Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Astronauts of Apollo

This is a photo collage composition of the NASA crew photos bringing all the astronauts together. All of the Apollo crews are represented: the men of the tragic Apollo 1, the first men to land on the moon of Apollo 11, the heroic Apollo 13 crew who suffered a catastrophic in-flight failure, the last men on the moon of Apollo 17 and all the missions in between. Each mission patch is also included. This print is a tribute not only to the astronauts but to all the people who made the Apollo dream a reality.

All Out Warrior

The F-105 Thunderchief was designed to carry a single nuclear weapon at high speed and low altitude into Soviet airspace. Entering service in 1958, the F-105 was used extensively in the Vietnam War. The F-105G Wild Weasel was a two set version used to counter surface to air missiles (SAMs). The airplane would intentionally act as a target to draw the attention of SAM crews on the ground. Once the SAM radar locked on the Wild Weasel could use that signal to launch a missile against it to destroy the SAM site. It was a highly dangerous mission and the Wild Weasels suffered heavy losses. Despite the losses the Wild Weasels were effective. The F-105 Thunderchief was an all-out warrior used in a limited war.

The Ace Maker

The Grumman F6F Hellcat was the US Navy's answer to the superb Japanese A6M Zero during WWII. Powered by a Pratt & Whitney, 2000 HP radial engine and armed with 6 .50 cal machine guns, the Hellcat was all muscle. Flown from aircraft carriers, the type quickly proved dominant in the Pacific over it's Japanese counterparts. Racking up an impressive 19:1 kill ratio, the Hellcat became known as "the Ace Maker". This print depicts the Navy's all time leading ace, David McCampbell. "Minsi III" was an F6F-5 Hellcat David McCampbell flew in which he scored the last 23-1/2 of his 34 victories.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Outpost At The Edge of The World

The International Space Station is a joint project between the 5 space agencies of the United States, Russia, Japan, Europe and Canada. The station features modular construction, habitable area larger than a 5 bedroom house and is controlled by 52 computers. At almost 1,000,000 lbs, the International Space Station is one of the most complex engineering and construction projects in the world. Throughout its history the station has been visited and serviced by Russian Soyuz spacecraft and the American Space Shuttle. In 2011 the Space Shuttle was retired. The shuttle Atlantis made the final voyage to the station in July of that year. This print depicts Atlantis as she weighs anchor for the final time from the space station.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Avenging The Hood

One of the most feared ships during World War II was the German battleship Bismarck. In May 1941, the Bismarck managed to sneak out of port with the cruiser Prinz Eugen. British naval units were tasked with finding the Bismarck and on May 24 the HMS Hood, known as the pride of the British fleet, along with the HMS Price of Wales caught up with the two German raiders in the Denmark Straight. After a short exchange of fire the Hood’s armor was pierced by a shell from the Bismarck and detonated in the aft magazine. The resulting explosion broke the ship’s back and she quickly sank leaving only three survivors. Prince of Wales retreated, heavily damaged.

The loss of the Hood was a great shock to the nation and the pursuit of the Bismarck became top priority for the British fleet. On May 26 the Bismarck was struck by a torpedo from a British Swordfish aircraft. The hit disabled her rudder and it became almost impossible to steer the ship.

Having damaged their quarry, the British fleet closed in for the kill. On the morning of May 27 the fleet lead by the battleships HMS King George V and HMS Rodney sighted the Bismarck and opened fire. The Bismarck was sunk in a battle lasting approximately 2 hours. The Hood was avenged.

This print depicts HMS King George V the moment she opened fire on Bismarck.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Legendary GG1

The Pennsylvania Railroad GG1 was an icon of railroading. The traction motor got it’s power through pantographs which were raised to contact the 11,000 volt catenary which was strung above the track. There were 139 GG1 units built from 1934 to 1943. Styled by Westinghouse industrial designer Donald Roscoe Dohner and refined by famed designer Raymond Loewy, the GG1 was an attractive machine. The GG...1 could generate up to 8,000 HP and was designed to pull passenger trains up to 100 MPH. Eminently reliable, the GG1 was popular with engineers, train crews and the riding public. She enjoyed a long service life with the Pennsylvania Railroad as well as with its Penn Central, Conrail, Amtrak successors. The last GG1 retired from service by New Jersey Transit in 1983. Several units are preserved in museums around the country. So beloved and remarkable was the GG1 that the preserved prototype unit was designated an Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark in 1983.

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Endeavour Flight

Constructed as a replacement following the Challenger loss, Endeavour was the youngest shuttle in the fleet. Named for the famous ship of British explorer Captain James Cook, Endeavour began flight operations in 1992 and enjoyed a long and distinguished career which included missions to service the Hubble Space Telescope, a rendezvous with the Russian space station Mir and assembly of the International Space Station. Her last mission was flown may 16, 2011 and she was retired. Endeavour will go on display at the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

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Longest Four Minutes I Ever Spent

In this scene, the spacecraft is actually moving from right to left. Upon approaching the moon, the spacecraft was oriented with the service propulsion engine facing in the direction of travel. Communication with Earth was temporarily interrupted as the spacecraft swung around the far side of the moon. On their own, the crew performed the complicated procedure which fired the engine for a little over 4 minutes thereby slowing the speed of the spacecraft just enough to place it into lunar orbit. This was a critical maneuver and everyone was more than just a little tense as the engine had never been tested in lunar orbit before this mission. Any malfunctions or deviation in burn time could have lead to disastrous consequences. Jim Lovell later stated it was the longest four minutes he had ever spent. Everyone was relieved as the engine performed flawlessly and on Christmas Eve the crew of Bill Anders, Frank Borman and Jim Lovell became the first human beings in history to orbit another celestial body other than the planet earth.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Rock & Roll Baby!

The M1 Abrams is considered by many to be the best tank in the world today. It's 120mm gun makes it lethal while it's composite armor keeps the crew very well protected. The M1 is powered by a 1500 HP gas turbine engine which makes the Abrams one of the fastest tanks. The M1 Abrams has proven itself in battle during Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. This print features the M1A1Abrams advancing through the desert sands of Iraq with a pair of impressive AH-64 "Apaches" providing close air support with deadly Hellfire missiles.

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Sunday, January 1, 2012

On The Edge Of Night - SR-71 Blackbird

This piece was inspired by a passage from former SR-71 pilot Major Brian Shul's book "Sled Driver". In it he describes a night flight......"One moonless night, while flying a routine training mission over the Pacific, I wondered what the sky would look like from 84,000 feet if the cockpit lighting were dark. While heading home on a straight course, I slowly turned down all of the lighting, reducing the glare and revealing the night sky. Within seconds, I turned the lights back up, fearful that the jet would know and somehow punish me. But my desire to see the sky overruled my caution, I dimmed the lighting again. To my amazement, I saw a bright light outside my window. As my eyes adjusted to the view, I realized that the brilliance was the broad expanse of the Milky Way, now a gleaming stripe across the sky. Where dark spaces in the sky had usually existed, there were now dense clusters of sparkling stars Shooting stars flashed across the canvas every few seconds. It was like a fireworks display with no sound. I knew I had to get my eyes back on the instruments, and reluctantly I brought my attention back inside. To my surprise, with the cockpit lighting still off, I could see every gauge, lit by starlight."

The SR-71 Blackbird still remains one of the most incredible airplanes to ever fly. Designed to fly at speeds well in excess of 2,000 MPH and at altitudes over 80,000 feet, the Blackbird was untouchable. Almost 4,000 missiles were launched at her by hostile forces in an attempt to bring her down - none did. The Blackbird defeated every one.

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Our Favorite Drinking Spot

Mustangs of the American Wild West taking a drink from a cool stream. These three friends are happy to share with us their favorite watering spot.

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