It’s amazing how powerful the role of “brand” plays in the construction of memory, especially where our memories of travel are concerned. Maybe it all comes down to tribal affiliations, perhaps in a way similar to how we develop powerful bonds to local sports teams. People who grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area developed affinities for United Air Lines, while people from Boston may relate more powerfully to long gone brands such as Eastern or TWA. One thing is clear, however: after watching the livery scene in X-plane…people have very strong feelings about their favorite airlines, and they want liveries for those airliners.
And the unsung heroes of this niche in the X-plane omniverse toil away quietly, helping – I think, in a very real sense – make such dreams come true.
Maybe it was your first airplane ride as a kid, or the first time you flew overseas…perhaps during college or for a school trip. Maybe it’s the airline you took on your “honeymoon,” or coming home after a long overseas deployment…?
It’s said that travel heightens experience, that our internal video recorders are, so to speak, working full-time when we travel abroad, especially on an overseas vacation. Perhaps it’s logical to assume then, that every little thing about the experience is indelibly ingrained in memory, and that the first time we venture forth from our comfort zones into the unknown such experience takes on even deeper meaning. Perhaps that helps explain why our childhood memories take on the characteristics of powerful chemical bonds. Such moments echo through our lives in ways we may never fully understand, but they’re there…waiting.
And these memories find a home in X-plane too, find a new way to express that bond, provide a means of reliving cherished moments…and who knows, perhaps that’s behind our passion for flying, or wanting to fly again in X-plane.
The point here, and there is one, is that liveries (or paints) for airliners are a vital part of our individual experience, and they shouldn’t be ignored. If you have a favorite and you can’t find it, ask a painter if he or she can help. It can’t hurt.
Today, we’re going to look at a bunch of paint. We’ll start off with the 767 but branch off and look at a few other airline liveries, recent ones for the most part – but not all. So…let’s look at some fresh paint, and maybe take a trip down memory lane…
For the FJS 732, Air Florida here; for the FJS 721: American 1st generation AstroJet here; Sabena Interim here; Lufthansa 1965 here. For the 722F, VarigLOG here. For the FF 752, LTU here. For the default 738: TUI Blue here; AnadoluJET here.
I can’t imagine there are many people left in this world who know the name Will Rogers, let alone what he meant to the United States, and perhaps even to the world, during one of the darkest chapters of the 20th-Century. The world moved on, time passes, memory fades until even the people who relied on his wit and wisdom fade away too, and all of it is too soon lost, even the memory of such things. We are left with memorials and words on the page, until time erases those things, too.
Perhaps you recall the name Mark Twain? An American writer and humorist, he portrayed life in late 19th-Century America in a manner similar to Charles Dickens in his earlier portraits of life in early-industrial-era Britain. Well, Will Rogers was such a writer, only for the most part he wrote newspaper columns…when he wasn’t making movies or on the radio…and yet it is the radio, and its vital role in American life, that is most rapidly fading from view these days. It’s not easy to remember how isolated life was before radio pulled us together, and perhaps it was radio that ignited the quest for deeper and closer means of sharing. Television certainly, perhaps even the internet.
When Franklin Roosevelt took the office of President of the United States in 1933, he communicated with the American people by radio address, and these “fireside chats” bound the people to Roosevelt in ways impossible to measure these days. In another vein Will Rogers did so too, using his signature “cowboy wit” to reassure the American people during the darkest days – and months and years – of the Great Depression. And in the same way Americans embraced Roosevelt, they also embraced Will Rogers. We the People needed to really know we were all in this mess together, and radio filled that need.
Will Rogers was Oklahoma’s “native son,” and they’ve embraced the memory of the man and held on tight, so it was only right they dedicate their biggest airport to the memory of his name. You see, Rogers was also an early advocate of commercial aviation in this country…early…as it right after the First World War. He died, in 1935, in a flight with pioneer aviator Wiley Post, trying to map out a route from the lower 48 to Alaska, and then on to Siberia.
So…journalist, actor, political commentator, explorer…and to a wounded nation…a national treasure.
Now we have the airport named in his honor, right here in X-plane. The original release is already fading from memory but the developer has kept at it, I’d assume learning as he goes, and the file is at a point now where I think it’s worth sharing, and worth a download.
But…why would you? Well, look over the list of airlines and destinations (here) and also note that Southwest is a key player here, and interestingly so. Back in the days of railway passenger service there were two kinds of trains: express and local. Express trains like the California Zephyr and the Super Chief went from Chicago to Los Angeles with a minimum of stops, and these name trains were almost all sleeper cars, club cars, and dining cars. Locals handled the less glamorous runs, almost always nothing but coach cars and maybe with a diner.
Well, the “local” is Southwest’s model in a large swath of the US: Chicago Midway to Kansas City, to Oklahoma City – branching off to Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Houston, and Corpus Christi, Texas, and also to El Paso, Texas and Albuquerque, New Mexico. These were Braniff’s “bread and butter” routes too, and why Southwest rose to prominence after BI passed into the history books.
So…KOKC + Will Rogers. Let’s take a look…
Some work remains to be done here. The terminal needs an entry area, roadways need work around the main terminal too, fencing needs to delineate the public areas around the terminal and hangers from more restricted areas, more trees, more ramp lighting…but this one is about 90% of the way to being really good and I’d hate to see the developer stop now. Oh, there’s a very good city file linked on the main download page and I’ve included that below.
If you fly into this one, do yourself a favor and read up on Will Rogers. Souls like his pass this way only so often, and I’d not like to think of a world where even the memory of his time here fades completely away.
Link to Oklahoma City VFR file: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/47725-vcities-oklahoma-city/
We’ll seeya next time…C