Continental replaced their already nice Golden Jet scheme in 1967 with the classic Saul Bass colours. Commonly called the meatball its real name is 'Contrails'. The black version lasted until 1984 when the livery was modified with a red ball and enlarged titles.
I have both the CO 727-200 releases showing both sets of colours. Continental’s fleet was defined by two types in the 1970s – the DC-10 and the 727-200. 19 of the latter (N88701-15, N32716-19) had been delivered between May 1968 and 1970. Three aircraft (N32721-23) built for THY were delivered in 1972 when deliveries switched to the upgraded Advanced model. 11 Advanced examples were added between 1973 and 1980 (N32724-25, N66726, 31-34, N69735-36, 39-40) with new aircraft deliveries continuing into late 1981 (N69741-42, N79743-46, 48-50) by which time 22 Advanced 727-200s had arrived from Boeing.
In 1987 the 727 fleet was expanded by the merger of PeoplExpress which itself had well over 30 727s – mostly ex-Braniff and Alitalia frames. N88708 served her entire career with CO until retirement and breaking up in 1993. N88710 also stayed with Continental its entire career and was retired after 26 years of service. It was broken up at Tucson in July 1996. Continental retired its last 727 in November 1999.
I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of classic airliners and airlines who enjoys exploring their history through my collection of die-cast airliners. If you enjoy the site please donate whatever you can to help keep it running: