The MD-80 airplane, short for McDonnell Douglas and more fondly known as the Super 80 or Mad Dog, was the workhorse of the American Airlines fleet from its inception in 1983. When introduced, Mad Dog was one of the most fuel-efficient commercial airplanes of its time, thanks to its signature polished aluminum skin. Beloved by pilots for its peaceful cockpit, passengers also appreciated these models for their fancy satellite Wi-Fi, spacious overhead bins, and in-seat power.
Sept. 4, 2019 was a landmark date in in American Airlines’ history - the bittersweet end of a journey for the approximately two dozen Mad Dog airplanes left in service. That day, Mad Dog retirees shined up their polished aluminum for one final flight into the sunset. Making way for some new additions to the fleet from Airbus and Boeing, they parked, with tails held high, for the last time in Roswell, New Mexico.
Although Mad Dog has tipped its wing to customers, pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, and ground crews at the many domestic cities it frequented, its legacy lives on with the repurposing of its trademark polished skin. To denote the end of this iconic era, American Airlines partnered with Shinola, a Detroit based fashion design brand with a commitment to crafting lasting quality products, from watches to leather goods and beyond. Shinola has earned a reputation for assembling world-class clocks through their timeless and thoughtful craftsmanship.
American Airlines enlisted Shinola to capture and preserve Mad Dog's heritage by developing a new high flying desk clock made from the skins of American Airlines' Mad Dogs. Assembled in Shinola's Detroit watch factory, this one-of-a-kind limited edition clock harvests the original Mad Dog aluminum paneling the airplanes were known for in two ways.
- Each clock's laser etched dials are hand-cut and re-polished from original Mad Dog aluminum.
- A reclaimed Mad Dog aluminum plaque commemorates the career of the Mad Dog on the back of the black oak stand the clock nests in.
In the words of Clarissa Sebastian, Managing Director of Premium Customer Experience and Onboard Products, "Travel has the power to create lasting memories and connect us with the world, but the spirit of travel doesn’t have to stop when the journey is complete." Later this summer, Shinola wall clocks are expected to make their appearances in select Admirals Club lounges. In addition to being sold on American Airlines' online branded merchandise store, the clocks are available for purchase directly from Shinola, without the American Airlines logo, here.
Is there something in your company's fleet that's been retired and deserves to be repurposed? Or maybe you're looking for ways to make your brand memorable and keep it top of mind for your clients when they otherwise wouldn't have reason to think of it. Contact us today.