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China Airlines: ‘Pikachu Jet CI’ Documentary Now Online – A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Grand Livery Painting

The China Airlines documentary on the painting of the “Pikachu Jet CI” livery has been released online. The camera provides a behind-the-scenes look at the first use of “full-body spray painting” on this A321neo narrow-body passenger aircraft. More than 20 experienced technicians took turns to cover the fuselage in bright and vivid colors. The process involved 36 types of paints and took 21 days, which took longer than painting a 747 jumbo jetliner. The result is the aircraft with the most colorful livery in China Airlines history. No China Airlines livery had ever taken so long to apply either.

The graphic design of the “Pikachu Jet CI” was created by The Pokémon Company. MRO Japan provided expertise in aircraft maintenance and livery application, while China Airlines’ professional team converted the 2D design to 3D and then painted it onto the fuselage as part of an effort joint multinational. The Pokémon Company has paid close attention to every detail. Video conferences and on-site discussions took place to finalize the positioning of each Pokémon character on the fuselage. MRO Japan helped with the positioning and fine-tuning of the designs. The China Airlines team completed the assignment within a tight time frame in the most professional and collaborative manner. The quality of the paint job not only satisfied Japanese requirements, but also won their praise for professionalism and efficiency. China Airlines’ “Pikachu Jet CI” encountered a number of challenges, from preparing materials to painting and delivery. COVID-19 has caused shortages all over the world. Although 36 types of paints were ordered overseas, two were specially formulated custom colors with long lead times. Paint strippers, labels and other materials also had to come from different suppliers. Extra care had to be taken with the planning as there was no room for delays in materials. The team worked hard to track shipments, organize transfers and find other suppliers. Six months of preparations were completed in just over three months and the job was successfully executed.

The old liveries were applied using decals and this was the first time that China Airlines used spray paint to color the design. The actual process was very laborious. First, the clear fuselage skin had to be polished, stripped and cleaned. Next, primer and finish had to be applied layer by layer, then the template for each Pokemon was fixed in place and the outline drawn in black paint. Each drawing was then colored in a special order. Finally, a clear coat was applied to create a glossier look.

Windows, antenna, and prominent markings had to be avoided during the livery painting process to ensure all eleven Pokémon characters were displayed in their entirety. The curvature of the fuselage also had to be overcome. After each color was painted there was a three to four hour wait for the paint to harden before being covered with kraft paper to ensure it would not be contaminated by other colors applied later . The same actions were repeated over and over again until each Pokemon was showcased in all its glory. The Pokémon belly ball in particular had been placed in a slightly different location below the original design. After communicating with the team on site and getting their advice, the Pokémon Ball was centered on a lower light beacon as a little nighttime surprise. There were plenty of other clever touches with Pokémon Balls on the engines and stars on the winglets. About 39 stars dotted the entire plane, symbolizing how the sun rises in a starry sky and which travelers would soon take to the air.


China Airlines Ltd. published this content on November 22, 2022 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unmodified, on November 22, 2022 04:55:04 UTC.