A rare Robert Taylor Limited Edition, Stormbirds Over the Reich features Me262s jet fighters attacking American bombers.
To a fighter pilot familiar with the incredible noise, vibration, and torque of a high performance piston-engined fighter, the unique sensation of smooth power from the thrust of jet engines was nothing short of miraculous, and following the young General Adolf Galland’s debut flight in the Messerschmitt Me262 he said he ‘ felt as though the angels were pushing’.
A new era in aviation was dawning and Galland instantly knew where the future of combat aviation lay as he literally whistled through the air in Willie Messerschmitt’s epoch-making jet fighter. With a top speed of around 540 mph it was a good 100 mph faster than anything else in the air. This new aircraft would revolutionise aerial combat, and Galland knew it from the moment he got airborne. The beautifully proportioned airframe of the Me262, with its sleek fuselage and swept wings, gave it the aerodynamics for a high speed flight, and when the unique jet appeared in the skies over the Reich, armed with cannons and 51 mm. air-to-air rockets, it caused the Allied pilots to rethink their combat tactics.
Robert Taylor’s action packet painting takes us right into the path of Adolf Galland and a group of his JV44 Wing Me262’s as they make a high speed rocket assault on a formation of B-26 Marauders. Diving from a 6000 feet height advantage to 1500 feet below and behind the bomber formation, the Me262s made a fast approach, climbing to the level of the bombers before loosing off their 24 R4M rockets in one salvo at 600 yards; a long burst of cannon fire followed at 150 yards, and a quick climbing exit from the scene.
Galland’s Me262 is captured at the moment of release of his rocket salvo, the burst of flame and smoke visible under each wing as the deadly missiles are launched. Above a second Me262 pilot launches his rockets while a third lines up his sights on the B-26s ahead. Below two more swoop into the attack, one closing on the straggling Marauders on the left of the picture.
In his inimitable style Robert Taylor sets the scene at 20,000 feet over Southern Germany on a late afternoon in April 1945, the drama unfolding over a typical cloudscape which has become the hallmark of the worlds most collected aviation artists.
Robert Taylor's Limited Edition, Stormbirds Over The Reich, is signed by three famous high-scoring Luftwaffe Aces, all of whom flew the Me262 in combat:
General Adolf Galland
Major Erich Rudorffer
Lieutenant Walter Schuck.
We are selling this print on behalf of one of our collectors. It was purchased from ourselves when released in 1991 and has been stored dark and flat since with long term investment in mind. It is in mint condition and is supplied with the original Certificate of Authenticity.
36 x 26 inches overall including borders.
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