The U. S. Air Force was officially established on September 18, 1947, a direct result of the creation of a specialty field: strategic, long range, offensive airpower. Strategic bombing was beyond the capabilities of traditional land-based or naval forces. It was a natural evolution to establish an independent branch of the military.
The story begins, however, with the Greek mythological figure of Icarus—manís vision of flight going way back. Since the approach to all of these paintings is allegorical in nature–storytelling–this type of interplay is part of that method. Youíll see the balloon of the Montgolfier Brothers, which made its maiden flight November 21, 1783, and which Benjamin Franklin witnessed and wrote about. In 1794 balloons were used to observe the enemy and both the North and South used them during the Civil War.
On the left side of the composition youíll see the Wright Brothers, then move to pararescue, Special Forces in the field performing medical and protective duties. Moving to the center youíll see the SR-71—which was mainly a spy plane and set a speed record of 2,193.167 MPH on July 28, 1976. This plane was chosen because of its sleek profile and it fits my own image of an eagle attacking.
Continuing on, a woman pilot is walking towards us; August 5, 1943, Womenís Flying Training and Womanís Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (which later forms the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). Moving to the right you see ordnance loading, a view of inside the cockpit and an astronaut and the space shuttle. This area is subject to added changes—comprehending full the separateness of NASA and the Air Force. However, Air Force history gives significant coverage to Air Force personnel and work with NASA.