Photo Finish



In aerial warfare, the role of the photo-reconnaissance aircraft has been traditionally overshadowed by the fighter and attack missions, although certain recon airplanes offered the best of both worlds. One such craft was the North American F-6D, modified from the P-51D Mustang, and distinguished by its aft-fuselage camera ports and photo-calibration markings on the upper left wing surfaces.At 9:30 am, April 8, 1945 an F-6D flown by Captain Clyde B. East engaged a Heinkel HE-111 H-2 in aerial combat northeast of Dresden, Germany. After successfully downing the enemy aircraft, Capt. East observed the bomber’s dead stick belly landing in a cabbage patch and flew a photo-recon pass to authenticate his victory.“Lil’ Margaret,” an F-6D from the 15th Squadron, 10th Photo-Recon Group, is depicted during the pass at 1000 feet and 300 mph, with the Heinkel resting in the field below - truly a “photo finish”.Artist Mike Machat is a specialist in aviation subjects, and is a past president of the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles, as well as an active participant in both the NASA and U.S. Air Force Documentary Art Programs.EDITION: 1000 signed/numbered by Mike Machat and Clyde EastSIZE: 18” x 24”

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