I am an enthusiast, but not a crank in the sense that I have some pet theories as to the proper construction of a flying machine. I wish to avail myself of all that is already known and then, if possible, add my mite to help on the future worker who will attain final success.
– Wilbur Wright
19 1/4 x 30 1/8 in./49 x 76.5 cm
Date unknown, possibly circa 1970, this poster is a cult favorite among mountaineers, cryptozoologists, and lovers of the weird and witty. It’s also adored by the airline itself: “a tall, big-footed, ape-like yeti statue carrying a tray of drinks adorns the grounds in front of its Kathmandu headquarters,” according to Larry Sellers, author of a book on Tibetan Shamanism.
38 1/8 x 54 1/4 in./96.8 x 137.7 cm
Midsummer, 1910, and nothing is sexier than watching those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines from the top of the Église St-Pierre, in Caen. Over 60,000 spectators a day took in the spectacle (though few, supposedly, from this vantage point), which included “competitive events between ‘civilians’ and ‘servicemen'” in hot-air balloons and rudimentary flyers in the infancy of the aviators’ age.
26 3/4 x 39 3/4 in./68 x 101 cm
A rare “Citizenship” poster designed to impress new immigrants with the tenets, challenges, and the spirit of resolve of the nation they were pledging allegiance toward. This inspiring image of Lindbergh in the Spirit of St. Louis depicts the final moments before touchdown in Paris – and the birth of a revolution in travel. Lindbergh’s plane was a customized version of the Ryan Aeronautical Company’s M-2. Based in San Diego, Ryan Aeronautical was acquired by Northrop Grumman in 1999.
25 x 39 1/2 in./63.7 x 100.2 cm
The famous Graf Zeppelin lifted off in 1928 and became the first commercial transatlantic flight service in the world. But most of those were demonstration flights. In 1932, the airship began five full years of service plying this South American route from Berlin to Buenos Aires, with stops in Barcelona and Seville, as well as Pernambuco and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Its otherworldly image, and its leisurely three-day transit to the “Paris of the South,” seem like things from an alternate universe today: both impossibly futuristic and archaic at the same time. This is the rare English-language version.
27 3/8 x 39 1/8 in./69.5 x 99.4 cm
Three of Hollywood’s most bankable stars, Clark Gable, Myrna Loy, and Spencer Tracy, come together under the careening portrait of an experimental plane for a tense drama of love, loyalty, ambition, and risk at the cusp of World War II. This is the poster for the Dutch release of the film on Friday, February 17, 1939. Director Victor Fleming was able to procure the use of a new Boeing Y1B-17, which ushered in the B-17 Flying Fortress (see No. 40). A real-life test pilot accomplished the flying sequences and today it’s considered an important aviation film for its authenticity.