"Astrojet" was a well-known trademark of American Airlines in the 1960's and 1970's. It was dreamed up by the Doyle Dayne Bernbach agency on Madison Avenue, the advertising firm that also named the VW Beetle.

Since the 1930's, American had been naming its planes "Flagships," and built its corporate identity around a nautical theme (the Admirals Club, for instance). With the introduction of the Boeing 707, they decided to shake things up, and so the "Astrojet" moniker was born. It was excellent timing... the Apollo program was just swinging into high gear, and Americans were obsessed with everything spacey.

The 707, 727, and Convair 990 all carried the name "Astrojet," and were painted with an International Orange lightning bolt from nose to tail. With the arrival of the Boeing 747, however, the brand name changed to "Luxury Liner," which was carried by all of American's widebody aircraft until the introduction of the Boeing 777. The 747 also carried a new paint job with red, white, and blue stripes, which AA still uses today.

When the 777 came out, American decided to paint a couple of Boeing 757's in the old orange Astrojet scheme. It was a cool move, but the name "Astrojet" wasn't painted on the tail. Instead, they wrote "757 Jet Flagship" on the fuselage.

I know that shouldn't bother me, but somehow it does.

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