Aircraft

Aviation Illustration by John H. Stanley

To start with, here is the Official Race Poster for the 45th running of the world famous Reno National Championship Air Races.

This warbird poster by John H. Stanley, featuring one of the most famous Unlimited Racing Planes, the P-51D “Miss America,” was featured in 2008, at the 45th runnnig of the Reno National Championship Air Races, and it’s  available as a litho print, exclusively from the Reno Air Racing Association, and, if you didn’t purchase one at those particular 2008 races, these posters, along with other posters from previous years’ races, have continued on sale on the “SHOP” page of the RARA web site, at www.airrace.org since October 1, 2008.

In the races held in September of 2010,  “Miss America,” and her pilot, Dr. Brent Hisey, M.D., a prominent Oklahoma City neurosurgeon, and competitive racing pilot,  took Third Place, which, as any Reno Air Race fan will tell you, takes some doing.  In a field of incredible aircraft and some very experienced air racing pilots, placing at all is no mean feat, competing against planes like Strega or Rare Bear, and the field of incredible Reno racing pilots who fly them!

2011’s races were tragically cut-short, when veteran pilot Jimmy Leeward’s race-modified P-51D, “Galloping Ghost,” crashed into the ramp at Stead Field, where we lost Jimmy, along with ten air race spectators, and up to 70 others were injured. While flyers have been lost in these air races, over their 48 year history, never before had any fans been lost, largely due to strict safety procdedures, and much, much planning and practice, leading me to see this as a terrible and unusual freak accident. I was standing in the same area, in 2008, and the only time the racers were anywhere overhead was when they were passing far, far overhead, while forming-up, for a race. Never did they pass directly over the fans in the spectator area. Clearly, this was a freak accident, and authorities are looking at control surface failures, and any other factors, to get to the bottom of this tragic loss of life. Pilot Jimmy Leeward’s family, who were present at the event, expressed hopes that the races would continue. Again, I was standing, in 2008, in the location that would tragically become the crash site in 2011, but, if the opportunity arises, I would absolutely be in attendance, again, standing in the same location, supporting the men and women who continue to race each year, at Reno’s Stead Field. All of us continue to pray for the victims and the families of those effected by this tragedy. The people who attend the Reno National Championship Air Races and the teams who race there are a tight-knit group, a strong group, and I wish them all the best, despite the tragedy of September 16th.

Most of the graphicommunication.com site is, of course, devoted to advertising and marketing graphics, like the Reno poster above, but the rest of the renderings on this web page are examples of colorful, historic aviation profiles, a time-honored illustration sub-specialty.

On the various pages or posts on this site, you can view dozens of highly detailed, historical aviation renderings, available to collectors as giclée prints for home or office display. Due to the level of detail, these renderings have been used in air museum displays, and have been printed-out as mural-size war-bird wall panels, or for use in large, colorful aviation event backdrops, since headlines, logos, emblems, and caption content can all be integrated into layouts containing the aircraft renderings. This capability is what sparked the design for the Reno NCAR poster, placing the rendering of the plane itself into the rest of the event-specific layout.

Shown below is a frontal view of a P-51B, which was created for one of two large, wall-sized mural panels in Phoenix, one a frontal view, as you see below, and the first one they’d requested, a full side view, showing the complete “nose art.”  It depicts “Princess Elizabeth,” a plane based with the 352nd Fighter Group in Bodney, in Great Britain. There are now four mural-sized, public displays of these renderings in the Southwest, plus one in Michigan, all of them out-sized versions of what are usually purchased in standard print- or poster-size warbird giclée prints.

Take a look at the level of detail in some of these close-ups: This close-up is from a 24″ x 36″ print of the P-51D “Big Beautiful Doll,” showing the amount of detail in and around the cockpit.

Here is the same plane in an overall view of the 24″ x 36″ print, showing the cockpit area in context. The level of detail shown in the cockpit close-up is the same throughout the rendering. This Mustang’s pilot, Col. John D. Landers, had made ace status in the Pacific Theater before repeating the feat in the European Theater. He named all of his various planes “Big Beatiful Doll,” but many consider this plane to be the ultimate Mustang paint job. It is my understanding that Landers was mainly concerned with reducing drag by keeping the leading edges of the wings polished, clean and smooth, not with the fanciness of the paint job, which was used throughout the squadron.

This close-up is from a 24″ x 36″ print of a U.S. Navy Grumman TBF Avenger, showing the amount of detail just in the dorsal turret of this famous torpedo bomber. There are 1,200 pieces appearing just in the turret portion of this Avenger rendering.

Most of the renderings in this collection are done as standard, 24″ x 36″ prints, or in the oblong 11.75″ x 36″ poster size, for ease of framing. They look good in commonly-available, off-the-shelf frames in these sizes, or they can be single- or double-matted in custom frames. While most of the prints are in the standard sizes, much larger images are possible, for use in warbird murals, special event banners or backdrops, or in large format air museum displays.  Seven- and eight-foot planes are up in office and foyer displays in Phoenix and Dallas, and much larger images are possible, because all of the renderings have plenty of the sort of detail to support huge images. Four planes from the collection have appeared in air museum use, and six more have been prepared and accepted, pending exhibit. Here are some more planes from the collection:

(More Aircraft Illustrations)>>>

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