I believe I sketched this jet in Mojave Airport, which is the home of Burt Rutan's historic "Voyager." Bu, I really don't remember. I do remember asking permission to sketch this harmless civilian aircraft and later, asked to finish up and leave, so it must have been in Mojave.
I've always had a great time out in the desert checking out old and interesting aircraft. The Mojave airport used to be as easy to access as Van Nuys was, but with all the new connections with the Edwards, AFB, NASA, and Rutan's experimental ventures into flight, it was slowly getting more and more restricted. I recall a restoration hangar where aircraft from the Santa Monica Air Museum were routinely flown in for a shine and a quick lube. The folks there were always so laid back and friendly and receptive to the stupid questions someone like me would ask.
I've got a few stories to tell, but I'll leave that for another time... nothing Area 51 like, but interesting!
My sketch is quite reminiscent of those "Flying" magazine illustrations that Barron Storey or Ken Dallison or Chris WhatsHisName, used to do to in the seventies and eighties to beautifully accompany an article about flying. I thought I'd drop into this post one or two of those paintings that I have stashed away in my aviation art file, but... why share the limelight?
Suffice it to say, I was pleasantly surprised to find this sketch which was a bit crumpled and dog eared, but with a little bit of Photoshop, has become quite a handsome piece, in its digital form.
You know, every now and then, I just gotta say it, "Damn, I'm good!"