Tintin takes to the skies with Brussels Airlines

Brussels Airlines x Tintin_680x294

This article first appeared on TheDesignAir

Brussels Airlines and The Hergé Foundation ‘Moulinsart’ have unveiled an Airbus A320 with a livery inspired by the world famous Belgian cartoon character Tintin. Both Belgian companies have worked several months on this unique project, based on the original drawings by the hand of Hergé.

Move over Shamu (Southwest’s Seaworld livery), the result is a 37m long black shark, based on Professor Calculus’ shark submarine from the Tintin adventure, Red Rackham’s Treasure (image). The aircraft was baptized ‘Rackham’. On the fuselage we read: “We fly you to the home of Tintin.”

Mirroring the designs within Brussels Airlines’ new lounge in Brussels Airport, Tintin – the historical Belgian character created by Hergé, who travels the world on adventurous quests – continues his role as the airline’s travel partner.

This is the first time Belgian cartoonist Hergé been translated onto the fuselage of an aircraft. Hergé himself was fascinated by planes. They are the most used means of transportation in the Tintin oeuvre and they were always drawn with great technical precision.

For the painting of the aircraft, Brussels Airlines worked with aircraft paint artist Andre Eisele, who had the challenging task to adapt the perspective of the drawings prepared by Moulinsart’s graphic designers to the unusual curves of an aircraft fuselage, to get as close to the original shark submarine design as possible. The entire paint job took 1500 man hours in total and even extends to the bulkhead design inside the aircraft (video here).

Airlines as national ambassadors
“This aircraft is a dream come true. The partnership with Brussels Airlines is a perfect marriage for us. Tintin is all about Belgium, all about Brussels, where he was born, as was Hergé. Tintin is also all about adventure and travelling, and with this plane we bring our two worlds together perfectly. We had many ideas about the design of the aircraft, it could have been the rocket from the album ‘Destination Moon’ for example, but we unanimously chose the submarine, and we’re very happy with the result,” says Nick Rodwell, Director Moulinsart.

“I was personally brought up with the comic albums of Tintin, I learned to read with them. This partnership means a lot to Brussels Airlines. Tintin is a frequent traveler, discovered countries around the world and met people of different nationalities and cultures during his adventures. Abroad, we feel like an ambassador of Belgium. In all we do, we build on our ‘Belgitude’ while emphasizing on ‘the best of Belgium’; Tintin fits perfectly into this positioning and represents the characteristics that we also want to put forward: being open minded and welcoming,” commented Bernard Gustin, CEO of Brussels Airlines.

After the unveiling, Rackham’s maiden voyage took place, a 1 hour and 45 minutes flight to Toulouse. Spotters, aviation enthusiasts and Tintin fans can follow the whereabouts of the plane on brusselsairlines.com and are invited to share their pictures tagged with #SNRackham. The special Tintin livery will remain on the A320 until 2019.

Print
linkedin

Related articles

Most recent articles