One of the world’s leading aviation artists has created a work showing a British Paratrooper jumping from an aeroplane – after he was told that no accurate depiction existed.
Matt Horan of Dorset-based cyber-security business C3IA Solutions was formerly with the 3rd Battalion the Parachute Regiment as an embedded Signaller and wanted an artist to capture the moment of exiting an aircraft.
Having viewed many paintings of parachutists he hadn’t seen one that he felt reflected the ‘moment’.
So he commissioned Philip E West to paint such a work and acted as consultant through the process.
After eight weeks the painting called ‘Green on … go!’ was completed and is to be turned into a limited number of prints.
The image shows a Para jumping from a Hercules C130 ‘Fat Albert’ during the early 1980s.
It is correct in every detail even down to the tread on the Para’s boots, type of Bergen and the lines on one deployed ‘chute that are twisted.
Matt Horan, who was with the Royal Signals attached to 3 Para for three years, said: “I’m absolutely delighted with it.
“I really wanted a painting that showed the chaos as 90 men leap from a plane.
“The figure jumping is counting ’1,000, 2,000, 3,000’ just before he checks that his canopy has deployed correctly.
“In the back of the plane you can see the men preparing to exit and the Load Master attempting to organise it.
“The detail of the propellers is superb and it really takes me back to my time with the Paras.
“Since I posted a photo of the painting I’ve had interest from all around the world. It has really hit a chord.
“I have never seen a painting that accurately depicts this moment before and from the reaction I’ve had not many other people had ever seen one either.”
Philip, based near Salisbury, said: “This was a really enjoyable commission. The hardest part was getting the parachutes’ deployment right.
“We even went to see Paras training at Colchester so I could see the position of them as they jumped.
“Having Matt help me throughout the process was so useful as he pointed out details that I would never have known; such as the orange release tabs on the Bergen.
“It is called ‘Green on … go!” because when the aircraft is running into the Drop Zone at 800 feet a green light comes on and then the men know it is time to ‘go’.”
Those interested in prints of the oil on canvas work can contact firstname.lastname@example.org