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10 airliners with creative paint jobs

By: Josh Lew on Sept. 16, 2015, 3:37 p.m.
A Virgin Blue airplane nose with the older World War II-era pin-up model image.

Photo: Dean Constantinidis/Wikimedia Commons

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Virgin Blue's flying pinup model

Virgin Blue has been rebranded as Virgin Australia. The move was made to help the airline, now Australia's second largest, better compete with rival Qantas. The golden-haired pinup-style model seen on the noses of Virgin Blue's planes seemed to be flying above each craft's name. Blue's fleet featured planes like "Blue Baroness" and "Ballina-Rina Blue." In the original, the flying blonde, who had a skimpy top and short shorts, was holding an Australian flag above her head. The nose art (pictured at right) seemed to harken back to the caricatures painted on World War II bombers.

With the rebrand, the nose art changed slightly. The short shorts and bikini top disappeared, but the new Virgin Australia "model" still carries the country's flag over her head. However, she has a more classical appearance that brings to mind the hull statue of an old-time sailing ship.