Wall-Hanging Historic Aircraft Relic Displays

For decades, aviation art and aircraft archeology were two separate fields with little to no overlap. Framed and matted artwork adorned walls. Excavated airplane parts sat in unceremonious piles - or remained to be found in remote forests. The latter held little value unless they could be used in a restoration, and more often than not such was not the case. Pictures hung and parts languished. 

During the early 2000s, Ron Cole was an aviation artist as a side hobby. Professionally, he was an industrial designer. In those days, like other artists, he endeavored to have his prints autographed by famous pilots and Aces. But as that greatest generation began to fade away, the question arose: What now? How shall aviation artists breath real history into otherwise newly created work? 

"I knew that aviation archeology had been a popular hobby in Europe since the end of World War II," Ron explains. "Pieces of airplanes were all over that part of the world in boxes and buckets in people's garages and barns. Many retained serial numbers and markings, the sorts of things that could be traced back to surviving records. Buckets of metal that had so much to tell."

Ron Cole's obsession with aviation history originated as a child. "Dad and I shared the same interests," he says. "Thank God. I remember meeting Adolf Galland, Pappy Boyington and Saburo Sakai. I read all of their biographies and all of the books. By the time I was in high school I founded a quarterly magazine devoted to historic aircraft preservation and history. Robert Mikesh [then Curator of the National Air and Space Museum] and [Japanese pilot 'Ace'] Saburo Sakai were Charter members."

All of Ron's passions and talents came together to create Cole's Aircraft in 2006, and by 2009 his business was marketing its first 'relic displays' - Ron's creative answer to this biography's original question. Authentic aircraft pieces, fully researched, combined with Ron's original artwork of that aircraft, framed in wall hanging displays. 

"I feel that I [give] voice to voiceless material, and I show it rather than just tell it," Ron says. "There is a piece of real history on your wall. You can touch it with your fingers. There is how it looked in action. There is the history of its life. People who don't even know about it, or typically follow the subject, will marvel at it, and it'll be a conversation piece forever. 'Is that a piece of the Hindenburg?' they'll ask incredulously, 'Why, yes. Yes it is!' Nothing that I've ever done in my life or career has approached the pride that I have thanks to being able to do this."    

Please enjoy our offerings. They often sell out quickly: 

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