Air Inuit: Creating New Livery
Not all of SKYCRON’s projects involve video, though it often starts that way. Sometimes, when clients discover our unique skillset, we get called upon for other interesting projects.
When Air Inuit, one of Quebec’s largest domestic airline carriers, needed to revamp their brand image, they turned to SKYCRON to help them get their new visual identity on a fleet of 27 planes.
It was a massive undertaking, beginning with two Boeing 737 (200C-class) airliners, followed by 11 Bombardier Dash 8 turboprop passenger crafts (DHC-8 Q300), topped off by the King Air A100 and deHavilland DHC-2 Beaver. As always, however, the project started with SKYCRON’s trademark cinematic flair.
“It’s the perfect blend of science and art,” says Cory Carlick, head of SKYCRON. “It makes perfect sense, since really we’re a creative firm at the end of the day. With a project like this, as with all our projects, we took the utmost care.
“First, we built a photorealistic rendering in 3D of one of the Air Inuit paint jobs in full flight.” This helped show the Air Inuit staff what it would look like.
“From there, we worked out the measurements of the aircraft and how big the artwork needed to be, taking in account tapering and curvature, which involved a lot of math,” Carlick explains. “Then we prepared a special grid that was used to apply the artwork in a ‘paint by numbers’ approach with a premask.”
Precise measurements must be used, or the whole paint job must be scrapped. Industry Canada guidelines require that the paint job be good for at least 3 years — an average of 10, 000 flight hours and on average when the planes must come in for C-checks to ensure safety.
A bad paintjob, which is actually fused to the fuselage, can actually cause microfractures from temperature variances that can affect the structural integrity of the plane. Says Carlick, “Everything has to be right. It’s a team effort.”
Ultimately, it was worth it, according to Air Inuit, and with positive nods from livery aficionados.
“The finished planes look great,” said Colin Kearney, president of Inter-Aero and head of Heavy Maintenance at Air Inuit.