Wired.com recently had an article about an odd website called Tattoos In Flight, which is a homage to the art of aviation tattoos and the stories behind them. In fact, the website’s founder, Ryan Keough, is both a professional pilot and an avid tattoo wearer.
A quick search of his website revealed a few tattoos with a decidedly British connection, including this leg tattoo montage of USAAF P-51 Mustangs that was created by Oliver Jerrold, a tattoo artist at Hope and Glory Tattoo in Swaffham, Norfolk. Tattoos In Flight also reminded readers that while the P-51 was made famous when the US Army Air Forces used them during World War II and they were built by North American Aircraft in the USA, they were actually designed and built to meet specifications requested by the Royal Air Force (RAF) for a single engine fighter aircraft back in 1940:
Spitfires also make popular tattoos and this example was created by Paul Fuller of Sharpside Tattoo Studio in Seaford, East Sussex. Apparently the wearer is a microlight pilot who chose the Mark IX variant of the Spitfire because “he feels it’s the best all round development of the Spitfire before being overpowered by the Griffon engine!”
Aviation tattoos can be more than just airplanes as the daughter of an avid pilot in the USA has had part of the poem High Flight by John Gillespie Magee, Jr. tattooed on her back in his memory:
Finally, Tattoos In Flight has found this photo of Freddie Laker, the son of British airline entrepreneur Sir Freddie Laker who has a tattoo of the logo of his fathers airline, Laker Airways, on his shoulder. However, there is no word whether Richard Branson or Michael O’Leary have their logos tattooed anywhere on their bodies!
Ha Ha can just imagine Richard having a tattoo of Virgin on his bum, would be one for the records 🙂
Ryan Keough says
Thanks for the great plug Matthew! I’ve put a lot of hard work into making Tattoos In Flight an enlightening, fun, and even educational website for the most devoted of aviation enthusiasts and aeroplane lovers out there. It’s been a pretty eye-opening journey since I started the site in 2008 as I have seen way more aviation tattoos out there in the world than I ever would have expected prior to starting the site! It’s also fun to see the creativity and commitment that true devotees have to the interest and artform as well. Thanks again and my own kudos to you for a wonderful website and blog here as well!! Cheers!