Abstract. Abstract?

Artwork from Charles Howard, Abstraction in Flight’, 1942 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern art, thanks to Associate Professor Tracy Ireland. Tracy’s used this to promote the forthcoming Heritage of the Air conference in Canberra (details) and a fine mention it is too.


It’s a neat artwork, and to anyone familiar with aircraft structures and testing far from abstract – the wing section is in a classic wind tunnel airflow, though the shape is not quite as normal, with the leading edge set high, and the almost traffic light colours in the lightening holes we saw recently in the Albatross post.

The aircraft plan view is also conventional, but just taken away by the artist from reality by adjusting the dimensions and edges. Surprisingly it’s an oil colour, which seems a heavy medium for such a light looking piece.

Tomorrow, from another academic colleague, we’ll see a more realistic, yet just as visually outre, wind tunnel shot in an even more surprising context. What the blog’s all about.

James Kightly, Vintage Aero Writer.

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