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Atlantic Trail
by Michael Rondot


Royal Air Force VC-10 Tankers refuelling Tornados over the Atlantic

Atlantic Trail by Michael Rondot

To keep straight in the tanker's wingtip vortices you have applied right spoiler and a bootfull of rudder, whilst your death-grip on the stick is inducing a violent porpoiseing motion. Over the radio a calm voice from the tanker clears you in, so with one engine in afterburner and with eyes like saucers you move forward to attempt a controlled mid-air collision. Welcome to the air-to-air refuelling club.

 

Ever wondered what it is like learning to tank? Imagine a fragile basket trailing six feet up and down at the end of a fifty-foot hose as the tanker flexes its wings in turbulence. In your cockpit it feels like the throttles are connected to the engines with knicker elastic. To keep straight in the tanker's wingtip vortices you have applied right spoiler and a bootfull of rudder, whilst your death-grip on the stick is inducing a violent porpoiseing motion. Over the radio a calm voice from the tanker clears you in, so with one engine in afterburner and with eyes like saucers you move forward to attempt a controlled mid-air collision. Welcome to the air-to-air refuelling club.

Most military pilots use colourful language to describe their first stabs at air-to-air refuelling with phrases like: 'it was like a goat taking a running f##k at a rolling doughnut'. With practice it gets easier, and phrases like 'rat up a drain pipe' and 'in like a burglar' become the norm, but it is a tricky business, especially at night or in turbulent cloud.

In Michael Rondot's remarkably accurate portrayal of refuelling operations high over an Atlantic panorama a Tornado moving forward to refuel makes contact with the basket trailed by a VC10 tanker. In these last critical moments the Tornado's probe can either move snugly into the center of the basket and plug in, or rip through the spokes, sending a shower of debris into the engine intake. It is all a matter of skill, judgement, age and luck.

Depicting a typical trans-Atlantic deployment of Tornados with VC10 tankers, ATLANTIC TRAIL is beautifully produced on heavyweight archival paper.

Taken from a single limited edition of 500, Each print in the single limited edition is artist signed and numbered, embossed with the Collectair seal and issued with a certificate of authentication to guarantee the edition size.

 

Atlantic Trail by Michael Rondot

Print size: 28 x 20ins approx

Primary Edition size: 500 Price: £75.00
Artist Proof Edition size: 50 Price: £120.00
Remarque Edition size: Price: £235.00
PRINT TERMINOLOGY - see below

 


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