The Longest Minute

Michael Rondot

 

 

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The Longest Minute Michael Rondot

'Just off target there was a lot of flak. It's the first time I have ever seen tracer coming up at me. It was the longest minute of my life.'
These sobering words brought home the reality of war when a Sepecat Jaguar pilot described his feelings to waiting press reporters, after coming under fire front AAA during an attack on Iraqi forces in Kuwait on 20 January 1991.

The remorseless precision pounding of strategic and tactical Iraqi targets in the Kuwait Theatre of Operations was barely three days old when these words were spoken, but six weeks later, as the hostilities of Operation Desert Storm reached a climax, RAF Jaguar pilots still counted the seconds during the long minutes of their dive attacks onto heavily defended targets.

Success was important, since many of the targets posed a serious threat to both allied ground and naval forces. Artillery and missile sites were attacked in equal measure with airfields, barracks and ammunition dumps during the Jaguars' six week war.

Brilliantly led by Wing Commander Bill Pixton AFC, the Sepecat Jaguars, based at Al Muharraq, Bahrain, flew over 600 combat missions during Operation Desert Storm without loss, suffering only two hits from anti-aircraft fire Often flying into treacherous weather and heavy calibre AAA, the Jaguar pilots dispelled many myths about their aircraft during these tense times

'We pushed the aeroplane so far outside it's flight envelope that I wouldn't have believed it could do it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes' was how one pilot described taking his fully loaded Jaguar transonic at over 34,000 feet during one mission ingress.

Michael Rondot's painting depicts the moment when the last man to attack, the number 8 at the tail end of the formation watches and waits before tipping in to attack. For him the longest minute is about to begin. The first 4 Jaguars have already attacked and are 'feet wet' returning to base, having dropped their load of 1000lb bombs on the target. During the next few minutes the second four-ship will press home their attack, releasing sixteen 1000lb airburst bombs totally devastating the target before escaping out to sea, away from the coastal AAA flak belt and back to their base at bahrain.

Michael Rondot flew on this mission and on 28 others during Operation Desert Storm. His Gulf War series of paintings reflect an authority and atmosphere which can only come from having witnessed the stark realities of war from the cockpit of a combat aircraft. The Longest Minute is the first limited edition in this collection and is signed by all 22 Operational Jaguar pilots who flew combat missions during the Gulf War, providing collectors with a truly historic print.

 

PRINT DETAILS

The entire edition is signed and numbered by the Artist Michael Rondot and countersigned by RAF 22 Jaguar pilots from the First Gulf War.

Each print is accompanied with a matching numbered certificate of authenticity.

Overall Print Size 25"x 19" (inches) Printed in lightfast inks on acid free archival paper.

PRINT PRICES

Signed and Numbered Edition
UK £95.00 Edition Size - 500

Remarque Edition
UK £235.00 (Please Call)

 

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Helpful information regarding our Limited Edition Prints

Limited edition print:

An edition of identical prints, numbered sequentially and individually signed by the artist, having a stated limit to the quantity in the edition. Following publication the printing plates are destroyed. Almost all the aviation art and aircraft prints featured on this website are authenticated with the original signatures of distinguished military personnel.

Artists Proof:

An old tradition of reserving a quantity of prints for the artist's use, usually equal to about 10 % of the edition. In the early days of printing, these prints were the only remuneration the poor artist received. Proofs are signed by the artist and numbered showing the quantity of Artist's Proofs issued in the edition. Because of their highly restricted number, Artist's Proofs are sold at a higher value than the regular prints in the edition.

Publishers Proof:

A quantity of prints, not always announced or issued at the time of publication, usually equal to no more than 10% of the edition. These are reserved for the publisher's use, mostly for donation to Museums, Service establishments, Service Associations, and the like. Quantities of Publishers Proofs, sometimes issued with a supplementary print, may be made available to collectors either at the time of publication, or at a later date, depending upon availability.

Remarqued print:

A print issued with an original pencil drawing by the artist in the margin, each numbered out of the quantity of individually remarqued prints in the edition. The quantity of remarqued prints in any one edition generally is between 25 and 50. Each remarque drawing made by the artist is slightly different, thus making each print totally unique. Remarqued prints may be available at the time of publication, or announced at a later date, depending upon the artist's work load at the time .Please be aware that Remarque prints can take up to six weeks for delivery. An artist remarqued print is the ultimate collector item in terms of reproduced work.

Companion print:

An additional print, usually issued with smaller dimensions, published to compliment a limited edition, and usually issued at the same time.

Matted (or mounted) print:

A print fitted into an acid-free or conservation matt (or mount), ready for framing.

Original drawing:

An original work individually drawn by the artist, completed in pencil, ink, or other medium, and personally signed by the artist. Being an original work each drawing is unique and different.

Certificate of Authenticity:

A certificate issued by the publisher stating the total quantity of prints issued in the edition, confirming authenticity of the signatures, and in the case of a limited edition, inscribed with the matching unique number inscribed on the individual print. Collectors are advised to keep certificates safely as a future means of provenance. All our aviation art and aircraft prints are issued with a certificate of authenticity.

 

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