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Aviation Art Prints .com

HISTORICAL AVIATION ART PRINTS BY LEADING AVIATION ARTISTS.  Published by the worlds leading aviation publishers

Welcome to aviation art prints .com, The largest collection of aviation art prints and original paintings on the internet.

We have without doubt the largest collection of aviation paintings and prints with over 400,000 prints in stock ready for immediate shipping.  We provide thousands of aviation art prints.  We have over the years not only published a huge range of art prints but purchased over the entire back catalogues of leading aviation artists Nicolas Trudgian, Gerald Coulson and Robert Tomlin which means you won't find most of our aviation art anywhere else.  We offer more types of aircraft flown by many countries.  Our easily accessible website displays each of these sections down into individual pages for aviation art of each aircraft, squadron, conflict and pilot.  Also on the site we feature a directory of aviation artists, which includes Robert Taylor, Ivan Berryman, Nicolas Trudgian, Gerald Coulson, David Pentland, Anthony Saunders and many other aviation artists.  Most of our collections are only available direct from us.  We dispatch to all countries around the world. with our unbeatable service to the United States and Canada making us the No.1 aviation art provider.

Searches and Links

To search through 400 different aircraft and 100s of pilots and squadrons use the search links below to find exactly what you want.

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All Aircraft - See our Aircraft Index Page

We have over 400 different aircraft shown in aviation art prints and paintings

 

All Artists - See our Artist Index Page

Here you will find the best aviation artists complete collection of aviation art including original paintings for sale.

 

All Squadrons - See our Squadron Index Page

We have art work from most of the squadrons of the RAF, USAF and Luftwaffe.  Here you can check exactly what we have form any particular squadron

 

All Signatures - See our Signatures Index Page

Our art prints have been signed over the past 25 years by the world's top aces and pilots from most of the countries Air Forces.  Sadly many of these great pilots are no longer with us, but you can own a piece of history signed by these great pilots.

 

NEW - Aviation History Archive

We have set up a publicly edited database of aircraft, pilots, squadrons and everything else aircraft related.  With many thousands of entries, all with connections between the various databases, this is a resource aviation history buffs will love.  If you wish to help edit this archive, please contact us - details at the bottom of the page.

Artists

Ivan Berryman
Nicolas Trudgian
Robert Taylor
David Pentland
Gerald Coulson
Brian Bateman
Richard Taylor
Anthony Saunders
Graeme Lothian
John D Shaw
Stuart Brown
Robin Smith
Michael Rondot
Keith Woodcock
Stephen Brown
Robert Watts
Roy Cross
NEW - Aviation Art Postcards

There are very few modern aviation art postcards on the market.  Cranston Fine Arts have released their first 40 postcards with new ones being added this year.  We have produced an easy to purchase page of all these postcards.

Click for full list!

Aircraft

Spitfire
Mustang
Me109
Lancaster
Hurricane
Flying Fortress
Fw190

Special Pages

Aviation Art of the Battle of Britain

Battle of Britain

 

New Aviation Packs
Mosquito Aviation Art Print Pack.
Mosquitos

Mosquitos at Dusk by Nicolas Trudgian.
Night

Night Raiders by Ivan Berryman.
Save £230!
Classic Aviation Prints by Nicolas Trudgian.
Hurricane

Hurricane Heroes by Nicolas Trudgian.
Fighter

Fighter Legend - Johnnie Johnson by Nicolas Trudgian.
Save £260!
WW2 RAF Fighter Aircraft Prints by Nicolas Trudgian.
Holding

Holding the Line - The Battle of Britain by Nicolas Trudgian.
Fighter

Fighter Legend - Johnnie Johnson by Nicolas Trudgian.
Save £260!
Dambusters 70th Anniversary Double Remarques by Anthony Saunders.
Final

Final Briefing by Anthony Saunders. (RMB)
The

The Breach by Anthony Saunders. (RMB)
Save £225!
Saunders Roe Jet Aircraft Aviation Prints by Ivan Berryman.
Saro

Saro SR.A1 Over the Needles by Ivan Berryman. (APB)
Saro

Saro Sr.53 by Ivan Berryman. (APB)
Save £120!
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 Mystery still surrounds just why Manfred von Richthofen risked so much in chasing the novice pilot Wilfred Wop May into Allied-occupied territory on the morning of Sunday, 21st April 1918, but it was to be his last flight, this error of judgement costing him his life. Von Richthofen had broken from the main fight involving Sopwith Camels of 209 Sqn to chase Mays aircraft, but found himself under attack from the Camel of Captain Roy Brown. All three aircraft turned and weaved low along the Somme River, the all red Triplane coming under intense fire from the ground as well as from Browns aircraft. No one knows exactly who fired the crucial bullet, but Manfred von Richthofens aircraft was seen to dive suddenly and impact with the ground. The Red Baron was dead and his amazing run of 80 victories was over. The painting shows Mays aircraft (D3326) in the extreme distance, pursued by DR.1 (425/17) and Browns Camel (B7270) in the foreground.

Captain Roy Brown engages the Red Baron, 21st April 1918 by Ivan Berryman. (GS)
Half Price! - £250.00
 Squadron Leader H C Sawyer is depicted here flying his 65 Sqn Spitfire Mk.1a R6799 (YT-D) in the skies above Kent on 31st July 1940 at the height of the Battle of Britain.  Chasing him is Major Hans Trubenbach of 1 Gruppe, Lehrgeschwader 2 in his Messerschmitt Vf109E-3 (Red 12) . The encounter lasted eight minutes with both pilots surviving.

High Pursuit by Ivan Berryman. (GL)
Half Price! - £300.00
 Although not as well known as the Gotha series of bombers, the Allgemeine Elektricitats-Gessellschaft G.IV acquitted itself well in the closing stages of World War 1, although its limited fuel load restricted it to short range duties and reconnaissance missions. The G.IV was popular with its crews because it was extremely robust and featured such state of the art developments as onboard radios and electrically-heated flying suits and was an easy aircraft to fly. Kampfgeschwader 4 are specially noted for flying their G.IVs up to seven missions a night on the Italian front.

AEG G.IV by Ivan Berryman. (GS)
Half Price! - £260.00
DHM290GL. Under Cover of the Night by Simon Smith.

Under Cover of the Night by Simon Smith (GL)
Half Price! - £300.00

 Based upon the design of an earlier 1913 racing biplane, Aviatik AG were able to introduce their B.1 into military service almost at the outbreak of World War 1, the type proving to be a useful reconnaissance machine during the early stages of the conflict. As with most B type aircraft of this time, the Aviatik B.1 was unarmed and carried an observer in the forward cockpit. Power was provided by a Mercedes D.1 inline engine whose large radiators were fitted to the port side of the fuselage, just above the lower wing. There is no record of exactly how many B.1s were constructed.

Aviatik B.1 by Ivan Berryman. (GL)
Half Price! - £300.00
 Following the initial parachute drops at Maleme (West) and Canea (Middle) Group East, comprising of Fallschirmjager Regiment 1 and 2nd battalion FJR2, prepared for their descent on Crete.  Charged with the capture of Heraklion and its aerodrome, their departure was postponed until late afternoon due to the repairs and refuelling needed for the returning Junker 52 transports.

The Second Wave, Greece, 20th May 1941 by David Pentland. (GL)
Half Price! - £300.00
 Formidable commander of Jasta Boelcke, Karl Bolle, breaks off the attack on a 73 Sqn Sopwith Camel as its fuel tank begins to ignite - another undeniable victory in a career which saw him take an eventual 36 confirmed kills. The yellow band on the fuselage paid homage to his former unit, flanked by the black and white Prussian stripes Bolles Fokker DR.1 also sported an Oigee telescopic gunsight mounted between the guns. he survived two World Wars and died in Berlin in 1955.

Rittmeister Karl Bolle by Ivan Berryman. (GL)
Half Price! - £300.00
 The vulnerability of early air gunners is evident in this painting as this Royal Aircraft Establishment FE 2 comes under attack from a Fokker E.III early in World War 1. Archaic in appearance, compared to their German rivals, the FE2 was nevertheless heavily armed with three Lewis guns arranged to cover almost every angle, one of them fixed in a forward firing position for the pilot to operate.

Tribute to the Air Gunners - Royal Aircraft Establishment FE2 by Ivan Berryman. (GL)
Half Price! - £300.00

The Big FREE PRINT give away

We have selected a number of art prints by Robert Taylor, Richard Taylor, Anthony Saunders, Philip West and Ivan Berryman where we have accompanied the main print with a free aviation art print.  This offer is in addition to the other special offers we have.

Details

 

Latest Aviation Art Releases : 

 IAF Squadron Commander Avaham Lanir, flying an Israeli Air Force Mirage III high over the Syrian desert, scores a victory over a Syrian MiG-21 on 9 November 1972. Later, during the Yom Kippur War, his Mirage was hit by a Syrian missile ambush, forcing him to eject over enemy territory. Despite valiant efforts to rescue him, he was captured by the Syrians and died under interrogation.
Desert Victory by Robert Taylor.
 June 1940 and the freedom of Britain lay in the hands of a small band of young RAF fighter pilots. Facing them across the Channel, the all-conquering Luftwaffe stood in eager anticipation of an easy victory, one that would allow were Hitler's mighty armies to invade. So heavily were the odds stacked against the RAF, few gave Fighter Command a chance. The American ambassador to Britain reported that <i>democracy is finished in England</i>. He was wrong.  Although outnumbered more than five to one at the outset, as the savage aerial battles raged continuously over southern England, the courage and dedication of Fighter Command's young airmen gradually turned the tide. By the end of September the battle was won and, for the first time, the Luftwaffe had tasted defeat.  Richard Taylor's outstanding composition portrays a more reflective image of those heroic RAF fighter pilots in contrast perhaps to the deadly trials they faced on a daily basis. Just occasionally during that long hot summer of 1940 were rare moments of peaceful respite. Every minute off-duty was time to be savoured, especially for this particular young fighter pilot and his girl as they briefly pause along a quiet country lane to watch the Spitfires from 92 Squadron pass low overhead. For a few moments the distinctive roar of Merlin engines shatters the peace and they both know that this time tomorrow it will be him who will be flying into combat.
Quiet Reflection by Richard Taylor.
 March 1944 and heavy snow has settled firmly over the frozen Lincolnshire countryside around RAF Fiskerton. For once the Lancasters of 49 Squadron stand quietly idle at their dispersal points around the perimeter of the airfield. It is a scene recreated at many other heavy bomber airfields across the east of England and the young airmen who crew these mighty machines now wait patiently for the inevitable thaw that will soon see them in combat again.  For some, however, the future is uncertain. Just a few weeks later, on 30 March 1944, during a raid on Nuremberg, more than 100 bombers would be shot down. In the space of a single night Bomber Command would suffer more men lost than Fighter Command during the entire Battle of Britain.  Bomber Command flew more than 389,000 sorties from 101 operational bases across the east of England during WWII and the aircrew that undertook these missions came from Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Rhodesia and many countries under Nazi occupation. Every airman was a volunteer and with an average age of just 22 they were forced to grow up quickly, enduring frightening odds and suffering terrible losses - only the Nazi U-Boat force experienced a higher casualty rate.  Of the 125,000 men who served, 55,573 were killed. For every 100 airmen who joined Bomber Command, 45 would lose their lives, 6 would be seriously wounded and 8 made prisoners of war. Yet they resolutely overcame the overwhelming forces stacked against them, including some of the worst flying conditions imaginable and, never flinching from their task, flew until victory was finally achieved.
Ops On Hold by Richard Taylor.
 Yom Kippur - the Day of Atonement - is the holiest day in the Hebrew calendar and in Israel is marked by a national holiday but on that day in 1973 the unexpected happened. At 14.00 hours on 6 October the coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack on Israeli positions. Thousands of Egyptian troops swarmed across the Suez Canal into Israeli held Sinai whilst in the north nearly 1,500 Syrian tanks backed by artillery thrust west towards Israel. Facing this sudden surprise attack on the Golan Heights were less than 200 Israeli tanks. In the air, too, Egyptian and Syrian air forces struck in a single, co-ordinated assault hitting the Israeli anti-aircraft defences and hoping to deliver a fatal blow.  Largely unprepared, Israel reeled however within hours it mobilised its fighting reserves and began a ferocious battle to stem the enemies advance. As Israeli tanks and infantry rushed to hold the front line and, in the north, push the enemy back, Israeli Air Force jets overhead fought a heroic battle to regain the initiative and control of the skies. It was grim work. Both Egyptian and Syrian forces were equipped with hundreds of Soviet-supplied SAM missiles but the tide of war was turning and a battered Israeli Air Force now went on the counter-offensive. And amongst their main targets were the heavily-defended Egyptian air bases that lay deep in the Nile delta.  Robert Taylor's powerful and dramatic painting depicts one such strike that took place on 14 October 1973, half way through the war, when Israeli F-4 Phantom fighter-bombers made simultaneous strikes against the Egyptian air bases at Mansoura and Tanta north of Cairo.  After the first wave struck the elite Egyptian MiG-21 units at El Mansoura, the other Phantom squadrons attacked Tanta in waves, turning to dog-fighting immediately after dropping their ordnance. Tanta was also home to two squadrons of Libyan Mirage 5s and the furious air battle that ensued involved countless fighter aircraft. Despite bitter opposition, the successful IAF missions eliminated much of the effectiveness of the Egyptian Air Force and its Libyan allies.
Double Strike by Robert Taylor.

 Sunday 15 September 1940 and Luftwaffe supremo Hermann Goering believed victory over the RAF was at hand. Today, he decreed, would be the day that his 'glorious' Luftwaffe would finally break the back of Fighter Command's stubborn resistance. Or so he believed. In response to a massed formation of enemy aircraft detected heading for London, Air Vice Marshal Keith Park commanding 11 Group scrambled his squadrons. He also requested that 12 Group bring Douglas Bader's 'Big Wing' down from Duxford. Every available pilot and machine was committed. Prime Minister Winston Churchill turned to Park and asked +What other reserves have we+ +There are none+, Park replied. Bader now had five squadrons racing south, meeting what remained of the enemy on the outskirts of London. With a successful morning behind them the RAF fighters raced back to re-fuel and re-arm. Just after 14.00 hrs another enemy battle group was observed and this time the formations were even larger. Bader's Wing was scrambled once more.

The Greatest Day by Robert Taylor.
 September 1940 and they came in their hundreds, the black crosses under their wings clearly visible to those on the ground who listened in silence as the menacing drone of a thousand engines filled the clear blue summer sky.  As Goering's Luftwaffe attempted to deal the killer blow to British defences, huge formations of Heinkel, Dornier and Junker bombers lumbered over sleepy English fields towards London.  Surrounding them were their escorts, the formidable Messerschmitt Bf109 fighters.  Diving our of the sun, 11 Group's fighter squadrons pounced, with the Spitfires going for the Bf109s while the Hurricanes fell on the slower moving bombers.  Looking up on the swirling melee above, onlookers below could only watch in awe as the sky was filled with criss-cross patterns of creamy white vapour and spiralling trails of ominous, darker smoke.  A parachute here and there caught the eye as the white silk drifted slowly down to the fields below.  Hugely outnumbered, the men of RAF Fighter Command were supported by volunteer airmen from fifteen nations, and as more squadrons joined the fray the battle raged towards the capital until the Bf109s turned for home.  The Few were finally turning the tide of the Battle of Britain.

Fields of Glory by Richard Taylor.
 They came from every corner of Britain.  And mostly they were young.  These fresh faced fighter pilots, joined by an ever-growing band of volunteer airmen from the British Commonwealth and those who had managed to escape from the occupied countries of Europe would, over the summer of 1940, not only hold the world's most powerful air force at bay, they would defeat it.  Richard Taylor's stunning piece graphically conveys the conflicting realities of those deadly aerial encounters over southern England during 1940.  As the sound of Merlin engines briefly interrupts the tranquility of a sleepy English village, its residents are determined to carry on with everyday life.  In the skies overhead the bitter battle will shortly be reaching its crescendo but, for today at least, the fighting is over as Flight Sergeant George 'Grumpy' Unwin, one of the Battle of Britain's top Aces, and the Spitfire pilots of 19 Squadron return from yet another encounter with Goering's much-vaunted Luftwaffe.

Return From the Fray by Richard Taylor.
 A trio of Spitfire Mk1s of 603 Sqn based at Biggin Hill are depicted on patrol in the Summer skies above Kent during the height of the Battle of Britain in August 1940. Lead aircraft is N3288 XT-H flown by Plt Off George Gilroy who finished the war with 14 confirmed victories, 10 shared and a further 14 aircraft destroyed in actions in which he was directly involved.

Biggin Trio by Ivan Berryman.
View the 50 Latest Aviation Art Releases Here

Featured Artists

The name Robert Taylor has been synonymous with aviation art over a quarter of a century. His paintings of aircraft, more than those of any other artist, have helped popularise a genre which at the start of this remarkable artist's career had little recognition in the world of fine art. When he burst upon the scene in the mid-1970s his vibrant, expansive approach to the subject was a revelation. His paintings immediately caught the imagination of enthusiasts and collectors alike . He became an instant success. As a boy, Robert seemed always to have a pencil in his hand. Aware of his natural gift from an early age, he never considered a career beyond art, and with unwavering focus, set out to achieve his goal. Leaving school at fifteen, he has never worked outside the world of art. After two years at the Bath School of Art he landed a job as an apprentice picture framer with an art gallery in Bath, the city where Robert has lived and worked all his life. Already competent with water-colours the young apprentice took every opportunity to study the works of other artists and, after trying his hand at oils, quickly determined he could paint to the same standard as much of the art it was his job to frame. Soon the gallery was selling his paintings, and the owner, recognising Roberts talent, promoted him to the busy picture-restoring department. Here, he repaired and restored all manner of paintings and drawings, the expertise he developed becoming the foundation of his career as a professional artist. Picture restoration is an exacting skill, requiring the ability to emulate the techniques of other painters so as to render the damaged area of the work undetectable. After a decade of diligent application, Robert became one of the most capable picture restorers outside London. Today he attributes his versatility to the years he spent painstakingly working on the paintings of others artists. After fifteen years at the gallery, by chance he was introduced to Pat Barnard, whose military publishing business happened also to be located in the city of Bath. When offered the chance to become a full-time painter, Robert leapt at the opportunity. Within a few months of becoming a professional artist, he saw his first works in print. Roberts early career was devoted to maritime paintings, and he achieved early success with his prints of naval subjects, one of his admirers being Lord Louis Mountbatten. He exhibited successfully at the Royal Society of Marine Artists in London and soon his popularity attracted the attention of the media. Following a major feature on his work in a leading national daily newspaper he was invited to appear in a BBC Television programme. This led to a string of commissions for the Fleet Air Arm Museum who, understandably, wanted aircraft in their maritime paintings. It was the start of Roberts career as an aviation artist. Fascinated since childhood by the big, powerful machines that man has invented, switching from one type of hardware to another has never troubled him. Being an artist of the old school, Robert tackled the subject of painting aircraft with the same gusto as with his large, action-packed maritime pictures - big compositions supported by powerful and dramatic skies, painted on large canvases. It was a formula new to the aviation art genre, at the time not used to such sweeping canvases, but one that came naturally to an artist whose approach appeared to have origins in an earlier classical period. Roberts aviation paintings are instantly recognisable. He somehow manages to convey all the technical detail of aviation in a traditional and painterly style, reminiscent of the Old Masters. With uncanny ability, he is able to recreate scenes from the past with a carefully rehearsed realism that few other artists ever manage to achieve. This is partly due to his prodigious research but also his attention to detail: Not for him shiny new factory-fresh aircraft looking like museum specimens. His trade mark, flying machines that are battle-scarred, worse for wear, with dings down the fuselage, chips and dents along the leading edges of wings, oil stains trailing from engine cowlings, paintwork faded with dust and grime; his planes are real! Roberts aviation works have drawn crowds in the international arena since the early 1980s. He has exhibited throughout the US and Canada, Australia, Japan and in Europe. His one-man exhibition at the Smithsonians National Air

  Robert Taylor is by far the number one collectors choice when it comes to aviation art.  Robert Taylor's aviation paintings and art prints have been collected since the 1970s.  Robert tackled the subject of painting aircraft with the same gusto as with his large, action-packed maritime pictures - big compositions supported by powerful and dramatic skies, painted on large canvases.  It was a formula new to the aviation art genre, at the time not used to such sweeping canvases, but one that came naturally to an artist whose approach appeared to have origins in an earlier classical period.  Robert's aviation paintings are instantly recognisable.  He somehow manages to convey all the technical detail of aviation in a traditional and painterly style, reminiscent of the Old Masters.  With uncanny ability, he is able to recreate scenes from the past with a carefully rehearsed realism that few other artists ever manage to achieve.  Many of his art prints are now sold out and sought after.  We are lucky enough to hold a vast collection of over 6,000 Robert Taylor art prints in stock, and this includes some prints of the early releases signed by well respected pilots such as Stanford-Tuck, Carey, Cheshire VC and many others.

Robert Taylor

Full Robert Taylor Aviation List

Over the last 30 years, Ivan Berryman has become a leading aviation, motor racing and naval artist. In this time, the subjects of his paintings have been wide and varied as he has deliberately strived to include some of the lesser know aircraft, ships and events in his portfolio, which includes aircraft like the Defiant, TSR2, Beaufort, ships including MTBs and corvettes, and around 100 different aircraft of the first world war. In addition to this he has taken new approaches to the classic subjects of his field, including the Dambuster Lancasters, Battle of Britain Spitfires, Bf109s and Hurricanes, HMS Hood, Bismarck and the best known naval ships, as well as some iconic sporting moments. In his own words : Art and aviation have been like a brother and sister to me. We have grown up together, learned together and made our adult lives together. But you do not have to have an appreciation of aircraft to admire the graceful lines of a Spitfire or the functional simplicity of a Focke-Wulf 190. They are themselves a work of art and they cry out to be painted - not as machines of war and destruction, but as objects of beauty, born of necessity and function, yet given a life and iconic classicism beyond their original calling. My interest and love of art and aircraft was gifted to me by my father, a designer and aeronautical engineer of considerable repute. Denis Berryman C.Eng. FRAeS. He gave me his eyes, his passion, his dedication and his unwavering professionalism. I owe him everything. And I miss him terribly. A love of art and of beautiful and interesting things takes you on a journey. You discover new interests, new fascinations, and you want to paint them. You want to paint them in their environment, in their element. Whether it is an aeroplane, a warship, a racing car or a beautiful woman, their gift to an artist is the same: Their lines, their texture and the way that light and shadows give them form. These are the food and oxygen of an artist. Not the paint and the canvas. These are mere tools. The secret is in the passion and the perception...

  Ivan Berryman has been painting aviation subjects for over 35 years, and for the last 15 years has been working full time with Cranston Fine Arts which has given him the opportunity to paint a vast array of aircraft from all periods of aviation history.  Throughout this site you will see his impressive collections of World War Aces, Battle of Britain, Dambusters and his Tribute to World War Two Aces.  This has made him one of the leading aviation artists of today.  As his publisher, we sell direct to the customer and not to other dealers which means we can offer you great discounts and specially designed prints packs at trade discount prices

Ivan Berryman

Full Ivan Berryman Aviation List

Having graduated from art college, Nicolas Trudgian spent many years as a professional illustrator before turning to a career in fine art painting. His crisp style of realism, attention to detail, compositional skills and bright use of colours, immediately found favour with collectors and demand for his original work soared on both sides of the Atlantic. Today, more than a decade after becoming a fine art painter, Nicolas Trudgian is firmly established within a tiny, elite group of aviation artists whose works are genuinely collected world-wide. When he paints an aircraft you can be sure he has researched it in every detail and when he puts it over a particular airfield, the chances are he has paid it a recent visit. Even when he paints a sunset over a tropical island, or mist hanging over a valley in China, most probably he has seen it with his own eyes. Nick was born and raised in the seafaring city of Plymouth, the port from which the Pilgrim Fathers set sail in 1620, and where Sir Francis Drake played bowls while awaiting the Spanish Armada. Growing up in a house close to the railway station within a busy military city, the harbour always teeming with naval vessels and the skies above resonating with the sounds of naval aircraft, it was not at all surprising the young Nick became fascinated with trains, boats and aircraft. It was from his father, himself a talented artist, that Nick acquired his love of drawing and surrounded by so much that was inspiring, there was never a shortage of ideas for pictures. His talent began to show at an early age and although he did well enough at school, he always spent a disproportionate amount of time drawing. People talked about him becoming a Naval officer or an architect but in 1975 Nick's mind was made up. When he told his careers teacher he wanted to go to art school the man said, 'Now come on, what do you really want to do? After leaving school Nick began a one-year foundation course at the Plymouth College of Art. Now armed with an impressive portfolio containing paintings of jet aircraft, trains, even wildlife, he was immediately accepted at every college he applied to join. He chose a course at the Falmouth College of Art in Cornwall specialising in technical illustration and paintings of machines and vehicles for industry. It was perfect for Nick, and he was to become one of the star pupils. One of the lecturers commented at the time: Every college needs someone with a talent like Nick to raise the standards sky high; he carried all the other students along with him, and created an effect which will last for years to come. Two weeks after leaving art college Nick blew every penny he had on a trip to South Africa to ride the great steam trains across the desert, sketching them at every opportunity. Returning to England, in best traditions of all young artists, he struggled to make a living. Paintings by an unknown artist didn't fetch much despite the painstaking effort and time Nick put into each work, so when the college he had recently left offered him a job as a lecturer, he jumped at the chance. The money was good and he discovered that he really enjoyed teaching. Throughout the 1970s Nick was much involved with a railway preservation society near Plymouth and it was through the railway society that he had his first pictures reproduced as prints. But Nick felt he needed to advance his career and in summer 1985 Nick moved away from Cornwall to join an energetic new design studio in Wiltshire. Here he painted detailed artwork for many major companies including Rolls Royce, General Motors, Volvo Trucks, Alfa Romeo and, to his delight, the aviation and defence industries. He remembers the job as exciting though stressful, often requiring him to work right through the night to meet a client's deadline. Here he learned to be disciplined and fast. Towards the end of the 1980's Nick had the chance to work for the Military Gallery. This was the break that for years he had been striving towards and with typical enthusiasm, flung himself into his new role. After completing a series of aviation posters, including a gigantic painting to commemorate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Royal Air Force, Nick's first aviation scene to be published as a limited edition was launched by the Military Gallery in 1991. Despite the fact he was unknown in the field, it was an immediate success. Over the past decade Nick has earned a special reputation for giving those who love his work much more than just aircraft in his paintings. He goes to enormous lengths with his backgrounds, filling them with interesting and accurate detail, all designed to help give the aircraft in his paintings a tremendous sense of location and purpose. His landscapes are quite breathtaking and his buildings demonstrate an uncanny knowledge of perspective but it is the hardware in his paintings which are most striking. Whether it is an aircraft, tank, petrol bowser, or tractor, Nick brings it to life with all the inordinate skill of a truly accomplished fine art painter. A prodigious researcher, Nick travels extensively in his constant quest for information and fresh ideas. He has visited India, China, South Africa, South America, the Caribbean and travels regularly to the United

  Nicolas Trudgian is without doubt one of the great aviation artists of today.  Many of his earlier prints are now sold out and hard to find.  The unrivalled collection of Luftwaffe, RAF and USAF pilot signed art prints with very rare signatures are probably the most sought after.  Initially his releases were promoted at extremely low prices and the collectors recognised this and they sold very quickly.  The value of his early releases have increased rapidly as the pilots who signed these prints in the 1990s have sadly passed away.  Cranston Fine Arts in 2007 bought the entire back catalogue from Military Gallery and we have access to the entire last remaining stock including some very rare items which were not expected to be found again.

Nicolas Trudgian

Full Nicolas Trudgian Aviation List

Graeme Lothian is an artist whose ability has seen him apply his talent to many different subjects - military, aviation, naval and landscape art. Having spent time in the army, taking on adventures such as parachuting, firing bazookas and making an attempt to climb Mount Everest, the discipline he has obtained from his experiences has been key to allowing him to take on his first love - painting - full time. Graeme first took on painting full-time by producing paintings of WW2 aircraft, such as Spitfires and Messerschmitts, but over his career in art, now spanning over two decades, has also produced many military and naval pieces too. More recently, he has undertaken a masive project of painting the River Thames, from its source, through London and beyond, producing over 50 paintings in this series, as well as a book. Graeme Lothian describes himself as a landscape painter. The paintings may have a Tiger, Steam Train, Spitfire or Kentish Oasts in them, but they're still landscapes. Graeme started painting in 1978 in oils, a medium he has stayed with since then. Joining the Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces at the beginning of the 1980s, a parachuting accident curtailed his career and he returned to his first love - art. In the early 90s he formed a partnership with the late great Air Vice-Marshal Johnnie Johnson CB CBE DSO(two bars) DFC(bar) the top scoring Allied fighter pilot of WWII. Embarking on a career as an aviation artist, travelling all over Britain and Europe obtaining the signatures for his prints. Personally meeting the most famous aviators and top aces of both sides of the last war. Graemes first book An Artist on the Thames came out in 2004. His second, An Artist in London, which has taken 5 years to complete, is due to be published at the beginning of 2010. In between, he printed an Everest painting carrying the signatures of Sir Edmund Hillary and Sir Chris Bonnington. Graeme had solo exhibitions in 1981, 1989 in Sydney, Australia, 2007, 2008. In 2009, Graeme was one of only 56 other artists to exhibit at the internationally acclaimed and prestigious BP Portrait Awards at the National Portrait Gallery, London. In 2010 he is to go to Afghanistan as a war artist, one of only a select few to visit the war zone. He is being hosted by various units in the Helmand Province and Kandahar. Born in Sri Lanka, Graeme has painted all over the world including Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Nepal, India and most recently Oman and Jordan. His originals hang all over the world and to date has had over 80 limited edition art prints published.

Graeme Lothian's aviation artwork is part of his wider portfolio including military and landscape art.  He has published two volumes featuring his landscape artwork of the Thames, and has been to Afghanistan twice accompanying British troops as an official war artist, culminating in a unique collection of military and aviation paintings from this arena of battle.  His WW2 aviation prints are highly regarded, especially as he personally toured some of the paintings as he collected superb pilot signatures for the prints.  the painting Fighter General toured Germany as he visited many of the top WW2 Luftwaffe Aces who were signing the print edition.

Graeme Lothian

Full Graeme Lothian Aviation List

Featured Aircraft

Royal Air Force fighter aircraft, maximum speed for mark I Supermarine Spitfire, 362mph up to The Seafire 47 with a top speed of 452mph. maximum ceiling for Mk I 34,000feet up to 44,500 for the mark XIV. Maximum range for MK I 575 miles . up to 1475 miles for the Seafire 47. Armament for the various Marks of Spitfire. for MK I, and II . eight fixed .303 browning Machine guns, for MKs V-IX and XVI two 20mm Hispano cannons and four .303 browning machine guns. and on later Marks, six to eight Rockets under the wings or a maximum bomb load of 1,000 lbs. Designed by R J Mitchell, The proto type Spitfire first flew on the 5th March 1936. and entered service with the Royal Air Force in August 1938, with 19 squadron based and RAF Duxford. by the outbreak of World war two, there were twelve squadrons with a total of 187 spitfires, with another 83 in store. Between 1939 and 1945, a large variety of modifications and developments produced a variety of MK,s from I to XVI. The mark II came into service in late 1940, and in March 1941, the Mk,V came into service. To counter the Improvements in fighters of the Luftwaffe especially the FW190, the MK,XII was introduced with its Griffin engine. The Fleet Air Arm used the Mk,I and II and were named Seafires. By the end of production in 1948 a total of 20,351 spitfires had been made and 2408 Seafires. The most produced variant was the Spitfire Mark V, with a total of 6479 spitfires produced. The Royal Air Force kept Spitfires in front line use until April 1954

Royal Air Force Fighter, the Hawker Hurricane had a top speed of 320mph, at 18,200 feet and 340mph at 17,500, ceiling of 34,200 and a range of 935 miles. The Hurricane was armed with eight fixed wing mounted .303 browning machine guns in the Mark I and twelve .303 browning's in the MKIIB in the Hurricane MKIIC it had four 20mm cannon. All time classic fighter the Hurricane was designed in 1933-1934, the first prototype flew in June 1936 and a contract for 600 for the Royal Air Force was placed. The first production model flew ion the 12th October 1937 and 111 squadron of the Royal Air Force received the first Hurricanes in January 1938. By the outbreak of World war two the Royal Air Force had 18 operational squadrons of Hurricanes. During the Battle of Britain a total of 1715 Hurricanes took part, (which was more than the rest of the aircraft of the Royal air force put together) and almost 75% of the Victories during the Battle of Britain went to hurricane pilots. The Hawker Hurricane was used in all theatres during World war two, and in many roles. in total 14,533 Hurricanes were built.

Willy Messerschmitt designed the BF109 during the early 1930s. The Bf109 was one of the first all metal monocoque construction fighters with a closed canopy and retractable undercarriage. The engine of the Me109 was a V12 aero engine which was liquid-cooled. The Bf109 first saw operational service during the Spanish Civil War and flew to the end of World War II, during which time it was the backbone of the Luftwaffe fighter squadrons. During the Battle of Britian the Bf109 was used in the role of an escort fighter, a role for which it was not designed for, and it was also used as a fighter bomber. During the last days of May 1940 Robert Stanford-Tuck, the RAF ace, got the chance to fly an Me109 which they had rebuilt after it had crash landed. Stanford-Tuck found out that the Me109 was a wonderful little plane, it was slightly faster than the Spitfire, but lacked the Spitfire manoeuvrability. By testing the Me109, Tuck could put himself inside the Me109 when fighting them, knowing its weak and strong points. With the introduction of the improved Bf109F in the spring of 1941, the type again proved to be an effective fighter during the invasion of Yugoslavia and during the Battle of Crete and the invasion of Russia and it was used during the Siege of the Mediteranean island of Malta. The Bf109 was the main fighter for the Luftwaffe until 1942 when the Fw190 entered service and shared this position, and was partially replaced in Western Europe, but the Me109 continued to serve on the Eastern Front and during the defence of the Reich against the allied bombers. It was also used to good effect in the Mediterranean and North Africa in support of The Africa Korps. The Me109 was also supplied to several German allies, including Finland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Slovakia. The Bf109 scored more kills than any other fighter of any country during the war and was built in greater numbers with a total of over 31,000 aircraft being built. The Bf109 was flown by the three top German aces of the war war. Erich Hartmann with 352 victories, Gerhard Barkhorn with 301 victories and Gunther Rall with 275 kills. Bf109 pilots were credited with the destruction of 100 or more enemy aircraft. Thirteen Luftwaffe Aces scored more than 200 kills. Altogether this group of pilots were credited with a total of nearly 15,000 kills, of which the Messerschmitt Bf109 was credited with over 10,000 of these victories. The Bf109 was the most produced warplane during World War II, with 30,573 examples built during the war, and the most produced fighter aircraft in history, with a total of 33,984 units produced up to April 1945. Bf109s remained in foreign service for many years after World War II. The Swiss used their Bf109Gs well into the 1950s. The Finnish Air Force did not retire their Bf109Gs until March 1954. Romania used its Bf109s until 1955. The Spanish Hispanos flew even longer. Some were still in service in the late 1960s

The ubiquitous North American P-51 Mustang, which many consider to be the best all-around fighter of WW II, owes its origins to the British Air Ministry. Following Britains entry into WW II in 1939, the RAF was interested in purchasing additional fighter aircraft from American sources, particularly the Curtiss P-40. Curtiss, which was busy, was unable to guarantee timely delivery so the British approached North American Aviation as a possible second source for the P-40. North American chose to propose its own fighter design which would use the same Allison engine as the P-40. Utilizing new laminar flow wings, the North American fighter was expected to have performance better than the P-40. Developed in record time the new aircraft was designated as a Mustang I by the Brits, whereas the USAAF ordered two for evaluation which were designated XP-51 Apaches. Intrigued with the possibility of using this aircraft also as a dive bomber, North American proposed this to the USAAF which decided to order 500 of the P-51 aircraft to be modified for dive bombing use. Designated as the A-36 Invader, this version of the Mustang utilized dive flaps, and bomb racks under each wing. Some reinforcing of the structural members was also required because of the G-forces to be encountered in dive bombing. A-36s entered combat service with the USAAF prior to any P-51s. In early 1943 the 86th and 27th Fighter Bomber Groups of the 12th Air Force began flying A-36s out of Northern Africa. Despite some early problems with instability caused by the dive flaps, the A-36 was effective in light bombing and strafing roles. It was not, however, capable of dog fighting with German fighters, especially at higher altitudes. Despite these drawbacks one USAAF pilot, Captain Michael T. Russo, who served with the 16th Bomb Squadron of the 27th Fighter Bomber Group, was credited with five confirmed aerial victories in the A-36, thereby becoming the first mustang ace

Spitfire Hurricane Me109 Mustang

The Avro Lancaster arose from the avro Manchester and the first prototype Lancaster was a converted Manchester with four engines. The Lancaster was first flown in January 1941, and started operations in March 1942. By March 1945 The Royal Air Force had 56 squadrons of Lancasters with the first squadron equipped being No.44 Squadron. During World War Two the Avro Lancaster flew 156,000 sorties and dropped 618,378 tonnes of bombs between 1942 and 1945. Lancaster Bomberss took part in the devastating round-the-clock raids on Hamburg during Air Marshall Harris' "Operation Gomorrah" in July 1943. Just 35 Lancasters completed more than 100 successful operations each, and 3,249 were lost in action. The most successful survivor completed 139 operations, and the Lancaster was scrapped after the war in 1947. A few Lancasters were converted into tankers and the two tanker aircraft were joined by another converted Lancaster and were used in the Berlin Airlift, achieving 757 tanker sorties. A famous Lancaster bombing raid was the 1943 mission, codenamed Operation Chastise, to destroy the dams of the Ruhr Valley. The operation was carried out by 617 Squadron in modified Mk IIIs carrying special drum shaped bouncing bombs designed by Barnes Wallis. Also famous was a series of Lancaster attacks using Tallboy bombs against the German battleship Tirpitz, which first disabled and later sank the ship. The Lancaster bomber was the basis of the new Avro Lincoln bomber, initially known as the Lancaster IV and Lancaster V. (Becoming Lincoln B1 and B2 respectively.) Their Lancastrian airliner was also based on the Lancaster but was not very successful. Other developments were the Avro York and the successful Shackleton which continued in airborne early warning service up to 1992

In the mid-1930s engineers at Boeing suggested the possibility of designing a modern long-range monoplane bomber to the U.S. Army Air Corps. In 1934 the USAAC issued Circular 35-26 that outlined specifications for a new bomber that was to have a minimum payload of 2000 pounds, a cruising speed in excess of 200-MPH, and a range of at least 2000 miles. Boeing produced a prototype at its own expense, the model 299, which first flew in July of 1935. The 299 was a long-range bomber based largely on the Model 247 airliner. The Model 299 had several advanced features including an all-metal wing, an enclosed cockpit, retractable landing gear, a fully enclosed bomb bay with electrically operated doors, and cowled engines. With gun blisters glistening everywhere, a newsman covering the unveiling coined the term Flying Fortress to describe the new aircraft. After a few initial test flights the 299 flew off to Wright Field setting a speed record with an average speed of 232-mph. At Wright Field the 299 bettered its competition in almost all respects. However, an unfortunate crash of the prototype in October of 1935 resulted in the Army awarding its primary production contract to Douglas Aircraft for its DB-1 (B-18.) The Army did order 13 test models of the 299 in January 1936, and designated the new plane the Y1B-17. Early work on the B-17 was plagued by many difficulties, including the crash of the first Y1B-17 on its third flight, and nearly bankrupted the Company. Minor quantities of the B-17B, B-17C, and B-17D variants were built, and about 100 of these aircraft were in service at the time Pearl Harbor was attacked. In fact a number of unarmed B-17s flew into the War at the time of the Japanese attack. The German Blitzkrieg in Europe resulted in accelerated aircraft production in America. The B-17E was the first truly heavily armed variant and made its initial flight in September of 1941. B-17Es cost $298,000 each and more than 500 were delivered. The B-17F and B-17G were the truly mass-produced wartime versions of the Flying Fortress. More than 3,400 B-17Fs and more than 8,600 B-17Gs would be produced. The American daylight strategic bombing campaign against Germany was a major factor in the Allies winning the War in Europe. This campaign was largely flown by B-17 Flying Fortresses (12,677 built) and B-24 Liberators (18,188 built.) The B-17 bases were closer to London than those of the B-24, so B-17s received a disproportionate share of wartime publicity. The first mission in Europe with the B-17 was an Eighth Air Force flight of 12 B-17Es on August 12, 1942. Thousands more missions, with as many as 1000 aircraft on a single mission would follow over the next 2 ½ years, virtually decimating all German war making facilities and plants. The B-17 could take a lot of damage and keep on flying, and it was loved by the crews for bringing them home despite extensive battle damage. Following WW II, B-17s would see some action in Korea, and in the 1948 Israel War. There are only 14 flyable B-17s in operation today and a total of 43 complete airframes

The Messerschmitt Me-262 Swallow, a masterpiece of engineering, was the first operational mass-produced jet to see service. Prototype testing of the airframe commenced in 1941 utilizing a piston engine. General Adolf Galland, who was in charge of the German Fighter Forces at that time, pressured both Goring and Hitler to accelerate the Me-262, and stress its use as a fighter to defend Germany from Allied bombers. Hitler, however, envisioned the 262 as the aircraft which might allow him to inflict punishment on Britain. About 1400 Swallows were produced, but fortunately for the Allies, only about 300 saw combat duty. While the original plans for the 262 presumed the use of BMW jet engines, production Swallows were ultimately equipped with Jumo 004B turbojet engines. The wing design of the 262 necessitated the unique triangular hull section of the fuselage, giving the aircraft a shark-like appearance. With an 18 degree swept wing, the 262 was capable of Mach .86. The 262 was totally ineffective in a turning duel with Allied fighters, and was also vulnerable to attack during take off and landings. The landing gear was also suspect, and many 262s were destroyed or damaged due to landing gear failure. Despite its sleek jet-age appearance, the 262 was roughly manufactured, because Germany had lost access to its normal aircraft assembly plants. In spite of these drawbacks the 262 was effective. For example, on April 7, 1945 a force of sixty 262s took on a large force of Allied bombers with escort fighters. Armed with their four nose-mounted cannons, and underwing rockets the Swallows succeeded in downing or damaging 25 Allied B-17s on that single mission. While it is unlikely that the outcome of the War could have been altered by an earlier introduction or greater production totals for this aircraft, it is clear to many historians that the duration of the War might have been drastically lengthened if the Me-262 had not been too little too late

The Focke-Wulf 190 development project began in 1937. Conceived as a hedge against total dependence on the Messerchmitt 109, the 190 was designed by Kurt Tank utilizing a radial engine. This was against generally accepted design criteria in Germany, and many historians believe that the decision to produce a radial engine fighter was largely due to the limited manufacturing capacity for in-line, water-cooled engines which were widely used on all other Luftwaffe aircraft. Despite these concerns, Tanks design was brilliant, and the 190 would become one of the top fighter aircraft of WWII. The first prototype flew in mid-1939. The aircraft had excellent flying characteristics, a wonderful rate of acceleration, and was heavily armed. By late 1940 the new fighter was ordered into production. Nicknamed the butcher bird, by Luftwaffe pilots, early 190s were quite successful in the bomber interceptor role, but at this stage of the war many Allied bombing raids lacked fighter escort. As the war dragged on, Allied bombers were increasingly accompanied by fighters, including the very effective P-51 Mustang. The Allies learned from experience that the 190s performance fell off sharply at altitudes above 20,000 feet. As a result, most Allied bombing missions were shifted to higher altitudes when fighter opposition was likely. Kurt Tank had recognized this shortcoming and began working on a high-altitude version of the 190 utilizing an in-line, water-cooled engine. Utilizing a Jumo 12-cylinder engine rated at 1770-HP, and capable of 2,240-HP for short bursts with its methanol injection system, the 190D, or Long Nose or Dora as it was called, had a top speed of 426-MPH at 22,000 feet. Armament was improved with two fuselage and two wing mounted 20mm cannon. To accommodate the changes in power plants the Dora had a longer, more streamlined fuselage, with 24 inches added to the nose, and an additional 19 inches added aft of the cockpit to compensate for the altered center of gravity. By mid 1944 the Dora began to reach fighter squadrons in quantity. Although the aircraft had all the right attributes to serve admirably in the high altitude interceptor role, it was not generally focused on such missions. Instead many 190Ds were assigned to protect airfields where Me-262 jet fighters were based. This was due to the latter aircrafts extreme vulnerability to Allied attack during takeoff and landing. The 190Ds also played a major role in Operation Bodenplatte, the New Years Day raid in 1945 which destroyed approximately 500 Allied aircraft on the ground. The High Command was impressed with the 190Ds record on this raid, and ordered most future production of the Doras to be equipped as fighter-bombers. In retrospect this was a strategic error, and this capable aircraft was not fully utilized in the role for which it was intended

Lancaster Flying Fortress Me262 Fw190

Work In Progress - Mini Report - 'The Final Curtain'

This mini work in progress report is abstracted from the full report


With the photographs suitably enlarged and montaged, I can start work marking out the positions and shapes of each main aircraft in the picture on the canvas. Only now does the true scale of this massive painting become apparent; the wingspan of Triplane 425/17 is almost three feet!


Progress is quite rapid as I work my way across the canvas, building up the layers of cloud, and it is soon time for those final touches before stripping away the masking before the paint dries too much.


In this photograph, all the masking has been removed and the aircraft outlines are clearly visible. This is going to be a typical dogfight scene for the period with aircraft seemingly going in all directions, even though only six Triplanes from von Richthofen’s Circus are believed to have taken part. Research (and some much-valued expert help) has allowed me to understand some of what happened that morning.


Having covered up much of the painting with some paper to avoid splashes and damaged caused by dropped brushes (I can be so clumsy sometimes!) in this photograph, I have begun work on the undersides of all three wings and the undercarriage faring. The wings are, of course, in shadow, but the taut fabric is pretty reflective, so I’ve added a sheen and then picked out the ribs of the structure beneath. These ribs are important as they also denote where the ‘batwing’ effect on the trailing edge of each wing appears. The crosses have been put into place and the beginnings of the reflections where the wing struts will eventually attach have been roughed in. The ailerons have yet to be added, together with a lot of minor detailing


Et Voila! this photograph shows the finished DR.1 in close-up. I have resisted the temptation to add too many highlights and sparkles on the Triplane. Although glints of sunlight can really lift a painting and bring it to life, it would not have been appropriate here as the aircraft sides were quite dull and war-weary. A sheen, yes, but not a blinding glare.


The finished painting is presented in this photograph, but I have to confess that it looks a lot less dramatic when reduced to just a few centimetres. I wish that I could share the spectacle of the real thing with you in all its 2-metre (6 ft 7 inches) magnificence!

Above all though, I hope that this will stand as a record of how that aerial battle on 20th April 1918 may have looked and as a tribute to the brave young men on both sides who fought so gallantly and with such great self sacrifice for a cause that each so fervently believed in.

Click here for the full report with over 30 photos!
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Battle of Britain - In the summer of 1940, the RAF had approximately 9,000 pilots and 5,000 aircraft, most of which were bombers.  By the 1st of July, the Commander of Fighter Command, Marshal Hugh Dowding could provide just 1103 fighter pilots -   Meanwhile, the Luftwaffe comprised 1450 fighter pilots, many with experience from the Spanish Civil War just a few years earlier.  Defending Britain against the Luftwaffe were the Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire squadrons of the RAF.  As a tribute to these Pilots we have probably the largest collection of pilot signed battle of Britain artwork available anywhere.

Battle of Britain  

In the summer of 1940, the RAF had approximately 9,000 pilots and 5,000 aircraft, most of which were bombers.  By the 1st of July, the Commander of Fighter Command, Marshal Hugh Dowding could provide just 1103 fighter pilots -   Meanwhile, the Luftwaffe comprised 1450 fighter pilots, many with experience from the Spanish Civil War just a few years earlier.  Defending Britain against the Luftwaffe were the Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire squadrons of the RAF.  As a tribute to these Pilots we have probably the largest collection of pilot signed battle of Britain artwork available anywhere.

Signatures

Some popular pilot and aircrew signatures from our database of over 2,000 signatures!

A young pilot with III/JG52 at the outbreak of war. He quickly demonstrated his natural ability and leadership qualities, scoring his first air victory early in the Battle of Britain, and by July 1940 was leading 8/JG52. After transfer to the Eastern Front his air victories mounted at an astonishing rate. A crash hospitalised him but within nine months he was back in the cockpit, and, when commanding III/JG52, gained the Wings 500th victory. Gunther fought throughout the war to become the 3rd highest Ace in history with 275 victories. He was awarded the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. Gunther Rall was born on March 10, 1918 in the small Bavarian town of Gaggenau, Baden. Immersing himself in Boy Scout activities during the difficult economic times in Germany following WW 1, Rall finished school in 1936 and joined the German Army. Influenced by a friend, who was a young officer in the Luftwaffe, Rall entered pilots school in 1938. His initial posting was with JG52. He attained his first aerial victory during the Battle of France in May of 1940. During the Battle of Britain JG52 absorbed many casualties, and Rall was promoted to Squadron Commander at the young age of 22. With his fair-hair and smooth complexion the young officer looked even younger than his years. But behind this pleasant exterior was a fierce competitor with the heart of a tiger. Later, Ralls squadron would support the attack on Crete, followed by deployment to the Southern Sector on the Eastern Front. Ralls victory totals began to mount. Following his 37 th victory, GiInther was himself shot down. He was lucky to survive the crash, but with a badly broken back he would spend most of the next year in various hospitals. In Vienna at the University Hospital he would meet his future wife, Hertha. Miraculously, Rall recovered and returned to the Luftwaffe in August of 1942. By November his score exceeded 100 and he was awarded the Oak Leaves to accompany the Knights Cross he was awarded only weeks earlier. As the War progressed against Russia, Rall began to encounter ever more experienced Soviet pilots flying better performing aircraft. Despite this fact, and being shot down several more times himself, Ralls victory tally kept rising. By March of 1944 the ace had attained 273 aerial victories. With the War now going badly for Germany, Rall was transferred to the Western Front. He was able to attain only two more victories against the swarms of Allied bombers and fighter escorts which now pounded Germany every day and night. In May of 1944 Rall was shot down by a P-47. Losing his thumb in the battle he remained out of combat until later in 1944. Ralls final assignments included flying 190Ds as Kornmodore of JG300, and flying the Me-262 jet. Ralls 275 aerial victories (attained on less than 700 combat sorties) make him the third highest scoring ace of all time. If not for the down time suffered as a result of his broken back, Rall might have actually equaled or exceeded Erich Hartmanns alltime record of 352 aerial victories. Rall was not much for socializing during the War. He was a fierce competitor with a businessmans attitude about flying. He was

Gunther Rall

Johnnie Johnson

Wing Commnader John. C. Freeborn was born on the 1st of December 1919 in Middleton, Yorkshire. John left grammar school at 16 and joined the RAF in 1938, where he made 14 shillings a week and shot pheasant in his spare time. He later visited his classmates after flight school by landing his plane on a nearby cricket pitch. In March 1938 John Freeborn was commissioned in the RAFO, and on the 9th of April 1938 went to Montrose and joined 8 FTS, where he completed his training before going to 74 "Tiger" Squadron at Hornchurch on 29th October. He relinquished his RAFO commission on being granted a short service one in the RAF in January 1939. Johnie Freeborn flew Spitfires with 74 Squadron over Dunkirk, and claimed a probable Ju 88 on May 21st 1940. On the 22nd of May 1940 he destroyed a Junkers 88, and a probable Bf 109 on the 24th of May followed soon after on the 27th by a Bf 109 destroyed and another probably destroyed. On one occasion his Spitfire was badly damaged over Dunkirk and he crash-landed on the beach near Calais but managed to get a lift home in a returning aircraft. His squadron flew relentlessly during the Battle of Britain. In one eight-hour period, its pilots flew into combat four times, destroying 23 enemy aircraft (three by John Freeborn) and damaging 14 more. Five kills denoted an Ace and by the end of the Battle of Britain, John had seven to his credit and won the DFC. John claimed a Bf 109 destroyed on 10th July, shared a probable Dornier 17 on the 24th, shot down a Bf 109 on the 28th, destroyed two Bf 110s, a Bf 109 and probably another on 11th August, destroyed a Do 17 on the 13th, destroyed another on 11th September and damaged an He 111 on the 14th. Freeborn was made a Flight Commander on 28th August. He shared a Bf 109 on 17th November, shot down two Bf 109s, shared another and damaged a fourth on 5th December, and damaged a Dornier 17 on 5th February and 4th March 1941. John Freeborn had been with his squadron longer, and flown more hours, than any other Battle of Britain pilot and on the 25th of February 1941 John freeborn was awarded a Bar to the DFC. In January, 1942 John Freeborn was posted to Army Air Force Base in Selma, Alababma which was home to the South East Training Command in America. After two months as RAF liaison officer he went to Eglin Field, Florida where he helped in testing various aircraft, including the new fighters the Thunderbolt and P-51 Mustang. He returned to the UK in December 1942 and went to Harrowbear, Exeter, and then to Bolt Head as Station Commander. John Freeborn joined 602 Squadron in 1942, and commanded 118 Squadron in June 1943 at Coltishall, leading it until January 1944. In June 1944 he was promoted Wing Commander (the youngest Wing Commander in the RAF) of 286 Wing in Italy. John Freeborn scored 17 victories and left the Royal Air Force in 1946. Sadly, we have learned that John Freeborn passed away on 28th August 2010. John Freeborn was truly one of the great Fighter Pilots of world war two and his autograph is certainly a major additon to any signature collection, as he did not sign a great deal of

John Freeborn

Erich Rudorffer was born on November 1st 1917 in the town of Zwickau in Saxony. Erich Rudorffer joined the Luftwaffes I./JG2 Richthofen in November 1939, and was soon flying combat patrols in January 1940 and was assigned to I/JG 2 Richthofen with the rank of Oberfeldwebel. He took part in the Battle of France, scoring the first of his many victories over a French Hawk 75 on May 14th, 1940. He went on to score eight additional victories during the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain. Rudorffer recalled an incident in August 1940 when he escorted a badly damaged Hurricane across the Channel - ditching in the English Channel was greatly feared by pilots on both sides. As fate often does, Rudorffer found the roles reversed two weeks later, when he was escorted by an RAF fighter after receiving battle damage. By May 1st 1941 Rudorffer had achieved 19 victories, which led to the award of the Knights Cross. In June 1941 Rodorffer became an Adjutant of II./JG2. In 1942 Rudorffer participated in Operation Cerberus (known as the Channel Dash) and flew over the Allied landings at Dieppe. Erich Rudorffer along with JG2 was transferred to North Africa in December 1942. It was in North Africa that Rudorffer showed his propensity for multiple-victory sorties. He shot down eight British aircraft in 32 minutes on February 9th 1943 and seven more in 20 minutes six days later. After scoring a total of 26 victories in Tunisia, Rudorffer returned to France in April 1943 and was posted to command II./JG54 in Russia, after Hauptmann Heinrich Jung, its Kommodore, failed to return from a mission on July 30th 1943. On August 24th 1943 he shot down 5 Russian aircraft on the first mission of the day and followed that up with three more victories on the second mission. He scored seven victories in seven minutes on October 11th but his finest achievement occurred on November 6th when in the course of 17 minutes, he shot down thirteen Russian aircraft. Rudorffer became known to Russian pilots as the fighter of Libau. On October 28th 1944 while about to land, Rudorffer spotted a large formation of Il-2 Sturmoviks. He quickly aborted the landing and moved to engage the Russian aircraft. In under ten minutes, nine of the of the II-2 Sturmoviks were shot down causing the rest to disperse. Rudorffer would later that day go on and shoot down a further two Russian aircraft. These victories took his total to 113 and he was awarded the Oak Leaves on April 11th 1944. Rudorffer would on the 26th January 1945 on his 210th victory receive the addition

Erich Rudorffer

Byron Duckenfield started at Flying Training School on 25th November 1935 in a Blackburn B2 at Brough. As a Sergeant, he joined No.32 Sqn at Biggin Hill on 8th August 1936 and flew Gauntlets and Hurricanes. He joined 74 Squadron at Hornchurch on 11th April 1940, flying Spitfires, and on 5th May was posted to 501 Squadron flying Hurricanes at Tangmere. On the 11th of May at Betheniville, he survived a crash in a passenger transport Bombay aircraft in an aircraft in which he was a passenger, While comin ginto land the aircraft at 200 feet the aircraft stalled and the aircrfat fell backwards just levelly out as it histhe ground. 5 of th epassengers were killed when the centre section collapsed and crushed them. Duckenfield was fortunate as he had moved position during the flight. as the two passengers sitting each side of where he was sitting had died in the crash. (it was found later that the Bombay had beeb loaded with to much weight in the aft sectiion. ) recovering in hospital in Roehampton. On 23rd July 1940, he rejoined No.501 Sqn at Middle Wallop, then moved to to Gravesend two days later, scoring his first victory, a Ju87, on the 29th of July 1940. During August and September he scored three more victories. After a spell as a test pilot from 14th September 1940, he was posted to command 66 Squadron on 20th December 1941, flying Spitfires. On 26th February 1942 he took command of 615 Squadron flying Hurricanes from Fairwood Common, taking the squadron to the Far East. In late December 1942 he was shot down in Burma and captured by the Japanese. He remained a POW until release in May 1945. After a refresher course at the Flying Training School in November 1949, he took command of No.19 Squadron flying Hornets and Meteors from Chruch Fenton. After a series of staff positions, he retired from the RAF as a Group Captain on 28th May 1969. Duckenfield would write later

Byron Duckenfield

Initially with JG3, Walter Schuck was posted north to 7./JG5 in April 1942. On 15 June 1944 he chalked up his 100th victory during a day when he shot down 6 aircraft. Two days later he had his most successful day, achieving 12 victories in twenty-four hours, a feat never surpassed in JG5. On 1 August, he assumed command of 10./JG5. Walter Schuck transferred to fly the Me262 as Staffelkapitan of 3./JG7, and achieved 8 further victories flying the new jet. His final tally was 206 air victories. He was awarded the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves.

Walter Schuck

Ray joined the RAF in 1941, completing his training in South Africa. In January 1944 he was posted to 603 Squadron flying Beaufighters in North Africa. Here he teamed up with navigator, Warrant Officer A.E. ‘Bert’ Winwood, and from where they launched attacks across the Mediterranean into Crete, Greece and the Aegean Islands against shipping, harbour installations and enemy aircraft with much success. In December 1944 they were posted to 235 Squadron Coastal Command, part of the Banff Strike Wing, converting to Mosquitos. In April 1945 they were shot down following a strike in the Kattegat, but avoided capture and with the help of the Danish resistance made it home, where they continued to fly again from Banff

Ray Harington

Walter Krupinski first saw combat against the RAF on the Western Front. Transferring to the east, he became a Squadron Commander in the legendary JG52. In 1943 his victories reached 150 but, in March 1944 with 177 victories to his name, he was transferred to Germany to command JG11. Flying high altitude Me109s, he chalked up another 12 victories before being wounded. In September 1944 he was promoted Kommandeur of III./JG26 and led them on Operation Bodenplatte before joining Galland's famous JV44. He completed the war with 197 victories in over 1100 missions.

Walter Krupinski

Bud Anderson went to England with the 357th Fighter Group in 1943, the first Eighth Air Force Group to be equipped with the P-51 Mustang. He got himself on the score sheet on one of the first Berlin missions, dog fighting with a bunch of Me109s who had set upon a straggling B-17. On 29th June 1944, leading his squadron on a mission to Leipzig, they ran into a formation of Fw190s. In the ensuing battle Anderson shot down the leader, and two more Fw190s. After a short rest in the U.S., Bud returned for a second tour, just in time for the 357th's big day on 27th November 1944. With the 353rd they took on a huge formation of some 200 enemy fighters, Anderson adding three more to his score. He finished the war with 16 air victories and many more probables

Bud Anderson

 

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FEATURED AIRCRAFT

Flight Lieutenant Peter Arkell (deceased)

For his first tour Peter flew Mustangs and Spitfires with 26 Squadron on intruder and low lever photographic sorties over France, before joining 161 Squadron as Tempsford in 1944, flying Lysanders into occupied Europe. He then accompanied the Lysanders to Burma where he flew 35 successful but hazar... full profile available on profile page.

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Nieuport 28



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RECENT UPDATES TO OUR AVIATION HISTORY DATABASES
Updates made to Aircrew database for : W. H. Lowson : Squadrons updated (added No.83 Sqn RAF), Squadron service dates updated
324th Bomb Squadron added to the squadrons database.
Hampden Mk.I AD734 of No.83 Sqn RAF added to the airframes database.
New victory claim added : Fw190 (Probable victory.) claimed on 26th July 1942 by Stanislaw Brzeski of No.317 Sqn RAF
Updates made to Airframes database for : Flying Fortress 42-30041 : Squadrons updated (added 384th Bomb Group)
Updates made to Airframes database for : Whitley T4213 : Airframe notes updated (added 11-02-1941 : Whitley was abandoned in the Bagthorpe area after which the aircraft crashed and caught fire at Fulbeck in Lincolnshire.)
Updates made to Aircrew database for : J. F. Hollingworth : Squadrons updated (added No.78 Sqn RAF), Squadron service dates updated
Whitley Mk.V T4322 of No.58 Sqn RAF added to the airframes database.
Updates made to Aircrew database for : Matthewman : Squadrons updated (added No.51 Sqn RAF), Squadron service dates updated
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