Noodler’s Air-Corp Blue-Black: Ink Review

Hello there, ink lovers! Madigan here, reviewing the intriguing Noodler’s Air-Corp Blue-Black. This ink was created by Noodler’s to commemorate a really fascinating piece of history, the Flying Tigers. Before the US officially entered World War II, a squadron of American volunteers joined the Chinese Air Force to fight in the Sino-Japanese war. Their colors were somewhat close to this ink- an almost black green-blue.

Jenni used it in her recent Monday Matchup and I was intrigued when I saw what she did with it. I’m a big fan of deep blue ink, even ones named blue-black, and this is definitely a unique color. Water-resistant and wet flowing, this is a good ink if you are looking for an interesting and permanent ink. Read on to to discover more!

Supplies Used:

Smear Test (Dry Time):

  • Slow– This is not a quick drying ink! It took over 30 second for it to dry. This is something to keep in mind if you are planning on using it for its water-resistant property. Until it is dry, you will see some smearing. Wait awhile before applying water!

Drip Test (Water Resistance):

  • High-This ink is water resistant! Like a lot of water resistant Noodler’s inks, it needs to be allowed time to dry before that water resistance kicks in. Allow for some dry time and you should have a pretty permanent ink.


  • High– The dark and unique hue of this ink is highly saturated. There is virtually no difference between the first ink swab and the last!

Ease of Cleaning:

  • Medium– While this one is not an ink I’d suggest leaving to dry in your pen and then attempting to clean, it wasn’t too terribly hard to clean out.


  • Medium-There was certainly some shading to be had with this one, especially on the Tomoé River paper.


  • Wet– This is a free flowing ink! That may be the reason it takes so long to dry, in fact. It could be a good option in a flex pen, with such a heavy flow. If you are a lefty, you might want to stay away, however.

Packaging and Aesthetics:

  • 3oz utilitarian bottle with 2ml ink samples available
  • The bottle has a large round opening, making it easy to fill your fountain pen
  • The label is really interesting! 

Inks Similar in Color:

This is a truly fascinating ink. The ability to see so many colors in one ink (blue, black, or green) is incredibly striking. This is going to be an ink that changes drastically with the paper and nib size. It might look lighter or darker, more blue, more green, or more black! Depending on how serious your work place is, I could see this being a good ink to use at the office.

You can find Noodler’s Air-Corp Blue-Black at in a 3oz bottle for $12.50, a 2ml ink sample for $1.25, or as part of a Military Service ink sample package set for $8.31.

Do you like ink that seem to change color? Which is your favorite?

Write on,

2017-10-11T14:37:51+00:00 August 17th, 2016|Ink Reviews|12 Comments
  • Tom Johnson

    I do like inks that seem to change color. I think El Lawrence is my favorite, shows green-black in some light, and blackish in others. Great review Madigan, so glad you did this. I’ve been thinking about Air-Corp Blue-Black since Jenni used it, it seems to have one of the greatest color variations of any inks I would categorize as “work friendly”. I also like that it is water resistant. A most intriguing ink. Thanks.

    • Hey Tom! Drew loves El Lawrence as well. It has some of the same properties as Air-Corp (waterproof etc). Personally, I prefer this one, just because of the range of color offered. I’m glad you enjoyed the review! I like reviewing the Noodler’s inks because they have such dynamic properties. 🙂

  • dothgrin

    I have used Noodler’s Air-Corp for two years now and find it a fantastic ink for both fine and medium point nibs. I have one pen permanently inked with Air-Corp and it is my second go-to for signing documents, next to Noodler’s Heart of Darkness and X-Feather. Good ink. I highly recommend.

    • Hi dothgrin! All solid ink choices. I take it you are a Noodler’s fan? I can see this being a really good ink for signing documents. Good idea!

      • dothgrin

        I am mostly into Diamine and Pilot Iroshizuku inks, but for good solid inks that I can use in a professional environment, right now nothing beats the Noodler’s listed above, at least in my opinion! 🙂

  • Kathy

    Madigan, thanks for another great ink review! I never paid much attention to this ink until Jenni used it. I loved it, and bought a bottle. It really is an interesting ink, probably one of the best “color changing” inks I’ve seen. Your review is spot on. I love inks that vary so much in color. Just one of the perks of using fountain pens 🙂

    • Hi Kathy! I’m glad that you are enjoying it. Noodler’s certainly does some interesting things with ink. What pen are you using it in? 🙂

  • Mary

    This color is almost identical to Noodlers Q’ternity, which I guess they are now calling Noodler’s blue-black. And it was one of my first acquisitions. I love the deep sea-ness of Q’ternity. FORGET WHAT I JUST WROTE – the air corp is way more green than q’ternity… my bad.

  • ShubhranshuD

    I tend to use Noodler’s, Sailor and Iroshizuku inks much more than others. Noodler’s is a constant in rotation due to The Heart of Darkness/ Dark Matter/Q’ternity, Pilot Blue Black, Shin Kai, Okuyama, Ina Ho, Souten, Yu Yake. .. but I will try the Air Corps out soon..thanks for the review.

  • Starchix

    Wait — is De Atramentis ‘Plum’ really blue-black?!

  • I am from China and I bought this ink to honor the history of the Allied Forces fighting together against Japanese Fascism.

    Of course it is also a very nice color (replacing Noodler’s Zhivago as my everyday green-black ink!)

  • Jon_Crowell

    Thanks for the comprehensive review. Interesting ink and period in American history. I’m just getting started with FP ‘s but will try this one soon.