First Look! Smaug Takes Flight on Air New Zealand

smaug plane
Air New Zealand gave residents of the home of Middle Earth the first official look at the iconic dragon Smaug in this official image released by the airline.

Tolkien fans can finally see an official movie image of Smaug in all his glory — and he’ll be flying!

Air New Zealand, which has always been a fantastic promotional partner for Peter Jackson’s big screen Lord of the Rings and Hobbit adaptations, has revealed the latest special design Boeing 777-300 emblazoned with a 177-foot image of Smaug himself. The plane will be headed to the United States in time for the Los Angeles premiere of the second movie in The Hobbit trilogy, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. The airline intends to keep the Weta Workshop-created decal on the plane through next year for the release of the final movie in the trilogy.

Now there are even more reasons to look towards the sky — there be dragons up yonder!

Click here to see a time-elapsed video of the plane in progress.

Lisa Kay Tate is a veteran feature writer with 20 years experience in newspaper, magazine and freelance writing. In addition to serving as Associate Editor for her local arts and entertainment guide, El Paso Scene, she has been a regular contributor to the site and maintains her own blogsite at She and her husband, writer/photographer Rick, live on the edge of "New Texico" where they keep busy raising their two geeklings and sharing space with their dog, Sirius Black, and cat, Loki.