Keeping aviation history alive

Aviation Relics – Cut from the cloth of history

We are keeping aviation history alive by offering 4-square-inch swatches of the original fabric from 7 famous aircraft now in the permanent collection of the National Air and Space Museum. One of those aircraft is a 1911 Wright brothers biplane. The fabric was preserved during restorations of these 7 historic aircraft by the Smithsonian – and is authenticated by them.

America’s first pilots took to the air in fragile aircraft made of wood, wire and fabric. In those early days of flight, linen or muslin was used to cover the wings, fuselage and tail section of aircraft – that fabric is now available!

In the decade following the first powered flight by the Wright Brothers in 1903, very few Americans had even seen an “aeroplane.” So, when one appeared overhead, people – young and old – gawked, pointed and yelled: “Look – it’s a birdman!” Since there were no airports, they landed wherever they could – cow pastures, racetracks, fairgrounds and country roads. And they were welcomed by enthusiastic Americans who wanted to see a “new-fangled” flying machine and the man who dared “drive” it.

Each flight was an adventure then – a mix of glamour, danger and excitement. Unlike today, when a flight is no more troubling than finding an empty overhead storage compartment for a carry-on bag. Our early aviators were risk-takers and true pioneers, flying the mail in open-cockpit biplanes and barnstorming their way into the hearts of all Americans. They made aviation history – our goal is to preserve it!

There are 7 different aircraft in our historic series of relic prints. Each of the 15” x 20” prints pictures the aircraft and has attached to it a 4-square-inch swatch of the original fabric which was preserved when it was restored by the Smithsonian. Also included is a Certificate of Authenticity signed by the Deputy-Director of the National Air and Space Museum and two pages of fascinating history of the aircraft and its colorful past. A special duotone color printing process adds realism and depth to each print’s aircraft image, reproduced from archival photos. The relic prints can be ordered individually or as a complete set – a true collectible for anyone who treasures American history!

Not all of our customers are aviators – but they are interested in American history. As one customer put it: “I’m not a fan of boats and have even been seasick a few times, but I’d jump at the chance to own a relic from the Titanic. Your prints are aviation relics.”

So, whether you’re a veteran flier or a “white-knuckle” passenger – climb aboard, fasten your seat belt and ride along with these aerial pioneers in the famous aircraft they flew. Click on any of the 7 print images below to learn more about their remarkable stories and to view each of the relic prints with a swatch of original fabric from the aircraft.

Our supply of the relic prints is limited to the fabric preserved when these aircraft were restored by the Smithsonian Institution.

Aircraft

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