An exciting magazine cover today. I picked it because it’s rare to see any major feature of a Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2b (the ‘Fee’) but it’s fun for other reasons too.
The artwork is by Vic Prezio for Air War Stories No. 3, published by Dell, from March – May 1965. In 1965 there were no F.E.2bs to be seen, though there’s now a restored example built up from parts in the RAF Museum, and two airworthy replicas in New Zealand built by The Vintage Aviator Limited. That absence might excuse the undersize crew members, but the error of showing the red on the outside ring of the red-white-blue roundel is less excusable – it changes the aircraft from British, to French: and the French never operated the type. The observation ‘sausage balloon’ exploding in the background captures the design well enough, though they don’t explode like that, but burn rapidly and collapse when shot up.
And for those who think the multiple explanation marks are a modern, social media affliction, here’s a good example from way before. But that’s all nitpicks. For a ‘grab it off the shelf’ cover artwork, it probably did the job well – it certainly stopped me to grab it online, half a century on.
James Kightly, Vintage Aero Writer.