View Full Version : New painting - Black Flight Brief

Russell Smith
05-16-2012, 06:33 PM
Wow! Great to see that Wetcanvas has added an aviation art forum. Thanks to whomever initiated this! :clap:

Anyway, I'll take this opportunity to show off my latest. Black Flight Brief depicts the famous Sopwith triplanes of Royal Naval Air Service 10 Squadron's "Black Flight". Although it was the last of the RNAS Squadrons to be equipped with the Triplane, Naval 10 is perhaps best known for its use of the Triplane in combat. B Flight, or "Black Flight" as it was more well known, was made up entirely of Canadian pilots and led by the legendary Raymond Collishaw. The flight become particularly iconic for its black-nosed triplanes, all of which bore the word "Black" as part of their name.

In his book Air Command, Collishaw said of the Triplane "The three-wing design was adopted to permit the pilot the widest possible field of vision, and also as a means of ensuring maneuverability. The middle wing was at the pilot's eye level, and interfered very little with his vision. All three wings had a narrow chord, and because of this the top and bottom wings blocked off less from the pilot's view than in the case of biplanes, which had wings of far greater chord, or measurement from leading to trailing edge."

Based at Droglandt Aerodrome during the summer of 1917, "Black Flight" is credited with 87 enemy aircraft between June 1st and July 28th 1917 and was one of the most successful units of the war.

I tried something a little different with this one. Since there is so much going on here I made it a point to give good, sharp detail to Black Maria and the grouping of pilots, while at the same time keeping most of the other edges soft, especially on the elements behind the main grouping. In fact, in the distant background I stuck with the old painting rule of thumb that says to use the largest brush possible.

Black Flight Brief
22.5" x 13"
oil on linen



05-16-2012, 06:35 PM
nice work russel !!

05-16-2012, 07:10 PM
Russell your work is incredible.

Russell Smith
05-16-2012, 07:25 PM
Thanks guys!

05-17-2012, 04:28 AM
Great to see you over here Russ , accomplished work such as yours sets the bar very high for all to see.

05-18-2012, 04:28 PM


05-18-2012, 07:52 PM
First class work. I am lucky to live in Ottawa, and we have I believe Black Maria in our aviation museum (not sure if it is a replica or original). Looks great in any case, as does your work.