In a Close air-to-air combat scenario, who will win? The F-14 Tomcat or the F-16 Viper? The answer is not a straight forward as you might think. The story behin dthe march issue of the "Half Century, Baby!"-prints tells the story of CDR Keith “Okie” Nance who developed a DACT technique which made gun kills on F-16s possible from the much lagrer F-14. In Okies own words: "The beautiful weather and pristine sea surrounding Naval Air Station Key West has been ideal for those seeking the sun and for Dissimilar Air Combat Training (DACT). By 1989, the penultimate Adversary Aircraft was the F-16N “Viper” which had an amazing thrust-to-weight ratio and ability to execute 9G turns. That made for a formidable adversary for Tomcat Aircrews as they learned out to fight their aircraft during the Fleet Readiness Squadron (FRS) Tactics Phase typically conducted out of Key West to take advantage of the weather. Experienced Tomcat pilots found that even the F-16N [...]
This new piece was made in close collaboration with David "Hey Joe" Parsons, and depics a mission flown on Feb. 12th, 1991 over Iraq during Operation Desert Storm. This print was made as a part of a 12 art piece series. Each month of 2021 will feature a new Tomcat print, each of them depicting a new aspect of the Tomcats rich history. The series goes by the name: "Half Century, Baby!" with this piece being the first of the 12. "Going to Big Al" depeicts a flight of two TARPS equipped F-14A Tomcat were set to fly over a factory complex in the northen Iraq. The here described in Hey Joes own words: "One of the top targets during Desert Storm was the Al Qa’im Super Phosphate Plant near the Syrian border. Al Qa’im had a role in refining Yellowcake Uranium for use in weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and harboring SCUD missile launchers making it a top priority target. [...]
A New print have been completed! This time a F-4J Phantom of VF-103 "Sluggers" shortly before scoring the Navys first and only night MIG Kill. on Aug. 10th, 1972, Lt Cdr Robert E. Tucker , Jr and Lt(jg) Stanley B. Edens fired two AIM-7E Sparrows at a MIG-21 while performing MIGCAP during an Alphastrike. Both missiles found their target and the MIG-21 was destroyed making the two the first and only Phantom crews in the US NAVY to claim a night kill. This piece depicts the scene...however, there´s been taken a few artistic liberties on this one... The kills happend at a lower altitude and the MIG was on the port side of the Phantom. But i really liked the composition of thi sone, so I stuck to it. To purchase click the link below:
On the drawing board right now, is a VF-114 "Executioners/Aardvarks" lineage print. In order to get a complete lineup, these four brand new profiles have been completed. All from the 50s, while the squadron was called the "Executioners". Throughout the 50s the squadron operated no fewer than five different aircraft. The F8F-1 Bearcat (which isn´t on this site yet), the F4U-4B Corsair, the F9F-5 Panther and the F2H-3 Banshee. Some sources state that the squadron also have operated the F9F-6 Cougar, but i´ve been unable to verify that (any help on that matter would be greatly appreciated). Below you´ll find the VF-114 gallery as it looks at this moment. Soon to come is yet another of Grummans cat-fighters...I don´t believe i have to mention it´s name ;)
The VFA-102 Diamondbacks 3D lineage print is now available! This piece features one of each aircraft type the squadron have operated: F2H-4 Banshee, F4D-1 Skyray, F-4J Phantom (representing all the Phantom variants the squadron have operated), F-14B Tomcat (representing all the Tomcat variants the squadron have operated) and the FA-18F Super Hornet. This piece is available both as wall art (many size and medium options to choose from, phone cover, t-shirts, towels etc etc etc from fineartamerica.com. To purchase click the link below:
The Black Lions lineage have been completed! For this piece six profiles have been completed in order for this piece to be completed. The F2H-4 Banshee which were operated in the mid-50s, the F4D-1 Skyray of the later 50s/early 60s, the F3H-2 Demon of the early 60s, the F-4J Phantom which was active from the 60s to the late 70s (B,J and G models), the F-14D Tomcat that was used by the unit throughout the 80s, 90s, 00s and most of the 10s and finally the FA-18F Super Hornet which is in active duty at this moment. Let me know how you like it, and if there´s a lineage print of a particular squadron you would like to see.
After having worked on a similar scene with a VF-102 F-4 Phantom I was curious to see how it would look with a Tomcat as the main subject...Here´s the result: A F-14A Tomcat of VF-102 "Diamondbacks" as it appeared in 1984 while operating off the deck of USS America (CV-66). For this piece i when for a slightly different color tone than on the Phantom. While the Gull grey color on the Phantom gave teh overall impression of a warmer tone, this piece have a more bluish tint, which i think suits the TPS scheme better. This piece was made for the former RIO of this aircraft, an overall very nice guy and someone I happy to call my friend. To purchase this artwork as a print (many sizes and medium options), as a phone cover, t-shirt, towel, shower curtain etc etc etc...click the link below to browse the options.
In the mist of the ongoing global crisis, here´s a renditions depicting another tense situation that affected most of the world: The Cuban missile crisis. Here´s a F4H-1 Phantom of VF-102 "Diamondbacks" as it appeared while deployed aboard USS Enterprise (CVAN-65) in the fall of 1962. USS Enterprise were deployed in the Caribbean in response to the Soviet cargo vessels shipping nuclear warheads and rockets to Cuba. This aircraft is still around and is currently being restored at the Hickory Aviation Museum in North Carolina, and will soon sport the colors depicted here. This art piece will be sold at the museum store, so make sure to get yours when you are there :) Click here for the Museum website: Hickory aviation museum
Finally the VF/VFA-102 Diamondbacks print have been completed and is now available for purchase. The print consists of 5 illustrations, one of each aircraft type the squadron have operated: F2H-4 Banshee, F4D-1 Skyray, F-4J Phantom, F-14B Tomcat and FA-18F Super Hornet.The print measures 40x16 inches and coasts 65 USD, and is printed in the US.Click the image below to be directed to Aircraftprofileprints.com where the print is sold.
The Diamondbacks Lineage print is slowly coming together, and with the F-14B Tomcat and the FA-18F Super Hornet now complete, the end is in sight! The Banshee was completed a few days ago, and since I already have a Diamondbacks Phantom on file, the only aircraft missing in order to have a complete lineup is the Ford (F4D-1 Skyray), which will be completed over the next couple of days. Let me know how you like these two new additions to the Diamondbacks lineup.