Tuesday, September 20, 2011

South African Airways, Johannesburg to Zürich, December 1982

Although 1982 was not an Olympic year, that could easily be misinterpreted when looking at this sporty Alpine celebration. A long, graceful B747-200B, surely not the stubby SP version that SAL/SAA was famous for, and which is noted was in use here, gains altitude after take off, meeting up with a large shadow-figure skier, the askew angle of its skis parallel to the lifting fuselage of the jumbo jet. The white envelope is both an overcast Mittel-Europa sky and a pure-powder ski-slope. Add to this main pair the several iterations of the leaping wingéd springbok, and the envelope is all the more dynamic.

Its unclear if the "25" surrounded by Olympian garlands is for sport, or to mark the quarter-century anniversary of SAL/SAA at Kloten. Either way, modern-day SAA does not serve Switzerland any longer.

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