Message 22.11.2023

Flying Swiss Art – “Anoy”, the Artist From Nidwalden, Designs Our New Demo Aircraft

Adrian Gander – aka “Anoy” – uses his art and creativity to bring a PC-24 and a PC-12 NGX to life. With pride, he shares his thoughts with us and explains the process behind the striking color schemes and their Swiss-inspired design! Pilatus Flugzeugwerke AG

Anoy has always been fascinated by graffiti, architecture and art in public spaces – even before he became a full-time professional artist. After studying Design & Art at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, and gaining a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communication, Anoy worked on a wide array of projects. Besides being known as a graffiti artist, he also experimented with other art forms such as sculpture and painting with acrylics and oils. His artistic style was also influenced by trips to Lebanon and South America.

Pilatus has already collaborated with Swiss artists in the past, and has been following Anoy’s work with interest for some time now. Last winter, Pilatus contacted Anoy after deciding to have an eye-catching paint scheme created for a new demo PC-12 and a PC-24. Anoy’s creative designs ensured he beat ten other artists to emerge as the preferred choice. “I gave my absolute all, investing a huge amount of time in a project which was ultra-important to me. I really wanted to be chosen to do it!”, he says with pride.

Anoy, you told me how much this project meant to you, and how you invested a lot of time in it. How did you feel when you heard you’d been selected for the project?

I couldn’t believe it at first, it was really overwhelming! It also meant a lot of pressure, of course. Pilatus had chosen my design, yes, but that wasn’t the end of the story. On the contrary, here I was back at square one all over again! At least I knew the direction the design was going to take, and now I had to get the details down on paper.

150 designs for two aircraft

Anoy had a month in which to submit his proposals to Pilatus, with full artistic freedom during that phase. “I had so many ideas! My head was fizzing!”, he tells me. Anoy came up with about 150 different designs, but had to select just three to present to Pilatus. Making a final choice was very difficult, he says. No wonder – a huge amount of thought, reflection and time goes into each design.

The final design choice depicts Swiss glaciers and mountains. Anoy explains that “the corners and edges of the stone and ice reminded me of the PC-24 Crystal Class logo. I was also inspired by a photo of a blue PC-24 against the snow-capped Matterhorn, and more generally by photos of Pilatus aircraft in the Swiss Alps”.

The original glacier design had to be reduced for the final version. Otherwise, it would have been far too complex or even impossible to execute from a technical point of view. That meant reducing the range of colors from forty to about five. Anoy’s aim was to select the best colors to create a harmonious impression and successfully reproduce the original glacier design in a simplified format.

Anoy also had to come up with several variations on the final design. This second phase of the process involved a multitude of small adjustments which required patience. “Projects for clients always involve adjustments which you might not have made in exactly the same way yourself. It’s important to reach a compromise which is acceptable to both myself and the customer. In the end, it’s important to me that all compromises fit with my style so that I’m proud to be associated with the final result.”

You were asked to design two aircraft at the same time. How is it that the two creations, one for the PC-12 and one for the PC-24, are so different, even though they both have their origins in the same design?

For the PC-24, Pilatus wanted a design for the tail fin only. The design for the fuselage had already been chosen by Pilatus. So my job was to link the fuselage color scheme chosen by Pilatus with my own on the tail fin. And that, in turn, had to fit in with the PC-12 design, to create a link between the two aircraft via their color schemes – the goal being to create a visual pair. For the PC-12, I had more freedom in that I was allowed to design everything in my own style.

Did anything in particular give you a headache?

An aircraft is three-dimensional with curves, concave and convex. That creates a significant challenge, of course. An aircraft isn’t flat, like a canvas. So I had to use my spatial imagination throughout the entire process, and I had to think about how the two-dimensional design might work in a three-dimensional setting. I had to totally familiarize myself with the shape of the aircraft and respect its natural lines; the important thing was to ensure that the aircraft shape didn’t get lost in the final design. I also tried to use the aircraft’s natural lines to my advantage in choosing a design that would reinforce the aircraft’s shape. I wanted to create something that would emphasize the aircraft’s aerodynamic qualities.

A dream come true

Pilatus was known to Anoy before he was involved in this project. He grew up in Buochs and says he often used to go to the airfield to watch Pilatus aircraft. He tells me how amazing it is to be part of a project for his home town! Although much time and effort went into achieving the final result, Anoy feels pride and joy above all. “It’s such a huge honor for me! That I was asked to design not one, but two, aircraft – following in the steps of the renowned artist Hans Erni, who worked on the PC-12 – is simply amazing!”

Olympic champion immortalizes himself on the PC-24

In addition to Adrian Gander’s striking design, the PC-24 also features the signature of Swiss ski racer and Olympic champion, Marco Odermatt. Marco visited Pilatus in person to sign the PC-24.

Marco, you put your signature on a PC-24; what does that mean to you?

It’s very special for me, of course, and a great honor. Being from Buochs myelf, I’ve known the company since I was a little boy, and I often come across the name when I’m traveling around the world. So I really appreciate the opportunity to immortalize myself on a PC-24! It’s nice to be able to bring such joy to other people.

What does Pilatus mean to you?

I’ve known Pilatus as a regional company ever since I was a small child; in some ways, Pilatus has come to represent Nidwalden.

You’ve got lots of fans at Pilatus! Do you have a message for our workforce?

Thank you for crossing your fingers for me and your support! I hope the PC-24 and I will have many more high-flying successes in the future!