Posters of Interesting Times

Today’s Posters are a set of Chinese aviation instructional posters, an to western eyes, a very different mix of style, content and approach to anything we’ve seen here before. This one below of ‘Active Air Defences’, with the Smithsonian’s source detail here. Is it meant as a ‘how to behave?’, or ‘how you are being…

Back To The Old Drawing Board

It’s exactly the middle of the year, so today we have one of the items that inspired the idea for the blog.There’s several stories, so settle in… “Well, Back To The Old Drawing Board” by Peter Arno, first published in the March 1, 1941 issue of New Yorker magazine. It’s a remarkable cartoon, and seems…

Canada Air

Two posters for Canada day today, centred on Canada’s contribution to World War Two’s air war – in men and machines. Above is an aircrew group being briefed ready to board their Douglas Boston medium bomber. The point, of course, is to demonstrate there are more flying jobs in the air force than the pilot….

Dutch Diana

A fascinating story here. Decorative art on aircraft (usually called ‘nose art’, though for obvious reasons not quite appropriate here) is nothing unusual, but the story behind this, current scheme is, I think, unique. Plenty of art has been copied, or created for a unit by all sorts of people from unit personnel to Disney…

A Transatlantic Menu

A magnificently produced menu card to commemorate Alcock and Brown’s successful non-stop flight across the Atlantic, here from a blog from the RAF Museum highlighting a fascinating range of artefacts from their archives relating to the flight. As the cover of the menu says, it’s a VIP event, with Capt J Alcock DSC, and Lt…

Rolls Roundel to Sweep

Today’s Poster. A really strong monochrome graphic design from 1937 for a Rolls Royce engine, where the aircraft is led around the roundel. Interestingly, the Rolls Royce Merlin isn’t named, here, and the aircraft type – hard to identify – is, conversely named as the Fairey Battle. By the time actual combat was joined, in…

Story of Some Sticks

Something not often seen in detail. This is the Italian Fascist symbol cut from the fuselage of an unnamed Italian Regia Aeronautica aircraft during World War Two and kept as a trophy by an RAAF airman, and previously on display at the RAAF Museum Point Cook. (Excuse the lighting hot spots in the image.) Captured…

Changing Uniform Fashion

It is often forgotten that military formal uniforms are as much fashion and design driven as they are to provide uniformity to their wearers. One area where it is extremely obvious is in the development of women’s uniforms in the military air forces of World War Two. This is because of the newness of putting…

Fashion Plate Star

Today’s magazine cover. Found while looking for the Coca Cola advertisements of a couple of days ago, this provides quite a contrast to the dynamic ‘Rosie the Riveter’ posters discussed earlier. Lunch break aspirations? By ‘Valentine’ from Colliers magazine, August 1942. Found online here. James Kightly, Vintage Aero Writer.

It’s the Wrong Stripes!

Aircraft markings seem to be rather a challenge to understand at times, and are easily misinterpreted. They are a design and aesthetic choice, as well as being a political recognition and heraldry concept as well. This ‘executive desktop model’ made from mahogany will set you back around US $300 on eBay. It’s not bad, but…