Sidenote: some pictures have an individual description to give some specific details. All reports are best viewed on your laptop or PC.
In the first quarter of 2020, Luxembourg's flag carrier Luxair started the "Flying is an art" campaign to promote the Luxembourgish artist SUMO (Christian Pearson), aswell as the airline itself in order to be featured more and more on social media platforms, such as Instagram or Facebook, by standing out from the masses of other regular painted aircraft throughout Europe. The project was realized by the in Luxembourg based aircraft livery and branding company BCO aviation.
On the 27th of July 2020, the 2012 built Boeing 737-8C9 LX-LGU rolled out of the hangar, being the first of two special designed aircraft of the SUMO! campaign to be presented to public.
Some months later, on the 13th of October, the almost 7 year old Dash-8 LX-LQA received the second bunch of stickers and rolled out a day later.
The stickers of both aircraft are manufactured by 3M (Type A7322) and are made out of microperforated vinyl, being solid enough to last for thousands of flight hours on the airframe.
In total, 200 hours were needed for the creation of the design. Furthermore, for the Boeing 737, it took 6 BCO aviation workmen around 17 hours to apply the adhesive film and not less than 10 hours were needed by another 4 BCO aviation installers to finish the new colour scheme on the Dash-8.
The 136 individual stickers (71 on the right hand side and 65 on the left hand side), which form the whole colour scheme on the 737, weigh around 85kg in total. The weight of the 84 vinyl stickers (42 on each side) on the Q400 is around 46kg.
In order to make the stickers lasting longer under the harsh conditions in basically any weather and altitude the airplane is flying through, the edges of every sticker were treated with a so called edge sealant, a transparent paint-like substance, which forms an aerodynamic, air- and watertight seal between the original aircraft paint and the thereon applied adhesive.
Let's get started with some images of LX-LGU shortly after its rollout! Note that the designs on each side are completely different.
Some months later, Bombardier Q400 LX-LQA, the second SUMO! aircraft, took to the skies in its new livery for the first time.
Not only the outside of both aircraft were changed, but also the interior was modified, by changing the usual Luxair headrest covers by special designed SUMO! covers. Furthermore, the same individual design portions, which can be found on the fuselage, have been taken out of the whole and were installed as posters throughout the cabin at different positions.
As the COVID-19 pandemic is currently still present, Luxair digitalized its board magazine "Flydoscope". Furthermore, instead of the conventional, removable safety cards, new safety cards were provided by BCO aviation aswell and installed on the underside of each foldable table, to minimize the risk of infection by keeping sharable items to a minimum. The only thing left in the seatpockets are the sickness bags.
Together with the first Luxair SUMO! aircraft, also a new special edition of the Flydoscope was released, with artist Christian Pearson playing a major role in it. To ease the access to the online magazine for passengers, special QR code stickers, which can be scanned with a smart phone device before take-off, were applied on the backshell of every seat.
The livery carries a variety of details which I hardly all discovered at the first glimpse. Here some close-ups of both sides of the livery.
The micro-perforated 3M vinyl eases the application of the stickers and helps to avoid trapped air bubbles underneath the foil. This increases the life time of the foil and makes it look smooth from the outside, too.
Even though the layout of both designs changed between the Bombardier and the Boeing, the single individual elements remained the same.
Both aircraft are foreseen to wear the livery until early 2021, so there is plenty of opportunities for people and passengers to get a glimpse on it or two.
In my opinion, the colourful SUMO! livery looks absolutely stunning during day and night. But see yourself in the follwoing images made during dusk and dawn.
The SUMO! livery is the first major special and promoting aircraft colour scheme for Luxair ever since 1962. It definitely stands out of the mass and is an appreciated change in between all the other plain livery designs of regional European airlines.
Furthermore, passengers, travellers and planespotters start to share their images via social media platforms, whenever they see one of those two aircraft, thus making Luxair become known abroad even more.
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