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Livery of the Week: American’s AstroJet

The retro livery adorns a Boeing 737-800.

American’s AstroJet retro livery (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

Editor’s Note: AirlineGeeks is proud to present our ‘Livery of the Week’ series. Every Friday, a team member will share an airline livery, which can be from the past, present, or even a special scheme. Some airline liveries are works of art. The complexity associated with painting around critical flight components and the added weight requires outside-the-box thinking from designers. The average airliner can cost upwards of $200,000 to repaint, creating a separate aircraft repainting industry as a result. 

Have an idea for a livery that we should highlight? Drop us a line

American Airlines offers a glimpse into the past with their AstroJet retro livery. This special paint scheme isn’t simply cosmetic – it’s a revival of a design used on its fleet in the mid-1960s.

The original AstroJet livery was a product of the Jet Age. It featured a polished aluminum fuselage with a striking red “lightning bolt” stripe, all designed to evoke speed and modernity. The so-called ‘meatball’ AA logo adorns the tail.

American rolls out its signature AstroJet retro livery on N905NN (Photo: American Airlines)

While the original livery lasted only a few years, it left a lasting impression. In 2000, American Airlines brought it back on a Boeing 737-800, a nod to their heritage and a hit with aviation enthusiasts. The success led to another retro jet in 2017, which replaced the older aircraft.

Today, the retro livery is on a Boeing 737 registered as N905NN.

Looking for a new airplane model? Head over to our friends at the Midwest Model Store for a wide selection of airlines and liveries.

Ryan Ewing
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  • Ryan Ewing

    Ryan founded AirlineGeeks.com back in February 2013 and has amassed considerable experience in the aviation sector. His work has been featured in several publications and news outlets, including CNN, WJLA, CNET, and Business Insider. During his time in the industry, he's worked in roles pertaining to airport/airline operations while holding a B.S. in Air Transportation Management from Arizona State University along with an MBA. Ryan has experience in several facets of the industry from behind the yoke of a Cessna 172 to interviewing airline industry executives. Ryan works for AirlineGeeks' owner FLYING Media, spearheading coverage in the commercial aviation space.

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