One of the many things that Paris is famous for is its art, so it is appropriate that Messier-Dowty has used the show to exhibit, for the first time, an Anglo-French exhibition of aviation art.

The paintings, more than 30 in total, all feature British and French aircraft that have carried Messier-Dowty landing gear.

Unusually they all show aircraft with undercarriages down which, according to Tony Cowland, former chairman of the Guild of Aviation Artists is something painters seldom try.

Says Cowland, who has one of his own paintings featured: "Having the undercarriage down means there will be at least three ellipses in the frame and that's something many artists are not too hot at. To the artistic eye, the lowered undercarriage gives a measure of the high quality of art."

The untutored eye will also find much to please it. The aircraft range from the Dewoitine D500 fighter to the Eurofighter EF2000, the Caravelle to Concorde. The pictures have been collected with support from both the Guild and the French Peintres de l'Air.

Interestingly, many of the French artists have selected British aircraft and many British artists have chosen to paint French subjects.

Charles Thompson, chairman of the Guild, explains that there has been recent renewed interest in aviation art. "The hey-day of aviation painting was in the '50s when almost every issue an aviation magazine would have a painting on its cover. Since then photography has been far more significant.

"It is superb that Messier- Dowty has shown such an interest in the work of aviation artists."

Tony Edwards, chairman of Messier-Dowty, who was on hand to meet some of the artists, spoke about the company's painting scholarships.

"We are supporting artists at the Royal College of Art in London. This is not directly related to aviation, but it is satisfying when you can take some credit for an artist's improvement."

Source: Flight Daily News