Back in March 2015 I was contacted by OC 33 Squadron RAF Wing Commander Biggadike to lay down the groundwork for their Centenary artwork which was coming in 2016.
In July that year I was host by The OC at RAF Benson where I learned vast amounts about the Squadron, their history and current aircraft, the magnificent Puma 2. We trawled the archives and images the Squadron had collected over the years and came up with some ideas. I was also privileged to meet some of the current serving crew and given the opportunity to photograph and familiarise myself with this handsome helo.
Many visual came and went throughout the Summer of 2015 until the bones of the piece were firmly decided on and the task of formulating a presentable and hopefully poignant piece fell in to place.
I was fortunate enough to then spend a wet and cold November afternoon in the air aboard flight Vortex Three Six Zero and experienced first hand what it takes to be part of the Puma crew. (well sit in the cab trying to hold on to the contents of my stomach).
This memorable journey had to end at the 33 Squadron Centenary celebrations on 12th January 2016, meeting some colourful and quite interesting former serving squadron members and finally unveiling the completed piece along with the OC.
A limited run of 100 prints was donated to raise funds for the Squadron and the final piece is now available via our online shop.
A truly great ten month journey and memorable experience. A big thank you to everyone at 33 Squadron, I hope '100 Years of Loyalty' takes pride of place on the walls of the base for many years to come.