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Some units disallowed nose art, while others tolerated it. Generally, the Finnish airforce nose art was humorous or satirical, such as the "horned Stalin" on Maj. Maunula's Curtiss P Adolf Galland was famous for painting Mickey Mouse on his aircraft, and the mascot was adopted by his Gruppe during the early airwar phase of World War II.

The markings of aces were often adopted by their squadrons, such as Galland's Mickey Mouse and Hartmann's black tulip still in use until recently on the aircraft of JG 71 "Richthofen" — not known to be in use on the unit's new Eurofighter Typhoons. Ted W. Lawson , who along with journalist Bob Considine famously wrote about the Doolittle Raid in Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo , piloted a B Mitchell bomber nicknamed The Ruptured Duck , after a minor training accident in which the aircraft tail scraped the ground during takeoff; this was decorated by a caricature of an angry Donald Duck figure with crutches and wearing a pilot's headphones.

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A captured German Biber midget submarine with a shark-mouth design. The British MoD banned the use of pin-up women in nose art on Royal Air Force aircraft in , as commanders decided the images many containing naked women , were inappropriate and potentially offensive to female personnel, although there were no documented complaints.

Nose art caricaturing the crew of the Superfortress "Waddy's Wagon", c. B24 bomber depicting a "Bonnie" pin-up, c. P fighter planes at an advanced U. Nose art on the B "Butterfly Baby", c.

B Superfortress It's Hawg Wild nose art, Me nose-art. Luftwaffenmuseum, Berlin-Gatow, Germany, Nose art on the BJ Take-off Time , From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Not to be confused with nose job , nose-jewels , or nose piercing. Yak-9 , B Ernie Pyle nose art. Retrieved 30 December Osceola, Wisconsin: Motorbooks International, p.

Sharkmouth, — New York: Arco, Classic Vintage Nose Art. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Lowe and B. Hould, , pp. New York: Columbia University Press, New York: Random House, , p. Heavy Hauler. London: Aerospace Publishing Ltd. Lockheed Hercules Production List — —, 27th ed. Luftwaffe emblems.

Manchester: Flight Recorder Publications, Asian Defence. Hidden categories: All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from September Commons category link is on Wikidata.

Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. In other projects Wikimedia Commons. Moreover, in the Vietnam War a shortage of aircraft meant that no one crew had its own plane and, as a result, it was harder for pilots to brand aircraft with personalized nose-art. Commanding officers also became stricter about nose-art on military aircraft. General William Momyer prohibited nose-art on aircraft under his watch during the Vietnam War because he believed it interfered with plane camouflage.

During World War II, nose-art had also been prohibited but officers did not make much of an effort to punish those who did decorate their aircraft.

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Sharkmouth 1916 1945 Arco Aircam Aviation Series No 21 by Ward Richard

Because pilots were about to risk their lives, it seemed imprudent to chastise them for personalizing the very object that could lead to their death. Years later, as nose-art began to decrease, there was a concomitant decrease in the number of nude women depicted. There are many explanations for this decrease, but the most salient is that the draftees of the Vietnam War were older and more educated than their counterparts in World War II. Perhaps, the older age range meant that the Vietnam pilots were more mature and saw less of a need to dress up their planes with scantily clad women in suggestive poses.

Just when nose-art had begun to nosedive, it returned with a vengeance in the late s when the U. Air Force began Project Warrior. This initiative, which was intended to revive the heritage of the Air Force, was partially responsible for bringing back the nose-art that had covered so many of the aircraft of World War II.

This American rocket about to launch a s py satellite has nose art depicting an octopus with tentacles reaching all over the globe. The bottom of the emblem reads: "Nothing is Beyond Our Reach. Today nose-art remains relevant. For example, the unit emblem for a U. This insignia clearly serves as a reminder that the tradition of nose-art endures, and that powers such as the U. However, the importance and significance of nose-art has not yet re-gained the apex it held in World War II.


  • Sharkmouth | Museum of Transport and Technology | New Zealand.
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Today, as was the case in the Korean and Vietnam Wars, no one pilot or crew has its own plane. Moreover, maintenance that requires repainting planes on a regular basis means that keeping nose-art intact and consistent becomes increasingly difficult. Nose-art reached its peak during World War II on the aircraft of the Flying Tigers, the epitome of air power who consistently won battles against a larger Japanese air force. The Flying Tigers not only had the fearsome sharkmouth design on their Ps, but also displayed the Walt Disney designed Flying Tigers insignia as well as individual squadron emblems.

The eponymous nickname became so imbued with mystique that the Japanese avoided using it when referring to the unit. The Flying Tigers illustrate the power that a name and an identity can have on the mindset of combat pilots.

Richard Ward, Compiler

Over the last half-century, emblems and art displayed on planes have become less common in the military sphere but have taken on new meaning in the commercial sphere as a form of corporate branding. While the dynamics of the psychological relationship between aircraft and crew and pilots have changed, in particular because pilots no longer have dedicated planes, the resurgence of nose-art in the s and onward illustrates that the connection between man and machine in aviation is powerful.

Visit the site of the 1916 Beach Haven shark attack

Jonathan D. Jeffrey L. Ethell, Jeffrey L. Valant, Gary M. Classic Vintage Nose Art. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Lowe and B. Hould, Ward, Richard. Williams, C. Chinese Symbolism and Art Motifs. Tuttle Publishing, Process Paper. Search this site. Beyond the Limit: How technology is redefining what is "humanly possible".

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Modernization of Terminal Automation. The Evolution of Precision in Air Warfare. The Flying Tigers and the Influence of Nose-art. Julian Fox. A Flying Tigers pilot poses for a picture next to his colorful P Japan's conquests in East and Southeast Asia from to A Flying Tigers poster signed by pilot R. When Luce had earlier visited China, his guide had been Theodore White, who knew the renegade commander Chennault from Chongqing. White gave Luce the background needed to publish the account. Initially, members of the China Defense Supplies wanted a dragon emblem, which seems the obvious choice because a dragon commonly represents China.

In Chinese mythology, a dragon is not fat and evil as it is in European mythology, but skinny, snakelike, and benevolent. It spends its time in the sea as much as in the air and is a symbol of imperial power. This is a classical Chinese painting of a tiger.

On this P one sees the sharkmouth, the Flying Tigers' Walt Disney designed insignia, and an squadron emblem. In this case, the squadron emblem is the Hell's Angel.

The Flying Tigers and the Influence of Nose-art - Aviation in America

The 51 st fighter group and the th Bomb Group also adopted the sharkmouth. The tiger art not only passed from unit to unit, but from father to son. An map portrays Russia as an aggressive imperialist power. Russia's "tentacles" stretch over Europe and illustrate Russia's tightening grip on its neighbors. Endnotes 1. Ford, Ethell, 8. Ethell, Ward, 2. Ibid,, Bibliography Ethell, Jeffrey L. Ford, Daniel. HOST Aviation in America. Fall Instructor Layne Karafantis. The tradition of embellishing and personalizing objects of war and destruction dates back millennia.

During World War II, the decoration of planes became popular and aircraft nose-art common.


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  5. Pilots and crew personalized their planes, thereby allowing people to connect with each other as well as with the machine itself.