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Aircraft illustrations main image

Aircraft Illustrations

This is a hobby that's begun to take on a life of its own. I've always admired aircraft profiles, and have a few on my office wall, but they always seem too pristine, too perfect. A look through old photos will show you that the actual operational aircraft were anything but pretty! I wanted to capture some of that realism. In following that aim it seemed logical to draw up the aircraft I write about. Each one takes many days of work, largely because I can't resist adding more and more detail. I've had them produced as A2 prints and, although I says it as shouldn't, they look pretty damned good! I'm offering them here as limited runs of signed and numbered prints that would frame up beautifully for a study wall.

It's a small collection at the moment, but watch out for new additions. I'm into this now!

"Kaltes Fleisch"

Royal Aircraft Factory BE2c

"At the end, unloved and unlovely, slouched a weary BE2c"

Andy Palmer's first aircraft on his new posting to the Western Front is a battle-weary BE2c. He distinguishes himself by crashing it twice.

The illustration is detailed down to the individual cable tensioners, tyre markings and more.

Obsessive is probably a good word here...

It's available as a numbered, signed print (limited to 150) with the option of a signed copy of The Larks. Signed copies can carry an individual dedication if you wish.

 
Print size:594mm x 420mm
Signed and numbered edition size:150
Print only:
  £25.00 + p&p
Print and The Larks paperback:
  £34.99 + p&p
 

"First Kite"

Bristol Scout C/D

"This one's yours," he said, patting the stained leading edge of the lower plane. "She's not too pretty but the engine's OK."

New pilots tended to be awarded the oldest, tiredest machine that could still actually fly. Colin Hingley's first kite follows that trend, but he still counts himself luckier than fellow rookie, Andy Palmer.

The fabric may be a little slack and the old union flag marking may be showing through the indifferently painted roundel, but the old Scout can still sting, especially with the new top-wing mounting for the Lewis gun.

 
Print size:594mm x 420mm
Signed and numbered edition size:150
Print only:
  £25.00 + p&p
Print and The Larks paperback:
  £34.99 + p&p
 

"Big Fee"

Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2.

Andy Palmer and Cubby McConnachie take charge of the huge, lumbering "Fee" following the unlamented passing of their BE2c. It's a big, dependable beast that endears itself to Andy as quickly as it upsets Cubby with the lack of creature comforts - like a seat or safety strap - in the front cockpit.

The F.E.2. was to be seen in a great many configurations, most of them hand-adapted with front line tools. This one has disposed with the main gear skids that imposed even more drag on a less than streamlined machine. The gun mountings also have a home-made look!

 
Print size:594mm x 420mm
Signed and numbered edition size:150
Print only:
  £25.00 + p&p
Print and The Larks paperback:
  £34.99 + p&p
 

"Old Queenie"

Vickers Wellington Mk IV

"I was struck by the scruffiness of our well-worn Queenie, which sat just inside the open doors. Her camouflage was a patchwork of new and old dope and makeshift repairs."

This battle-scarred Wellington is the unsung heroine of Maybe It's Tonight, due to reach the bookshelves in early 2017.

Q-Queen is based on QT-Q of 142 Squadron, a Mk IV Wellington that was lost 25/6 June 1942. The Mark IV was unusual in having American Pratt & Whitney engines.

 
Print size:594mm x 420mm
Signed and numbered edition size:150
Signed and numbered print:
  £25.00 + p&p
 

"Squadron Hack"

Avro Anson Mk 1

"The squadron hack showed plenty of evidence of hard usage, but it was still an Anson, and that meant friendly, dependable and faithful as a spaniel."

The squadron hack is a fairly minor player in Maybe It's Tonight, but the Anson is such an old darling of an aircraft that I had to draw her up.

This one borrows the registration of the Anson Mk1 under restoration at Nhill Aviation Museum in Victoria, Australia.

 
Print size:594mm x 420mm
Signed and numbered edition size:150
Signed and numbered print:
  £25.00 + p&p
 

"Noble Queen"

Gloster Meteor T.7

Another aircraft that I've illustrated for no other reason than plain, simple love.

"Queenie" is the world's oldest flyable jet, and I've been privileged to spend many hours in her company. The flagship of the Classic Air Force fleet, she was rescued by Meteor Flight, led by my great friend Hal Taylor.

Hal instructed hundreds of young pilots on this very machine back in the nineteen-fifties, so I can only imagine his emotion when he saw this astonishingly beautiful aeroplane take to the sky again in 2011.

 
Print size:594mm x 420mm
Signed and numbered edition size:150
Print only:
  £25.00 + p&p
 

"Big Bipe"

Boeing Stearman PT-17 Kaydet

This one isn't from any book I've written or am likely to write, but it's a machine that will always occupy a special place in my memories.

Stearman 26 was a regular performer at UK airshows as part of the Stearman Display Team. She belonged to my brother, and her big-boned cheerfulness was a delight in the air.

She moved on to a new owner a few years ago now, but I couldn't resist reminding myself of her with this illustration.

 
Print size:594mm x 420mm
Signed and numbered edition size:150
signed and numbered print:
  £25.00 + p&p
 
Marketing Consultancy by Jem Shaw
Marketing

If you want to talk (relatively) serious marketing stuff, then you want my other website

Piper Cub
The Cub Comes Home

I recently retired the blog that contained this story. I know it's been popular for many years, so it's preserved here.

 

 

 

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