Industry Trends: Planes in Costume


It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a… giant bag of gummy bears?

Vehicle wrapping and complex paint jobs have been low key everywhere in the custom car community. These techniques have allowed cars to be used as roving advertisements for businesses, and have given that extra something to modded whips. Enthusiasts have applied unique designs, colors and, you guessed it, glitter to their rides.

The custom paint trend is now being applied to largescale aircraft, and its use on planes and other flying machines has been huge—literally.

Alaska Airlines Spirit of Disneyland 737-400

Aircraft have been spotted in disguise, donning famous faces or identities altogether. Planes have been dressed up as a wide variety of characters from Disney classics, to Pokémon’s famed Pikachu, to what looks like a flying Iron Maiden band T-shirt.

Iron Maiden's Ed Force One Airplane

Designs are being executed with specific intentions. A plane disguised as a giant Duracell battery travels during the holidays to deliver donated gifts for Toys for Tots. More often though, these aircraft serve promotional purposes and have been popular with fans of the featured franchises or brands. Emirates, for example, has released a series for soccer lovers.

Real Madrid Emirates

Perhaps most notably, Nippon Airways put four Star Wars-themed jets into commercial service, flying internationally out of Tokyo. Last year, a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner was transformed into the lovable droid R2-D2, and a Boeing 777-300ER was painted in the likeness of one of the newest characters, BB-8. In March of this year, a Boeing 777 widebody jet began flying as Star Wars’ most fussy droid, C-3PO.


(Nippon Airways Star Wars display at Brussels Airport. Image by Brussels Airport / CC BY-SA 2.0)

Today, as many of us get into costume for Halloween with family and friends, what are your thoughts on this industry trend? Are disguised planes here to stay? We know one thing, designing and executing these paint jobs must have been a treat!

Aero Culture: The Language of Maintenance

Do you speak any foreign languages? Spanish? Swahili? French, maybe? …Or maybe not. What about the language of maintenance?

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires all licensed Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) mechanics to speak and read English fluently, but the language requirement of aviation maintenance is much more than that. Though common to well-trained aviation maintenance professionals (AMPs), industry jargon sounds like a foreign tongue to the untrained ear.

For instance, the acronym AMP must be learned at some point. It’s the professional standard for “I fix airplanes!” If you’re serious about maintenance, the language is essential. Knowing what it is to redline, or go above the airspeed at which is it safe to fly, isn’t common knowledge… but it’s something that an aircraft mechanic has to know. Redlining may overstress or damage the structural elements of an aircraft.

The language of maintenance is learned in the classroom, by reading books and magazines, and through extensive experience on the job. It is not just a simple set of terms, however. It’s the source of information that you need to be successful in the industry. Through this shared language, AMPs are able to communicate maintenance issues and solutions effectively.

National Aviation Academy (NAA) ensures that students are provided skills consistent with FAA and industry standards. NAA instructors provide more than the basics; they offer their expertise and insights into industry culture. Graduates enter the workforce after spending 14-21 months with instructors who have conveyed an advanced curriculum and hands-on training, as well as their valuable experience from all sectors of aviation.

As advanced aircraft systems continue to develop and change, maintaining consistent information is an increasingly difficult task. It requires tremendous skill and collective knowledge. The language of maintenance is a network of information that allows AMPs to consistently identify the correct solution to keep our aircraft safely in the sky. So do you speak aviation maintenance? Start today!

To learn more about becoming an aviation maintenance technician, fill out the form below:

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Aero Culture: Girls in Aviation Day 2016


Earhart, Coleman, Cochran, Malachowski. online jolietta casino Each name represents a significant achievement in aviation history. And did you know that each is also a woman? From making the first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean to acting as the first female pilot and commander of a space shuttle, women have been, and continue to be, fierce contributors to the field of aviation.

Both the aviation industry and professional culture have changed considerably since Amelia Earhart’s famed transatlantic flight in 1932 or the moon landing in 1969. As the industry and the workplace continue to evolve, men AND women can benefit from understanding the role of maintenance technicians in aviation.

Maintenance professionals are essential to the multi-trillion dollar aviation industry, which could not function without them. Every takeoff and landing depends on the hard work, mindfulness and skill of aviation maintenance professionals. Additionally, it is a field that offers high earning potential and job growth.

Organizations involved with aviation maintenance, like other professional fields such as science and computer coding, encourage women to take interest. Millions will be needed to share their skills, ideas and work ethic to build a dynamic and diverse community of professionals.

Girls in Aviation Day is held each year so that girls and women can connect to share their interest in aviation, explore opportunities in the aviation and aerospace industry and experience diversity within the field. Women in Aviation International chapters, and other aviation institutes, will be participating globally this Saturday, September 24, 2016.

For more information on how you can build a lasting career in aviation maintenance, contact NAA today.