When it comes to airplane paint jobs, the typical colors of white, gray, and the occasional blue just don’t cut it anymore. Now, it’s all about the customized planes flying around and dominating the sky.
From privately-owned jets to intimidating military aircraft, the painters of these planes had a few creative twists up their sleeves that might surprise you. Keep scrolling; because these airplanes prove that ruling the sky is all about the paint job.
The Most Canadian Fighter Jet In The Sky
If there is anything more Canadian flying around the sky then this CF-18 Demo Jet from the Royal Canadian Air Force, please, let us know. Otherwise, enjoy this custom-painted jet, complete with an abstract-looing maple leaf.
This particular jet was revealed in 2017 during the 150th Anniversary Air Show for the Royal Canadian Airforce. A fun fact about this particular jet is that it travels faster than the speed of sound, at 1,127 miles per hour.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Gulfstream G650 Is An Estimated $65 Million
A Gulfstream is one of the more expensive private aircraft on the market, especially if the price of a custom paint job is tacked onto the invoice. In the case of Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, his private Gulfstream G650 with its custom Nike detailing is estimated to be around $65 million.
Able to fit a total of 18 passengers, this particular Gulfstream is the epitome of comfort, luxury, and flying high in the sky with style.
Flying To Find Nemo
If this aircraft looks more like a can to you, well, you’re not going crazy. This plane is actually called a Short SC-7 Skyvan 3-100, and it’s all about swimming through the sky in its own special way.
Flying out of the Czech Republic, this skyvan is operated by Pink Aviation, a company that clearly loves the Pixar movie Finding Nemo and wanted to show the world there’s a quicker way for Marlin to find Nemo in Sydney: flying.
An Old School Mako Shark
Located in Waterloo International Airport’s Hanger 51 is this magnificent Canadair CT-133, which was purchased by the Canadian government back in 2007. While the original paint was the oh-so-typical rustic gray of military aircraft, 2011 brought with it a new facelift for the CT-133.
That year, the Mako Shark design was introduced. It was sanctioned to commemorate the 1992 VU32 squadron and the iconic “Silver Shark” T-33 aircraft they flew.
Qantas Decided To Commemorate The Late Artist Emily Kame Kngwarreye
This Qantas Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft has a funky design and a cool story to go along with it. The custom paint job on this aircraft was done to commemorate the late Northern Territory artist and Anmatyerre woman, Emily Kame Kngwarreye.
And, no, the design isn’t just red lines and dots. It’s actually based on her 1991 painting Yam Dreaming; the design represents the importance of the yam plant, a staple food source in her home region of Utopia.
Moth Wings Or Tiger Eyes?
Coming out of the 2003 NATO Tiger Meet is this masterpiece, a French Dassault Rafale M fighter jet painted to look like the eyes of a menacing tiger. Even though the paint job could potentially be mistaken as moth wings, this jet is something to behold.
Either way, you look at it, the plane is quite intimidating with the red eyes popping off the medium alongside the black and white detailing.
Duck, Duck, Not A Goose But A Plane
If you’re familiar with Nokair, then you know they’re all about their funk and cool custom paint jobs. This particular aircraft, a Boeing 737-800, just so happens to be painted like a duck, a majestic species of bird that is behind more than one “they don’t exist” conspiracy.
These aircraft are meant to hold up to 1,000 passengers for long-haul trips, never exceeding 1,000 miles per hour, unlike other planes on this list.
This Single-Prop Rooster Plane Is Pretty Unique
What? You don’t see single-propeller, two-passenger planes painted to look like a rooster flying around your town on a regular basis? Perhaps not, but that doesn’t make this privately-owned masterpiece any less cool.
One thing’s for sure; this pilot isn’t lazy when it comes to their attention to detail. Not only did they paint the wheels to look like rooster legs and talons, but the nose is even giving off a cocky grin. It’s almost as though the plane knows it’s ruling the sky.
Party In The Sky With This Crazy Skyvan
There’s no hiding it; a lot is going on with this Short SC-7 Skyvan 3-100. Not only does it have a funky mouth with quirky lips, but there is a back molar missing if you look close enough.
If you top the wavy lips off with the funky graffiti-style paint job and the hypnotizing propellers that scream “want to play a game,” this pilot is flying something that can only be described as a party in the sky.
This Plane Doesn’t Make The Sky Good But Grrrrrrrreat!
In 2003, the skies were introduced to this bad boy, the Mirage 2000RDI 83/12-YL from the host unit EC 1/12, aka the flying tiger in the sky. Revealed at the NATO Tiger Meet, an annual multi-national training exercise, this funky plane never saw a mission.
Alas, a cool paint job is nothing if the plane breaks down before takeoff! At least people got to see the amazing detail the artist put into the paint, though.
Sea Turtles Take It To the Sky
You might have seen a horse fly, a dragonfly, and maybe even a donkey fly (thank you, Shrek), but have you ever seen a sea turtle fly? In 2018, the first All Nippon Airways A380 rolled out of an Airbus paint shop in Hamburg, Germany, sporting a Hawaiian green sea turtle paint job.
It was the first of three A380s to get this unique livery brushed on its outer shell. Seriously, the company should make more. Who wouldn’t be thrilled to ride on a giant smiling sea turtle on their way to vacation?
Merry Christmas From This A-10 Warthog
Painted red, green, silver, gold, and white, this custom A-10 Warthog is all but putting Santa Claus out of business. Complete with reindeer, tree-topping stars, and wreaths, this paint job is all about spreading holiday cheer.
This custom paint job is one of the few times that the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II isn’t seen sporting its classic gray metallic coat. Here’s to hoping this plane play “Here Comes Santa Claus” when landing.
Pixel-Camo On This Fighter Jet
Is it a pixelized paint job, or did this Sukhoi Su-57 go full-on Avengers and get a cloaking device to turn itself invisible? Just imagine looking up in the sky only to see the blue pixels slowly but surely making the plane disappear into the blue sky.
It might be a far-fetched idea, but one can dream! Either way, the custom paint job on this Russian fighter jet is pretty cool to look at.
It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane…Nope, It’s A Bird
Here’s a little riddle: what flies in the sky with propellers and screams freedom? Answer: this custom painted Mil Mi-24V from the Hungarian Air Force. Painted to look like an eagle, this large artillery helicopter is quite the sight.
Sporting details down to the last goose pimple and feather, this eagle copter is intimidating and sleek. Not to mention it probably makes the pilot feel like the biggest person in the sky since they’re controlling the largest bird since prehistoric times!
The One And Only Flight To Middle Earth
It’s clear that New Zealand ran with everything Lord of the Rings after The Fellowship of the Ring was released back in 2001. Not that we’re complaining, considering Air New Zealand took it as a reason to customize their airlines to feature its gorgeous landscape and the faces of Legolas and Aragorn.
That being said, wouldn’t it have been something if Frodo, Sam, and the rest of the Fellowship could have jumped on a plane to Mount Doom? That would have made for quite a short trilogy.
The Groovy “Dream Chaser III”
This groovy plane was donated by the Englewood, Colorado-based charter company, International Jet Aviation, to transport children of the Make-A-Wish foundation around the world.
Nicknamed the “Dream Chaser III,” this particular rainbow plane takes a maximum of ten “wish kids” on a groovy 20-minute flight around scenic Denver and Pikes Peak, one of the highest summits of the Rockies. The company has been managing these Make-A-Wish flights since 1990, so kudos to a great cause and a cray-cool paint job!
Sharks Of The Sky
Sharks in the sky seem like such a far-fetched idea. But then Sharknado happened, and it didn’t seem too out of the ordinary. Well, it may seem that the campy film was on to something.
While it’s not tornado-sharks, these Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt IIs show that sharks very well can take to the sky! The Warthogs might not be finished, but the gray shark heads are making a clear statement that this paint job is going to look sweet!
Paint Splatters Across The Sky
Is this an M2 Charter Jet or a second grader trying out new paints for an art project? Either way, this “private jet” is pretty different and not at all a subtle feature in the sky.
Lime green with what can only be described as brightly-colored paint splatters, the artist of this aircraft either thought really hard about this design or decided to just go for it, and whatever happened happened. We’re guessing the latter!
Qantas Brings The Outback To The Air
Qantas is known for its specialty paint jobs and even its cool red and white kangaroo logo. So, it shouldn’t be all too surprising to see this elaborate work of art in their catalog of funky aircraft.
Starting with Qantas customary red base, this designer decided to bring the Outback to the Australian-based airline. Instead of leaving it with one kangaroo at the tail of the plane, there are multiple with different colors and line work. Not to mention the funky-looking pottery wheels splashed throughout.
To Infinity And Beyond…
This moment is going to be blocked out in order to thank China Eastern Airlines for partnering with Pixar, resulting in this magnificent custom-painted 30-foot-long Buzz Lightyear design on the side of one of their planes.
It must be impossible not to smile when riding in this plane, muttering “to infinity and beyond” during take-off. Honestly, thinking about it, if the captain doesn’t say that over the intercom, that is beyond a missed opportunity.
May The Force Be With This Boeing 787-900 Dream Liner
Coming straight out of All Nippon Airways, aka ANA, is the Star Wars-themed Boeing 787-900 dream liner. Not only does this company have the above aircraft, customized to look like R2-D2, but they have two more — one painted to embody C-3PO with metallic gold colors, and another to look like BB-8, painted in whites and oranges.
It’s safe to say more than one Star Wars pun is said while flying in this aircraft!
Southwest Shows Its Colorado Pride With This Aircraft
Southwest Airlines definitely wanted to make a statement with this airplane. That statement: this company is Colorado proud! Even though the airline is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, the company has quite a bit of traffic going in and out of Denver, Colorado.
So, what better way to praise the large international hub than a custom paint job of the state’s flag! The red, white, blue, and orange “Colorado One” plane is definitely one-of-a-kind flying in the sky.
Alaska Air Has A Little Faith, Trust, And Pixie Dust
While Tinkerbell most certainly is the star of this custom paint job, don’t be fooled. Commissioned as part of a partnership between Alaska Airlines and Disneyland, this 50th Anniversary plane is one of six Disney and Pixar-themed aircraft.
Tink might be a little frisky and have an attitude way too big for her tiny body, but it’s no surprise the design team opted to use the character. She does contain pixie dust to help people fly, after all!
We Heard You Wanted To Go To Alaska
What better way to get in the mood for an Alaskan wilderness vacation than hopping on this Alaska Airlines Alaska-themed plane? Yes, it’s a whole lot of Alaska, but just look at the amazing detail that comes with this amazing paint job.
Not only is there a man riding a dog sled on the tail, but the artist opted to have a large bear, boat, and a wolf-dog pulling it instead of a team of dogs. The approval rating of this plane’s paint job is sky-high.
This Plane Just Looks Like Royalty
When it comes to custom fighter jets, the Royal Netherlands Air Force knows a thing or two about paint jobs. This F-16 Fighter Jet, for example, is splashed with oranges, yellows, and golds to create an artistic tiger across the back of the aircraft.
The look is completed with a sleek black paint job to accent the plane’s nose and other parts. Although the color palette gives off major Halloween vibes, this F-16 still dominates the color game in the sky.
This “SEXYjet” Isn’t Cheap
This Gulfstream GV’s custom rainbow spectrum paint job was completed by Duncan Aviation, and it is absolutely stunning. Aptly nicknamed the “SEXYjet,” this Gulfstream is one-of-a-kind and brings luxury to a whole new level.
Inside, the plane is equipped with fold-out work tables, power outlets for office equipment, a private lavatory, and a fully-stocked galley for both hot and cold food preparations. Needless to say, booking this plane for a vacation comes at a high cost.
The British Are Coming!
If the United Kingdom was ever scared of other nations confusing their Aerospace Hawk T.1A as anything but a British aircraft, they won’t be anymore. Painted with the country flag, this Aerospace Hawk screams patriotism.
First flown in 1974, this jet trainer is equipped with a two-man tandem cockpit and a British-built single-engine. If this plane was built back in 1775, Paul Reever probably wouldn’t have made it to Lexington, Massachusetts, in time to alert the townspeople that the British were coming.
This F-15 Soars Like An Eagle
The F-15 Eagle fighter jet first took to the air in 1972 and is still actively used by both the United States Air Force and the United States Air National Guard. Of course, what’s a long-lasting fighter jet with an impressive air-to-air combat performance record without a special anniversary paint job?
In this F-15’s case, the special paint design came in the form of its namesake, a bald eagle. Talk about taking patriotism to a whole new level!
Pepsi Took To The Sky With Their Own Design
This aircraft brings the flight of the Concorde to a whole new level, namely because it’s, you know, designed like a Pepsi bottle. First brought on the scene in 1969, Concorde didn’t go into full service until 1976, impressing people with its top speed of 1,354 miles per hour.
If you’re curious, that number is twice the speed of sound! Unfortunately, for the Pepsi plane, the blue paint inhibits it from reaching that ridiculous mark. The classic all-white Concorde is the only model able to do so.
When The Painter Takes “Eye Of The Tiger” Too Seriously
In 2016, International Aerospace Coating completed a special customized paint job for Rossiya Airlines. The result, the face of an Amur Tiger on the nose of a Boeing 747 that makes you try your hardest not to break out in a horrible rendition of “Eye of the Tiger.”
To create this tiger-fierce place, it took a total of 12 days and nine color mixtures. Now, people can fly to their destinations, knowing their plane is most likely scaring anything else in the sky.
170 Gallons Of Paint Later
Disneyland might be the Happiest Place on Earth, but it’s also considered one of the pricier places on Earth. And the Canadian airline WestJet found that out first hand when they decided to move forward with this Disney-Frozen airplane design.
Using around 170 gallons worth of paint and twenty-three different colors, this customized paint job spared no expense. We can only imagine the type of payout this artist received after completing the project!
“Shark Head” – Maui, Moana
In the words of the demigod Maui from Moana, “shark head.” The phrase is short, sweet, and directly to the point of the custom paint design on this particular aircraft. Seriously, though, just look at the detail on the nose of this plane.
Not only did the artist include the shark’s nose slits, gills, and texture to its skin, but they even included the multiple rows of teeth that are customary to a majority of shark species.
Roses Are Red And This Plane Is Blue
If this private plane didn’t have a baby blue base, it would be giving off major Edgar Allan Poe vibes. Detailed with vibrant flowers and black-as-night crows, this plane should have audiobooks of E.A.P. short stories and poems playing on loop.
Yes, we know “Nevermore” is a raven and not a crow but bear with us with this particular scenario. Regardless, the baby blue does compliment the rest of the colors used in the custom design. So, kudos to the artist!
It’s A (Beluga) Whale Of A (Plane) Tale
This airbus doesn’t have a good paint job; it has an incredibly realistic design that makes it look as though a beluga whale is actually soaring through the clouds. Minus the wings and logos, this aircraft could really pass for the marine animal!
From the exaggerated forehead and further back-set eyes to the goofy-looking smile and white coloring, the commissioned painter on for this project knew exactly what they were doing, executing their vision flawlessly.
Not As Magical As The Real Northern Lights, But Still Cool
As part of their “Icelandair Stopover” campaign, a promise to customers who fly Icelandair that they’re able to stopover in the country at no additional fee, the airline decided to facelift was in order. Besides the culture, food, and people, most travel to Iceland to see one thing: the Northern Lights.
So, what better way to market the new campaign than customizing the aircraft with paintings of that exact natural phenomena! Of course, the paint isn’t nearly as magical, so you might want to utilize the stopover campaign for the experience!
Sleek Back Snake Scales For This F-16 Viper
In May of 2020, the F-16 Viper Demo Team introduced the world to this bad boy: the F-16 Venom. This jet is customized to feature sleek black snake scales splayed across the back and up the tail, giving the overall appearance some serious black mamba vibes.
On their Facebook page, the Demo Team spoke of the new design, saying, “The snake scales across the body of the aircraft fit the namesake of the jet…”
Santa Should Have Stuck With His Reindeer
Nothing says “Merry Christmas” quite like Santa Claus being hit by a Boeing jumbo jet. Saint Nick is probably in the emergency room eating his fill of cookies and milk, thinking about how he not only got hit but how the gifts are now sprawled out all over unknown territory!
And don’t even get us started on what he’s most likely saying about the reindeer, none of which were injured during Santa’s fun little modern transportation adventure.
Taking Flight To Greener Pastures
There’s a lot to be said about a gaudy piece of work. Not only are they tough to look at, but sometimes looking at it is the only way to make yourself believe what you’re looking at is actually real.
Swiss International Airlines must have decided they needed to up their marketing with something people couldn’t peel their eyes away from. So, obviously, the sound choice was painting a parade of historically-accurate dressed Swiss people alongside goats on a road.
A Jungle Cat Through And Through
This single-propeller plan proves that tigers are jungle cats through and through. Not only does this tiny plane have a particularly vibrant tiger paint job, but it also has a water detail on its two hulls.
It’s the perfect aircraft to fly through the jungle, navigating between mountains and lush landscapes as well as making water landings when necessary. And considering tigers enjoy prowling through both the mountains and water, it’s the perfect muse for a private adventure plane!
Whoever said Noah was the only one who could get a bunch of animals in a single vessel was sorely mistaken. Meet Emirates, the airline who single-handily got an elephant, two baby elephants, a tiger, a lion, a gorilla, a rhino, and a bear onto an airplane.
Granted, the animals aren’t real and are merely painted onto the bus, but still, who needs Noah and his Arc when Emirates is veering to get into the sky!