Those Last Critical Moments by William S. Phillips
This print is sold out at the publisher and is being sold on the secondary market.
Originally issued as 1250 limited editions.
Overall size: 30 1/4" x 24"
Image size: 26 1/2" x 19 3/4"
The carrier environment is one of the most dangerous in the world. Planes come in at full power; if the cable does not arrest the plane, called “trapping,”
the aircraft must immediately take off again. When an aircraft takes off from a carrier deck, a forward catapult, called a “cat stroke” adds to the forward momentum of the plane. Whether taking off or landing, the last moments are
indeed critical and aircrews must continually requalify for carrier work.
Aviation artist William S. Phillips says, “I was not prepared for the incredible noise, constant activity and
the smell of hot metal and jet fuel. It was a formidable assault on the senses. To capture the tension and anticipation, I placed a F-14 Tomcat being launched from a forward catapult and another F-14 just prior to the completion of a successful trap on the carrier Kitty Hawk against the idyllic backdrop of a Pacific sunset.”