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“An ugly aircraft does not fly”
Alexey Tupolev

Boeing 747 of Air France, crossing Tyrol, 1985 (WS)

Aircraft are beautiful – dictated by the laws of aerodynamics, otherwise they would be uneconomic. And also steam-locomotives, based on the laws of physics, had their beauty (while motorcar design is dependent on marketing considerations, sometimes leading to monstrosity or aggressiveness). During the 30s already the DC-3, Albatros and Condor were nice. The Constellation and the Bristol ‘Brabazon’ with their streamlined fuselage were the beauties among the prop airliners. Jetliners, though with a more rationalized fuselage design, became a myth – the 707, DC-8, Coronado, A330 and A340 for their functional elegance and the Concorde for speed. About the beauty of the 787, Boeing’s director of differentiation strategy Blake Emery stated: “I think it has contributed to the market success of the Dreamliner” (Flight Intl, Oct23, 2007). Influenced by French-born marketing guru Clotaire Rapaille, whose relationship with Boeing is dating back to the years of CEO Phil Condid, a “bird-like” wing design and a “new nose” were chosen. And the A350XWB followed that model. New technology set new rules for airliners’ appearance, beautiful due to the statement of pioneer Alexey Tupolev.

Caravelle of Sterling, Innsbruck 1984 (WS)

Concorde of Air France, in the background a smaller plane, Salzburg 1984 (WS)

Concorde of British Airways on a Graz – London special flight, Linz 1981 (WS)