Our guest explains the art and the science of designing airline livery. Also, our Main(e) man Micah helps celebrate the 400th episode of the Plane Talking UK podcast.
Edmond Huot is chief creative officer and partner at Forward Media, as well as its design division Forward Studio. His team designed the livery for Northern Pacific Airways and Edmond gives us a behind-the-scenes look designing the livery for an airline.
Edmond explains that a good livery tells a story and says the airplane is more than just a canvas. You have to get “personal” with the aircraft and understand its elements and visual characteristics from different angles if you want to tell a compelling story.
Typically, the exterior airplane graphics aren’t the only part of a project. Websites, corporate branding, the company logo, and even the aircraft interior all need to be complimentary. Sometimes creative differences have to be accommodated and Edmond navigates these through best-in-class benchmarking and highly realistic mock-ups.
Growing up on a farm in midwest Canada, Edmond spent countless hours lost in imaginative storytelling, obsessing over all things airliner, architecture, and design. His penchant for the dramatic and theatrical laid a formative foundation for what would eventually blossom into a career in advertising.
Working alongside his longtime friend, business partner, and entrepreneurial collaborator Peter Clark, the two men founded several companies in both Canada and the U.S. In his late thirties, Edmond rose to become the creative head of a New York City-based holding company comprising more than 20 advertising, design, and public relations firms, whose clients have included Honda Cars, TD Bank, Expedia, Singapore Airlines, Microsoft’s Tableau, and Kenneth Cole Fashions. In 2016, he shifted gears, focusing his time and attention to revisit his childhood passion for aviation, building a practice area in the airline space. Today, his creative outlook and point of view touch a range of bespoke services including brand design, PR, media, advertising, and special events.
Brand New is a division of UnderConsideration that chronicles and provides opinions on corporate and brand identity work. They cover redesigns and new designs of notable products, companies, services, and organizations across all industries and locations.
Our Main(e) Man Micah and Brian Coleman traveled to the Brooklands Museum to help celebrate the 400th episode of the Plane Talking UK Podcast. Micah describes the community that is aviation podcasting and his rather convoluted journey across the pond.
The producer of the Pilot Wife Podcast explains navigating life in an aviation family, and the CEO of Northern Pacific Airways talks about the new airline. In the news, an Emirates 777 close call, FAA clears low-visibility landings at 5G airports, FlyersRights sues FAA over seat standards, American Airlines and The Points Guy sue each other, American reduces service, lost money at the airport, a mystery coating on stealth fighters, and a listener report on the aircraft assisting Tonga after the eruption.
Jackie Ulmer produces the Pilot Wife Podcast which helps aviation families navigate life. She’s been married to an airline pilot for over three decades, so she has more than a little experience living with a commercial pilot.
Pilot Wife Podcast explores the challenges faced by the spouse of a pilot, including understanding airline employee scheduling, living with the realities of a 27/7 business, and how to manage holidays and important life events that often have to come second. Add to that managing the children and overcoming loneliness.
In 2021, others in her online network encouraged Jackie to mentor pilot wives. As a life coach and a business coach, she had the requisite skills, and as the long-time spouse of a pilot she had the life experience. The idea of a podcast came to her and she dove into it, going live in December 2021.
On the Pilot Wife Podcast website, you’ll find the Checklist, Jackie’s blog, and of course the podcast episodes. In addition, she co-runs the Aviation Fitness Facebook group which looks at fitness from a mind-body-spirit perspective. The group is for anyone in aviation, including spouses and partners. Her business site Peak Performance Habits is where you’ll find all of that plus coaching and recipes.
Last December, an Emirates Boeing 777-300ER came within 175 feet of the ground in a neighborhood near Dubai International Airport. Emirates says only that the incident is under investigation. Some evidence suggests that an incorrect setting was made in the airplane’s autopilot during the pre-flight.
Last week, the FAA said that almost two-thirds of U.S. commercial fleets have been cleared “to perform low-visibility landings at airports” where 5G wireless service has been deployed. Among the aircraft models that have been cleared by the FAA are Airbus A300, A310, A319, A320, A330, A340, A350, and A380 models and Boeing 717, 737, 747, 757, 767, 777, and MD-10/-11 models.
Missing from the above list is the Boeing 787. The FAA issued an AD for the Boeing 787 saying that 5G interference with its radar altimeter could affect other systems. These “could prevent engine and braking systems from transitioning to landing mode, which could prevent an aircraft from stopping on the runway” under certain circumstances.
The FAA had a statutory deadline more than two years ago to issue minimum airline seat size standards. So far, the FAA hasn’t even started the rulemaking process. So FlyersRights.org has filed a court petition that seeks to order the FAA to issue the standards. FlyersRights claims to be the largest airline passenger non-profit organization with over 60,000 members.
American Airlines has been taking action against websites that use AAdvantage member data, such as tracking frequent flier program balances. One way these sites get the member data is through a process called “screen scraping” where members provide their login credentials to the site, which then logs in as the customer and reads the data off the screen. American says this method violates their terms of service and additionally that The Points Guy has been using airline trademarks and copyrighted material.
The Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), representing American Airlines’ flight attendants, wants a temporary reduction of onboard service levels and customer touchpoints. This is intended to “maintain the highest level of flight attendant and passenger safety.” As of January 26, 2022, American will be making a number of service reductions.
A passenger traveling from Germany to Thailand via Dubai International Airport found at his destination that he’d lost a small bag containing €33,600 (approx US$38,000) in bank notes. Fearing the worst, the man thought his money was gone for good. But he was to learn that the bag and its contents were found and ultimately reunited with him.
The U.S. Air Force has been testing some kind of coating on stealthy aircraft. It looks metallic, but depending on the viewing angle it looks either shiny or matte. Seen before on the F-22 and the Scaled Composites Model 401, it’s been spotted now on the F-35C and the F-117 Nighthawk.
Aviation after the Tonga disaster
A report from listener Errol Cavit looks at the impact on commercial aviation and the aircraft involved in relief operations in Tonga.
Northern Pacific Airways
Brian Coleman talked with Northern Pacific Airways CEO Rob McKinney at the hangar event where the airline revealed its livery on its first Boeing 757-200. The new long-haul airline plans to serve cities in the states of New York, Florida, California, Texas, and Nevada, with direct flights to cities in Japan and Korea through Anchorage over the Northern route. Operations are planned to start in 2022.
Update March 6, 2022: Our guest in Episode 694 (published March 9, 2022) is Edmond Huot. His team designed the Northern Pacific livery and you might want to give that fascinating interview a listen. Also, a video of the livery reveal is now available:
Innovations in Flight Outdoor Aviation Display is scheduled for Saturday, June 18, 2022, at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Free tickets are required, parking is $15, and registration will launch soon.
Hosts this Episode
Max Flight, Rob Mark, David Vanderhoof, and Max Trescott. With contributions from Brian Coleman and Errol Cavit.