see if I can hitch a ride with Avianca. Just to say I did it.

airbus a318 side profile pratt & whitney engines

Here’s the all-white version with Pratt & Whitney engines

airbus a318 side profile pratt & whitney engines blueprint

Finally, the line drawing version with Pratt & Whitney engines

buy source file A318 airliner template

Anyway, it feels great to have finished these A318 templates, as that means that I now have the complete Airbus A320 family in my archives (all the way up to the latest and greatest NEO). I can’t help but to hope that these won’t be a flop like the real A318 though…

Next up is the McDonnell Douglas MD-90. A quick check of Wikipedia reveals that the only major visual differences between it and the MD-80 is a slightly lengthened fuselage and (of course) larger engines. As long as there are no surprises, I should be able to crank it out relatively quickly. I am traveling to China next week though, so there will be a slight pause in the action. In the meantime, feel free to tinker with any of my other templates while I’m away, and I’ll get that MD-90 wrapped up as soon as I return!

Dash 8 side view

I didn’t realize it before, but I think that the smaller turboprop aircraft such as this Dash 8 are actually more difficult for me to illustrate than the larger airliners that I normally do. The problem is that these turboprops are a lot smaller, which requires me to zoom in and fill the page a bit more than I would normally would when drawing larger aircraft. My source files for these airliner templates are large format (5000 x 3000 pixels), so making a little airplane fit a canvas that large requires some extra work to make sure that I include all the important little details.

On the flipside, its important to maintain consistency with my other airliner templates. I could easily spend an entire year on a single illustration if I was completely obsessed with including every single little rivet and connection bolt, but these templates were never meant to be used as construction drawings anyway. Because of that, it’s important for me to know when to say when in regards to adding extra detail which I don’t include in any of my other illustrations. It took me a while to figure out what detail I was going to and not going to include in these Dash 8 templates, but I hope you’ll agree with me that I found a decent middle ground which still makes these drawings valuable for a variety of different uses.

Those of you that have been using my templates for a long time know that I illustrated the Q400 way back in 2015, and the nice thing about that is that this smaller -200 version shares a lot of the same components of that larger -400. Unfortunately the Q400 is a lot newer and much more modern than the Dash 8, so I had to modify nearly every one of those components before adding them in. But as I’ve said before, I never would’ve known about these differences if I wasn’t doing these illustrations, so I enjoy doing the research and figuring out the differences between all the sub types.

Dash 8 blueprint

Technical side profile line drawing of a De Havilland DHC-8-200 over a white background with and without the landing gear deployed

buy source file DHC-8-200 airliner template

Speaking of sub types, I learned that there are incredible number of different variations of the De Havilland Dash 8. Basically, there are four main versions: the -100, -200, -300, and -400 – which is more commonly referred to as the Q400. However, within all of those versions are an endless array of sub models which makes the entire lineup sound really confusing and a bit overwhelming. That’s why I felt a twinge of heartburn when, after I had already committed to illustrating the Dash 8, I realized that this is a very convoluted aircraft lineup and simply doing one illustration isn’t going to cover all the bases. Because of that, I simply chose to illustrate the most common variant which seems to be the -200.

To put it in the simplest terms possible, the –200 is a more powerful version of the -100, and the -300 is a slightly stretched version of the -200. The -400 (Q400) is the largest of the Q Series family of aircraft. And if you were curious to know about all of the variations of each of these, I’d recommend checking out Wikipedia for the full scoop. There are simply too many to list here!

Finally, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have sent me links to the projects you are working on. I love seeing how you are all using my templates, and it really amazes me how creative you guys and gals are. One of these days I’m going to put a giant post together here on the blog showcasing some of that work. All of what I have seen so far covers the gamut in terms of the types of projects – some are using my templates for livery designs (personal projects, school projects, virtual airlines, etc.), some are using them for technical product demonstrations, and there are even a few of you out there trying to start an actual airline, using my templates (with your branding) as part of your venture-capital presentations. Amazing!

747-400F side view

OK, first of all, I just want to apologize in a very big way for the lack of regular uploads lately. I’ve been receiving bunches of emails from concerned readers who are worried that I had given up airliner template creation for good, but I’m here to tell you that I’m still committed to this project and I’m not giving up anytime soon. As sick as it sounds, I actually love digging through the Internet looking for information which helps me create these very detailed aircraft illustrations. It’s sick and twisted I know, but I’m a very technical kind of guy and this is my kind of work.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, I’d like to present to you the templates I promised in my last post way back in November. I should point out that I’ve actually been working on these illustrations for the entire two months that I’ve been absent from this blog, so it’s not like I’ve been sitting on the beach drinking margaritas and wasting my days away. The problem was that I didn’t have the luxury to dedicate a large chunk of time to getting them done, so I had to work on them 10 minutes at a time, here and there, whenever I could find a spare moment in my day to tinker. But now they’re done and ready for you to download and do whatever it is that you usually do to my templates.

747-400F side view blueprint

Technical side profile line drawing of a Boeing 747-400F over a white background with and without the landing gear deployed

buy source file 747-400F airliner template

The Boeing 747-400F is pretty much the aircraft I think of whenever I hear the term “cargo plane”, and I’m not sure that is ever going to change. It was the dominant freighter during the time that I started getting into commercial aviation back in the 90’s so it’s pretty much burned into my brain at this point. Not only that, my very first trip to Anchorage Alaska way back in 2000 helped quite a bit to solidify the 747-400F as the king (I mean queen) of cargo, as it was amazing to see all of them flying in and out of ANC on their journeys between North America and Asia. And if you were wondering, yes, I couldn’t help but wonder if each and every one of them were carrying pallets of rubber dog shit out of Hong Kong.

For those of you who aren’t aware, there are actually two main versions of the 747-400F: those that came from the factory, and those that were converted by Boeing (Boeing Converted Freighters, or BCF for short). The standard 747-400F Versions were designed from the start to be freighters, featuring a large nose door and a shorter upper deck to save weight. The BCF version is an aircraft which started life hauling passengers, and was then converted by Boeing into a cargo hauler after being retired by the airlines. In this case, the interiors were stripped out, the windows filled with plugs, and a small cargo door was installed in the left rear of the fuselage. Note that the side cargo door was optional on the 747-400F, but the nose door was not on the 747-400BCF.

747-400BCF side view

Side profile illustration of a white Boeing 747-400BCF

747-400BCF blueprint side view

Technical side profile line drawing of a Boeing 747-400BCF

So there you have it. I hope these Boeing 747-400F templates are useful to you, and as always, please feel free to reach out to me and let me know how you are using these illustrations. Not only is it very interesting for me to see what you all are doing with them, but it also helps me to refine my technique and create better templates which suits the needs of the majority of users.

Next up: maybe the Boeing 727! Not necessarily because I want to do it, but mainly because I started one a year ago and it’s been sitting half finished in my archives begging to be finished. No promises though, as I have received a few specific requests as of late that I may tackle first…