Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Aircraft Nose Art

I visited National Museum of US Air Force in Dayton OH this Sat. The museum has an amazingly comprehensive collection of aircrafts from the Wright Brothers time, thru. First and Second World War, Vietnan and Korean War, to the outerspace exploration. Besides those obvious attractions such as B-2 Spirit, Fat Man atomic bomb, the unique design of each memorial outside the museum, one thing I found interesting is the nose art for each military aircraft. Although used for cruel warfares, most of the aircrafts had its own unique and eye-catching graphic. As exclusively an American tradition, aircraft nose art expresses the strong individuality, personalization, itimacy and sense of humor attached to each crew.

Cartoon theme

Erotic theme

The well-known Chinese "Flying Tigers" (飞虎队)

There's also a display of pilot's uniforms from 1910s to the late 20th C. I found the earliest design actually quite stylish: the boots, gloves, hat and leather coat - could be the coolest winter dressing style!

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