Sussex’s Sonia Imprint

Today a strange story. Firstly a bizarre imprint ‘artwork’ created in a violent accident. Then a design process by my friend and colleague, professional artist Ronne Olsthoorn, to explain the imprint. On 26 July 1945, the British cruiser HMS Sussex was attacked by two Japanese bomber aircraft acting as kamikaze suicide weapons. One bounced off…

Magazine Fuel

Today, two covers from the Air BP trade journal, thanks to my artist colleague Ian Bott, who said in 2016: “Picked these up at Duxford yesterday: beautifully-designed, inventive and effortlessly-cool BP in-house trade magazines from, I assume, the 1960s. Those must have been the days for a graphic designer.” As well as the straight ‘art’…

Flight Deck!

Today a toy that will bring back memories for the seventies Airfix generation. It was issued in two forms; the original blue Royal Navy McDonnell Douglas Phantom and a later yellow version, much simplified overall. Here, above is the simpler version. The exciting box contained the bits to enable you to launch a Phantom jet…

Quiet, Allison

Today’s advert from a 1955 Saturday Evening Post by Everett McNear. While no one loves the comfort of modern airliners, it’s easy to forget how noisy they used to be, and that an engine manufacturer could find it worthwhile to advertise in a mainstream magazine to extol the vurtues of their new, quieter engines on…

Benz Power

It’s been a while since we’ve had a pioneer era item, and today’s poster is specifically advertising Benz engines for the pioneer aviator, 59 x 46 cm in size. The array of aircraft configurations encircling the giant motor, looking like an architectural memorial, seem to cover all (heavier than air) options – clearly for all…

Bordfunker II

Today’s Poster follows yesterday’s. It’s a German radio company (Siemens) advertisement, so although similar looking to yesterday’s for the job of a radio operator, is in fact for a product rather than a role. It reads: “Klare verstandigung durch Siemens-bordtelefonei” or ‘clear understanding with Siemens headsets’  The words in the signal key are lärm (noise)…

Hell Dogs Over England

In the current (September 2019) issue of Aeroplane Monthly, here, artist Ian Bott and I have out latest ‘Briefing File’ feature on the defences against the V-1 bomb in 1944. While researching the history, it became evident that the comfort of hindsight has stripped away the fact that at the time, no-one really knew what…

Boys for a Man’s Job

Today’s Poster is a classic theme, recruitment. It’s unusual mainly in conflating the juvenile (school age) Air Training Corps (now the Australian Air Force Cadets, AAFC) experience with training for an air force trade with the Royal Australian Air Force. (RAAF). Formed in 1941, as the war started to tell on Australia’s peacetime resources, “The…

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…

Thake’s Shapes

Eric Thake (see a brief earlier post here) was an Australian official war artist working with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in the latter part of the Pacific War. Unlike many other war artists, he chose to make a significant proportion of his formal, main output as depictions of aircraft wreckage. Almost uniquely, Thake…