Flloyd Hall's transformation of Eastern, 'Operation Bootstrap' as it became known, was a major overhaul of almost the entire airline and the livery change was only one part of it. Eastern had been playing around with new scheme suggestions for some time, if early design concept drawings for the 727 are to be believed. They show a 727-100 with a two part spear cheatline large EASTERN titles and a big slanting E on the tail. Hall wanted to get rid of the Falcon altogether but was persuaded otherwise and Fortunately Eastern went down a more tasteful route than this. The falcon logo was kept but as in the past it was streamlined.
At the time the Eastern was undertaking a major re-equipment cycle replacing its large and obsolete prop-liner fleet with new 727-100s, and from 1966 DC-9s. These would join the relatively small fleets of DC-8s and 720s and replace the Convair 440s, Constellations, DC-7Bs and eventually L-188 Electras. The New Mark especially suited the 727s and DC-9s with their T-tails and Whisperjet titles (the latter meant to suggest quietness onboard rather than the noise outside, which was anything but a whisper).
It wasn't just the new jets that received the hockeystick however. In 1964 the DC-7Bs could still be seen operating widely on the network, though they weren’t used for shuttle services and instead found themselves mainly operating multi-stop routes along the East coast like Washington-Atlanta via Richmond and Detroit to Charlotte via Toledo and Columbus.
By November 1965 Constellations began to replace the final DC-7s as they were in turn replaced by Electras on the Shuttle. The last 8 DC-7s were sold in 1966 with the last leaving in October. Despite this about 10 aircraft were repainted in the New Mark scheme before their careers ended including N829D (see above) who left the fleet in January 1966.
Many of the L-1049 Constellations also saw the New Mark applied, though as stated they were themselves being supplanted on the shuttle by Electras and from February 1, 1967 new DC-9-31s. The last Connies left the fleet in early 1968. The last piston props in the fleet would in fact be the CV-440s which lasted into 1970. The New Mark would serve Eastern well and it is great that it would be applied to such a wide range of aircraft in the diverse Eastern fleet.
1980. Serling, Robert J. From the Captain To The Colonel: An Informal History of Eastern Airlines
Evanich III, John. Lost Schemes: #269 Eastern Airlines DC-7B (1965)
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: