Fighting in the Sky

...The Story in Art, from Pen & Sword

Title: Fighting in the Sky
Author: John Fairley
Publisher: Pen & Sword
ISBN: 978-1-52676-220-7

The Story in Art, a landscape format book which is filled with some quite beautiful examples of aviation art, from a wide mix of artists. Presented in a hardback book of 143 pages.
It is splits across3 parts, dealing with WW1, WW2 and Post-1945. Each of these has text which provides a background to the development of aviation from the start of military aviation, including the Zeppelins and their bombing forays over the UK as well as the rapid development in aircraft and armament. These events are also well interspersed with the stories of not only a number of pilots but also those artists who went to the front and experienced what they also painted. It isn't the photographers, but artists who accompanied the forces and painted what they experienced. Naturally there are plenty of examples of aviation art throughout the book, some well known and others less so. The various styles are very interesting to see, though I admit some I like and others not so keen on. Not that there is anything wrong with them, just a good mix of different styles, from Picasso's Guernica, through Eric Ravilious and his HMS Glorious, Nicolas Trudgian and Flying Fortress, Robert Taylor's Sea Harrier Over West Falkland and up to date with Ronald Wong's Aircraft Carrier Queen Elizabeth.
The thoughtful text and assortment of paintings illustrate just over a century of military aviation, from those early biplanes when pilots were armed with little more than a pistol, through to modern drones which may soon lead to the end of the era of manned military aircraft. Interesting for aviation enthusiasts, historians, modellers and artists alike.
Thanks to Pen & Sword for our review copy.

Robin