Monday, April 8, 2013

TWA Red Stripes & Jack Frye

An interesting bit of trivia is, where did the idea of the TWA red stripes come from. I have read that, Jack Frye was walking down a street in New York City and saw a painting of a TWA airplane in a store window. The artist had added double stripes on the vertical fin. Frye liked the idea, bought and brought the painting back to TWA's headquarters at 10 Richards Road in Kansas City. He gave the painting to John Roche, who was assigned to the project. Roche transferred the stripes to TWA drawings, and then to the airplanes.

After the end of World War II, the double stripes were carried over the full length of the aircraft fuselage. Below are examples of prewar tail stripes only, and postwar applications. Both photos are from old TWA archive files.

Prewar striping

Postwar striping

Many thanks to Jon Proctor, retired TWA employee/historian, for this accounting of the origin of TWA's iconic Red Stripes. Visit his website here.

Edit: It is published by other sources the actual paint color specification was resolved to be Sherwin Williams Vermillion Lacquer 32092. 

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