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Top Cover by Stan Stokes.- Panzer - Prints .com
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Top Cover by Stan Stokes.


Top Cover by Stan Stokes.

The painting depicts a P-51D Mustang (flown by William Bailey of the 353rd Fighter Group) flying escort for B-17 Flying Fortresses of the U.S. Armys Eighth Air Force. The scene is over the French countryside during late 1944, and several more hours of high altitude flying lies ahead of these pilots before the days work is over. Bombing played a major role in the Allies victory in Europe. The RAF relied primarily on night bombing which was also called strategic bombing. Day time bombing was a necessity for hitting specific targets such as munition plants, dams, and submarine pens. The Mighty Eighth took on responsibility for most of the day time bombing missions. The hazards and discomforts of high altitude flying, the perils of enemy flak batteries, and the threat of enemy fighters made these missions exceedingly dangerous until only very late in the war. Fighter escort was critically important in improving the odds of a successful mission, and the P-51 became arguably the premier aircraft for providing that cover. The P-51 is generally acknowledged as Americas top fighter plane of World War II. The first Mustangs were ordered by the British Government in 1940. The USAAF was initially reluctant to order the Mustang, having already committed itself to the P-38 Lightning, the P-47 Thunderbolt, the P-40 Warhawk, and the P-39 Airacobra. In 1944 an improved version of the Mustang, the D, came off North American Aviations assembly line in California. It was dramatically altered from earlier versions, as major changes in fuselage design were incorporated to improve pilot visibility. The P-51D was powered by a Packard-built, Rolls Royce-designed, liquid cooled V-12 engine which generated 1,612 HP. The Mustang had a top speed of 436 MPH, a range of 949 miles, and an operational ceiling in excess of 42,000 feet. Nearly 8,000 P-51Ds were produced. In service with the USAAF Mustangs flew in excess of 200,000 missions, and were credited with destroying nearly 5,000 enemy aircraft. The Mustang was unique in its ability to provide long range fighter escort, and this greatly enhanced the effectiveness of Allied bombing missions. On returning from their escort missions Mustangs would generally split into squadrons and take varying routes home looking for targets of opportunity.
Item Code : STK0034Top Cover by Stan Stokes. - This Edition
TYPEEDITION DETAILSSIZESIGNATURESOFFERSYOUR PRICEPURCHASING
PRINT Signed limited edition of 4750 prints.

Supplied with signed and numbered certificate of authenticity.
Print size 16 inches x 11.5 inches (41cm x 30cm) Artist : Stan Stokes£10 Off!Now : £28.00

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Other editions of this item : Top Cover by Stan Stokes. STK0034
TYPEEDITION DETAILSSIZESIGNATURESOFFERSYOUR PRICEPURCHASING
PRINT225 prints from the signed limited edition of 4750 prints, with signature of Stan Stokes and pilot, and a remarque.Image size 16 inches x 11.5 inches (41cm x 30cm) Bailey, William B
+ Artist : Stan Stokes


Signature(s) value alone : £30
£30 Off!
Supplied with one or more free art prints!
Now : £90.00VIEW EDITION...
PRINTPrints from the 225 prints from the signed limited edition of 4750 prints, with signature of Stan Stokes and pilot. Image size 16 inches x 11.5 inches (41cm x 30cm) Bailey, William B
+ Artist : Stan Stokes


Signature(s) value alone : £30
£20 Off!Now : £60.00VIEW EDITION...
General descriptions of types of editions :

Extra Details : Top Cover by Stan Stokes.
About all editions :

A photogaph of an edition of the print :

The Aircraft :
NameInfo
MustangThe 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.
Flying FortressIn 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 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

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