Its back again to enjoying the season, and that means christmas cards! Who doesnt like to get an envelope in the mailbox, with a message of cheer from a friend? These will go out to customers, friends and partners soon!
after 50+ plus years of head-down, hard work in the harsh environment of Antartica,
‘MaryAnn’ has come home to the US for her retirement, and gotten, at last, to see palm
trees under which to relax. Not a dog musher, MaryAnn is actually a 25-ton D8 Tractor, one of only five built by Caterpillar to survive and work effectively on ice floes for science stations at the south pole. ‘MaryAnn’, built in 1953, is now owned by Team Ghilotti, an engineering, heavy construction company in Petaluma, California. Glen Ghilotti, owner, bought MaryAnn, asked that she get nose art befitting her new retired status.
As ‘MaryAnn’, it was easy to develop a design based on the lovable farm girl character from the tv show ‘Gilligan’s island’. As ‘MaryAnn’ was sitting in a field, awaiting a large tractor show, we camped out around her for a few days to get her prettied up and ready for her retirement debut.
MaryAnn will no longer carve landing strips from ice, heave tons of equipment through blizzards or fortify ice walls for fragile human habitats in the harshest climate in the world, but will tour the US, allowing the public to view this historic vehicle.
We’re excited to join the American Aviation Historical Society’s Annual Meeting on Saturday, February 7th at Flabob Airport, in Rubidoux, California! We’ll fly our Stinson L-5 in, where AAHS is also hosting the International Stinson Club Fly-in. After donuts and coffee, we’ll view a restoration of a very rare Stinson 108, and tour replications of the racing aircraft of the 30s, built right at Flabob. For lunch we’ll visit EAA Chapter 1’s hangar, for a gourmet lunch program with Jonna Dolittle Hoppes, who will give a closeup view of her legendary grandfather, Jimmy Doolittle.
Victory Girl has donated some of the aviation items to be raffled off after lunch, including a set of Victory Girl vintage aircraft destination tins.
Come visit with us later as we enjoy wine and cheese in the afternoon. It plans to be an enjoyable day of history and friends!
Victory Girl is packed n ready for the excitement, friends and NOISE of the 2014 Reno Air Races, in Stead, Nevada, Sept 10-14th! We’ll be sponsoring a racer this year, friend and T-6 pilot Chris LeFave, in #94 ‘Midnight Express’. So besides chatting with old friends, making new ones and discussing the art of flight jackets, we’ll be chewing our nails and checking out the GoPro video from Chris’ left wingtip!
Come visit if you’re at the Races!
Susan and Christon Horstman, mother and son pilots with over 15,000 commercial and private flight hours between them, and owners of Cornerstone Aviation at Ogden Airport (OGD) have utilized some Victory Girl nose art to identify their new glass-cockpit Cessna 172 SPs, used for their successful flight training programs, based both out of Ogden Airport and Salt Lake International Airport.
‘Blondie’ -originally nose art created by a crew chief of of a P-51 fighter squadron in WWII, is re-created by Victory Girl and available as a die-cut high performance vinyl.
‘Fifinella’ is also artwork created in WWII. ‘Fifinella’ was the official squadron patch of the Woman’s Air Service Pilots (WASPs), young women pilots enlisted during WWII to deliver bombers, fighters, liaison aircraft and just about every other aircraft type from factories everywhere in the US to air bases. Women pilots were barred from flying in combat environments, but played a significant role nevertheless in moving aircraft for military uses.
‘Fifinella’, a quirky female gremlin character, was designed by the Walt Disney Studios, who designed over 1,000 insignia for US military units. This ‘Fifinella’ is also printed to high performance die-cut vinyl and installed to the Cessna 172’s cowling. Although securely fit to the cowling, the vinyl can be easily removed from the metal without damage to the paint or metal beneath.
Victory Girl recently completed the March Field Air Museum’s B-17G nose art, ‘Starduster’ on left and right sides of the aircraft, as it sits on display outside the Museum doors. This B-17G (44-6393) was built in Southern California, under license from Boeing at the Douglas plant in Long Beach, and delivered to the 97th BG, 15th AF, Army Air Corps in July of 1944. It flew briefly in North Africa, before being commandeered to Italy for the head of the Mediterranean Allied Air Forces, General Ira Eaker. Eaker named the Fortress ‘Starduster’ and had the art featuring a cheery ensign, standing atop a cloud in khakis dusting off a set of stars with a feather duster. ‘Starduster’ served in the US Air Force until it was sold as surplus in 1955. It was transferred to the Bolivian Army in 1956, and modified for use as a cargo plane. The flight controls were updated to allow all flying from the right seat.
‘Starduster’ flew in Bolivia for the next 25 years, being the last operating B-17 in Bolivia when it was returned to the United States. In early 1981 it was flown to March Air Force Base. ‘Starduster’ has 13,000 –plus flight hours logged, and was restored by the March Field Air Museum in 1997, with support from the 97th BG.
Jeff Houlihan, Senior Curator of the museum provided Victory Girl early color photos of the artwork, when it was flown for General Eaker. Victory Girl used paint methods and processes very much like the soldiers of WWII; loose hand-drawn artwork, painted outside with the elements (in the summer in Southern California—that’s kind of like North Africa…).
March Field Air Museum and Victory Girl will soon be partnering up to create the nose art for their B-26 Maurader. See the Victory Girl website at www.victorygirl.com for many other nose art projects they’ve completed, or like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/VictoryGirlNoseArt.
The Thin Lizzie band, a Dublin based rock n roll group that had several hits by the early ’80s such as Jailbreak, The Boys Are Back In Town, Still In Love With You, Cold Sweat, Emerald and Don’t Believe A Word. They’ve recently reformed at ‘Black Star Riders’ to carry on the Thin Lizzy sound, and their new album ‘All Hell Breaks Loose’ is a nod to the WWII art that we know and love! We had the chance to paint the new Black Star Riders album cover to an actual panel, built by our friend Francis. They just played at the Coach House in Southern California Friday the 16th of May, and are now off to Japan– good luck guys!
John Zeigler, of north Richland hills, Texas, recently acquired honors for his one-of-a-kind ‘P40-mobile’, a snazzy custom vehicle, complete with a sliding canopy cockpit, nose art and wing stubs, based on a 1970 VW Beatle chassis. “Cindy Ann” won 3rd place at the huge Texas VW Classic car show and competition in the Specialty Vehicle category. “Specialty Vehicle” might be a bit of an understatement for this nifty number!
John, a flight mechanic for American Eagle, has had a passion for old aircraft all his life, starting with the fleet of models he built as a kid. John soloed in a Citabria on his 16th birthday, had his license by the time he was 17, and went on to get a multitude of ratings shortly after that. When he began the “Cindy Ann” car project 4 years ago, he knew it would be aviation related. He had the backbone of a 1970 VW Beatle that he envisioned as the cockpit of a P40 Warhawk. He custom built the frame, interior, body and canopy, and had Victory Girl hand paint nose art ” Cindy Ann” to a cowling he specially designed to fit just forward of the “cockpit”.
John is very pleased with the results and, so is everyone who gets to see this marvelous machine in action!
His lovely, patient wife Cindy Anne has put up with the late nights in the garage, the metal chips in the laundry and mutterings of john arguing with himself over the merits of a dihedral design versus a straight wing. John named this quirky little car ‘Cindy Ann’.