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|The Aircraft :|
|Fw190||The Focke-Wulf 190 development project began in 1937. Conceived as a hedge against total dependence on the Messerchmitt 109, the 190 was designed by Kurt Tank utilizing a radial engine. This was against generally accepted design criteria in Germany, and many historians believe that the decision to produce a radial engine fighter was largely due to the limited manufacturing capacity for in-line, water-cooled engines which were widely used on all other Luftwaffe aircraft. Despite these concerns, Tanks design was brilliant, and the 190 would become one of the top fighter aircraft of WWII. The first prototype flew in mid-1939. The aircraft had excellent flying characteristics, a wonderful rate of acceleration, and was heavily armed. By late 1940 the new fighter was ordered into production. Nicknamed the butcher bird, by Luftwaffe pilots, early 190s were quite successful in the bomber interceptor role, but at this stage of the war many Allied bombing raids lacked fighter escort. As the war dragged on, Allied bombers were increasingly accompanied by fighters, including the very effective P-51 Mustang. The Allies learned from experience that the 190s performance fell off sharply at altitudes above 20,000 feet. As a result, most Allied bombing missions were shifted to higher altitudes when fighter opposition was likely. Kurt Tank had recognized this shortcoming and began working on a high-altitude version of the 190 utilizing an in-line, water-cooled engine. Utilizing a Jumo 12-cylinder engine rated at 1770-HP, and capable of 2,240-HP for short bursts with its methanol injection system, the 190D, or Long Nose or Dora as it was called, had a top speed of 426-MPH at 22,000 feet. Armament was improved with two fuselage and two wing mounted 20mm cannon. To accommodate the changes in power plants the Dora had a longer, more streamlined fuselage, with 24 inches added to the nose, and an additional 19 inches added aft of the cockpit to compensate for the altered center of gravity. By mid 1944 the Dora began to reach fighter squadrons in quantity. Although the aircraft had all the right attributes to serve admirably in the high altitude interceptor role, it was not generally focused on such missions. Instead many 190Ds were assigned to protect airfields where Me-262 jet fighters were based. This was due to the latter aircrafts extreme vulnerability to Allied attack during takeoff and landing. The 190Ds also played a major role in Operation Bodenplatte, the New Years Day raid in 1945 which destroyed approximately 500 Allied aircraft on the ground. The High Command was impressed with the 190Ds record on this raid, and ordered most future production of the Doras to be equipped as fighter-bombers. In retrospect this was a strategic error, and this capable aircraft was not fully utilized in the role for which it was intended.|
|Artist Details : Graeme Lothian|
|Click here for a full list of all artwork by Graeme Lothian|
Graeme Lothian is an artist whose ability has seen him apply his talent to many different subjects - military, aviation, naval and landscape art. Having spent time in the army, taking on adventures such as parachuting, the discipline he has obtained from his experiences has been key to allowing him to take on his first love - painting - full time. Graeme first took on painting full-time by producing paintings of WW2 aircraft, such as Spitfires and Messerschmitts, but over his career in art, now spanning over two decades, has also produced many military and naval pieces too. More recently, he has undertaken a masive project of painting the River Thames, from its source, through London and beyond, producing over 50 paintings in this series, as well as a book. Graeme Lothian describes himself as a landscape painter. The paintings may have a Tiger, Steam Train, Spitfire or Kentish Oasts in them, but they're still landscapes. Graeme started painting in 1978 in oils, a medium he has stayed with since then. Joining the Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces at the beginning of the 1980s, a parachuting accident curtailed his career and he returned to his first love - art. In the early 90s he formed a partnership with the late great Air Vice-Marshal Johnnie Johnson CB CBE DSO(two bars) DFC(bar) the top scoring Allied fighter pilot of WWII. Embarking on a career as an aviation artist, travelling all over Britain and Europe obtaining the signatures for his prints. Personally meeting the most famous aviators and top aces of both sides of the last war. Graemes first book An Artist on the Thames came out in 2004. His second, An Artist in London, which has taken 5 years to complete, is due out in the autumn of 2012. In between, he printed an Everest painting carrying the signatures of Sir Edmund Hillary and Sir Chris Bonnington. Graeme had solo exhibitions in 1981, 1989 in Sydney, Australia, 2007, 2008. In 2009, Graeme was one of only 56 other artists to exhibit at the internationally acclaimed and prestigious BP Portrait Awards at the National Portrait Gallery, London. In 2010 Graeme went to Afghanistan as the artist to the Joint Forces Medical Group (JFMG). He covered everything medical in Helmand including many hours in the hospital at Camp Bastion watching the surgeons operating. The subsequent paintings and artwork were displayed at the Royal Society of Medicine, Wimpole Street, London. He returned to Afghanistan as the official artist to 20 Armoured Brigade and 101 Logistic Brigade's Herrick 15 winter tour 2011-2012. This time he was covering first the logistics and then the infantry soldier, taking him to places such as Nad e Ali, Babaji, Nahr e Saraj and Gereshk. 20 Armoured Brigade published an art book, 'Soldiers Flowers', showing art from their serving personnel on the tour. Graeme, subject to confirmation, is due back in Helmand again, this time as artist to 4 Mechanized Brigade, commanded by Brigadier Bob Bruce on their Herrick 17 winter tour, 2012-2013. Born in Sri Lanka, Graeme has painted all over the world including Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Nepal, Syria, India and most recently Oman and Jordan. His originals hang all over the world and to date has had over 80 limited edition art prints published.
More about Graeme Lothian
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