Here’s my second vintage airplane. This is based on the Pitcairn PA-5 Mailwing of 1927, also in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. I wanted a biplane, since they’re indisputably the coolest and most iconic of early aircraft. However, I also was loath to celebrate a machine created and used primarily for warfare. That makes this airplane perfect. The Mailwing was made, as its name implies, for the U.S. Postal Service. You’d think it might have been painted red, white, and blue, like today’s postal delivery trucks, but it was actually black with yellow wings, tail, and writing. In adapting it to my block I considered making the wings and tail white, but initial sketches convinced me that wouldn’t look as clear and dramatic as all black. I also toyed briefly with the idea of making the wings and tail yellow, with a second block or simply painting the spaces afterwards, but I decided that I wanted to keep the look of the block consistent with my other vehicles, all of which have a solid color and a fairly simple, flat style. I do plan to mat one in a bright yellow mat, though.
In other news, I have a show up now for the month of March in the Lee Road Library in Cleveland Heights. You can see details here.
[Picture: Pitcairn Mailwing, rubber block print by AEGN, 2015.]