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youtube How did this LOGO make aviation HISTORY?

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Today´s question will be a little aviation history lesson, back to 1930´s. In 1932 the english designer Theyre Lee-Elliott created this very minimalistic looking bird. And by the look of it, it seems to fly really fast, so Mr. Lee Elliott decided to name his design "speedbird". It immediately became a desgin classic and was used as the coroprate logo for "Imperial Airways" in 1932. The logo was intially used for advertising posters and luggage labels. Later it was applied to the nose seciton of the company aircrafts like the Short S.30 C-Class flying boat. In 1939 the BOAC ( British Overseas Airways Corporation ) was founded, taking over "Imperial Airways" and smaller british regional avitaion companies, and took over the "Speedbird" into their new company logo. At the beginning of the second world war most of the BOAC planes were used for military services and were painted in camouflage colors. But the employees insisted to have their speedbird logo visibel at the front of the fuselage, as you can see in this picture. In the 1950´s after the World War had ended, the BOAC gave the speedbird greater prominence and placed the logo onto the tail fin, either in colors navy blue on white background or vice versa. With introduction of proper air traffic control and every airline needing a call sign to identify the operator and aircraft, the BOAC chose the name of their well known logo, "Speedbird". So the call sign "Speedbird125", the number referring to the flight route and destination, was born. In 1974 the BOAC merged with BEA ( British European Airways) and other smaller companies to the world wide known British Airways. The speedbird logo remainded unaltered but moved back to the nose section of the plane to make space for the Union Jack on the tail fin. The new founded Bristish Airways intended to remove the speedbird, but former BOAC employees pressured BA to keep the little bird on the plane. As in 1984, British Airways prepared for privatisation, a new more modern look was needed. The so called "Speedmarque" at the front of the fuselage was designed and bore a minimal resemblence to the original 1930´s desgin. But the call sign remained the same over the years and celebrates it´s 66th aniversary this year. Here are a few speedbird call signs which will go down in history and a few famous ones which are still out there. "Speedbird Concorde One" the pilots of the Concorde were requested to mention Concorde in their callsign, so that the airtraffic controller was immediatley aware of who he was dealing with. "Speedbird One" still exist. It is now an Airbus A319 taking off from London City Airport on a daily basis, with only few luxury seats, bringing very wealthy passengers to New York City Airport La Guardia. And "Speedbird 125 heavy" is the callsign of a Boeing Triple 7 going from London to Bahrain, and it just sounds so cool. I´m a huge fan of historic events which had an impact on the future. Imagine Mr. Lee-Elliott sitting at his desk, designing the little speedbird without knowing that his creation shall become one of the most famous call signs in aviation history. I´m pretty sure that wasn´t his intial intention as he started creating the speedbird.


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