The SLV’s Dutchmen

Currently on at the State Library of Victoria (re-opening today) is the ‘Velvet, Iron, Ashes’ exhibition, which among several other great things contains an excellent selection of items relating to the 1934 MacRobertson air race. The display includes a newsreel highlights, and the promotional poster (seen above) as well as one of the many route…

Visibly Invisibly Wonderful

By special request, today we have Wonder Woman‘s invisible jet. The toy above (image from here on Flickr) represents one vision of invisibility, while the still from the TV series is quite different below, and almost could relate to the popular plastic model kits with see through structures often touted as the ‘Visible ‘or ‘Invistible’…

It’s 5 miles Down!

Today a cover for the Airboy pulp magazine. Airships, busty villains, personal escape jets and a five mile drop into the ocean! What more could one want? Well obviously the garish colours, and to read the rest of what happens next. You’re in luck. Image – and the rest of the comic here. James Kightly,…

Toys of Yesteryear

Today a photo of a British toy shop window – A caption gives it as ‘Henley, UK, 1960, by Stuart James’. It’s an interesting mix that social historians could, I’m sure, make a lot of. Aircraft aren’t particularly prominent, but they’re there. Right in the middle, is model box of a de Havilland DH 106…

Biff! Pow!

Today a cover from a classic American pulp magazine ‘Airboy Comics’. There’s something refreshingly straightforward in their garish colours, slightly random approach to real aircraft, the clear necessity of having some strange (and special) aircraft for the hero, and then, best of all, the special ‘having a fight on the wing of the airplane in…

Travolta’s Smallest Airliner?

The one and only John Travolta (just arrived in Australia as I write) well known as a film star, sometimes known as a pilot, and an owner of several large aircraft, including his own Qantas colours bedecked Boeing 707 – yes, a real, full-size airliner. This is due to be donated to the Historic Aircraft…

In Colour! Bombers & Fighters

A pair of books that were passed onto me by my friend Carole Barker, from her father Bernard Thorpe‘s collection. These are based on pre-war information, and were an exciting visual feast, given the paucity of colour printing in the period. On the covers, a pre-war Hawker Hurricane and Vickers Armstrong Wellesley, the Wellesley’s artwork…

Bombers, Symbols, Stamps

Today we look at two aspects of the early wartime home front propaganda of total war from the USA. The poster features the trope of a threat from the air represented by a shadow over children. This one is unusual in that the shadow isn’t an aircraft, as explored by Dr Brett Holman with his…

Hardy Coton Vimy

Today we have a pair of artworks on the Vickers Vimy, an aircraft type designed for the Great War, but made a name as a record setter worldwide. The first image is by the late, great aviation artist Wilf Hardy, a particular favourite painter of myself and my Aeroplane Monthly colleague Ian Bott. A  450mm…

Inside the Eagle

Inspired by a discussion on Twitter, here’s a selection of aircraft cutaway artwork, mainly from the British children’s magazine ‘Eagle’ most famous for the cartoon strip ‘Dan Dare’. [It was the era of the straight leading edge Avro Vulcan B1, and the carrier HMS Eagle.] Dare aside, the other highlight for most in the magazine…