Today Brussels Airlines and Moulinsart unveiled something that we absolutely adore. An Airbus A320 with a livery inspired by the world famous Belgian cartoon character Tintin. Both Belgian companies have worked several months on this unique project, based on the original drawings by the hand of Hergé.


Infront of plane enthusiasts and VIP guests, Brussels Airlines and Moulinsart presented the aircraft livery they have secretly been working on for several months. Move over Shamu, the result is a 37m long black shark, based on Professor Calculus’ shark submarine from the Tintin adventure, Red Rackham’s treasure. The aircraft was baptized “Rackham”. On the fuselage we read: “We fly you to the home of Tintin”. The special Tintin livery will remain until 2019.


Mirroring the designs within Brussels Airlines new premium lounge in Brussels Airport, Tintin, the historical Belgian character created by Hergé, who travels the world on adventurous quests, continues his role as the airline’s travel partner. This is the first time Belgian cartoonist Hergé been translated onto the fuselage of an aircraft. Hergé himself was fascinated by planes, they are the most used means of transportation in the Tintin oeuvre and they were always drawn with great technical precision.


For the painting of the aircraft, Brussels Airlines worked with aircraft paint artist Andre Eisele, who had the challenging task to adapt the perspective of the drawings prepared by Moulinsart’s graphic designers to the unusual curves of an aircraft fuselage, to get as close to the original shark submarine design as possible. The entire paint job took 1500 man hours in total, and even extends to the bulkhead design inside the aircraft.


“This aircraft is a dream come true. The partnership with Brussels Airlines is a perfect marriage for us. Tintin is all about Belgium, all about Brussels, where he was born, as was Hergé. Tintin is also all about adventure and travelling, and with this plane we bring our two worlds together perfectly. We had many ideas about the design of the aircraft, it could have been the rocket from the album “Destination Moon” for example, but we unanimously chose the submarine, and we’re very happy with the result.” says Nick Rodwell, Director Moulinsart.


“I was personally brought up with the comic albums of Tintin, I learned to read with them. This partnership means a lot to Brussels Airlines. Tintin is a frequent traveler, discovered countries around the world  and met people of different nationalities and cultures during his adventures.  Abroad, we feel like an ambassador of Belgium. In all we do, we build on our Belgitude while emphasizing  on ‘the best of Belgium’; Tintin fits perfectly into this positioning and represents the characteristics that we also want to put forward: being open minded and welcoming.” mentioned Bernard Gustin, CEO Brussels Airlines at the launch event.


After the unveiling, Rackham’s maiden voyage took place, a 1 hour and 45 minutes flight to Toulouse. Spotters, aviation enthusiasts and Tintin fans can follow the whereabouts of the plane on and are invited to share their pictures tagged with #SNRackham.

The Big Picture
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Posted by:Jonny Clark

8 replies on “Blistering Barnacles! Tintin Takes To The Skies

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