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First Look: American Debuts Refreshed Allegheny Retro Jet
This livery joins a group of 10 American 'heritage' aircraft.
Fort Worth-based American Airlines has unveiled the latest (re)addition to its lineup of retro-themed liveries. Previously on an A319 (N745VJ), the carrier shifted the paint scheme to a larger A321 (N579UW). The Allegheny retro jet joins a list of recently refreshed special liveries, including American’s PSA, Piedmont, and US Airways themes.
Earlier this year, the airline announced that it would be moving all its A319 retro liveries to the larger A321 variant. Sometimes called ‘heritage’ liveries, each one represents an airline from the past that eventually made up today’s American Airlines brand. These include US Airways, Piedmont, PSA, America West, and Allegheny on the airline’s Airbus fleet.
On the carrier’s 737 fleet, retro liveries include TWA (N915NN), AirCal (N917NN), RenoAir (N916NN), the 1950s-era AstroJet (N905NN), and the polished aluminum AA design (N921NN). In total, American has 10 aircraft representing past brands.
In September, American repainted two A321s – N581UW and N852UW – in the PSA and Piedmont heritage liveries respectively.
A Look Back at Allegheny Airlines
Originally known as All American Aviation Company, Allegheny was a once well-known regional airline in the U.S., especially in its home state of Pennsylvania. The airline’s roots can be traced back to 1939.
Initially, the airline’s primary focus was to provide airmail services to smaller communities in Pennsylvania. It operated a fleet of single-engine Stinson Reliant aircraft and was a key link in connecting remote areas.
After World War II, the company rebranded as All American Airways, pivoting to scheduled passenger services. In 1953, it was again rebranded as Allegheny Airlines to reflect its regional focus on the Allegheny Mountain region. The airline rapidly grew its fleet and route network throughout the 1950s and 1960s. It primarily operated twin-engine aircraft such as the Convair 340 and 440, as well as the Fairchild F-27.
The airline later began acquiring larger aircraft, such as the McDonnell Douglas DC-9. In 1979, it changed its name to USAir. The USAir name eventually evolved into US Airways and later merged with American Airlines in 2013.
Allegheny called its DC-9 the ‘VistaJet,’ which is reflected on American’s A321 retro livery today.
Behind the Livery
American has a relatively extensive line-up of retro liveries compared to some of its peers. The updated Allegheny design rolled out of the paint shop in Amarillo, Texas on Tuesday.
Painting large commercial aircraft can cost nearly $200,000, according to CNBC. Some airlines invest heavily in their paint schemes, including both special and standard liveries. Often artfully designed, liveries have the ability to tell unique stories.
All photos provided by American Airlines
Editor’s Note: If you like deep diving into the intriguing realm of airline liveries, logos, and designs, head over to AirlineGeeks’ ‘Livery of the Week.’ series. Each week, our team looks at a specific design – both past and present – and the story behind it.
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