Atlantic Trail by Michael Rondot

Atlantic Trail by Michael Rondot

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Royal Air Force VC10 tanker-transports refuelling Tornados on an Atlantic crossing. A single limited edition of 500 signed prints in Michael Rondot 's CLASSIC COMBAT AIRCRAFT SERIES .

Size 28x20 ins.

Ever wondered what it is like learning to tank? Imagine a fragile basket flailing six feet up and down at the end of a fifty-foot hose as the tanker flexes its wings in turbulence. In your cockpit it feels like the throttles are connected to the engines with knicker elastic. To keep straight in the tanker's wingtip vortices you have applied right spoiler and a bootfull of rudder, whilst your death-grip on the stick is inducing a violent porpoiseing motion. Over the radio a calm voice from the tanker clears you in, so with one engine in afterburner and with eyes like saucers you move forward to attempt a controlled mid-air collision. Welcome to the air-to-air refuelling club.

Most military pilots use colourful language to describe their first stabs at air-to-air refuelling with phrases like: 'it was like a goat taking a running ffilfck at a rotting doughnut'. With practice it gets easier, and phrases like 'rat up a drainpipe' and 'in like a burglar'become the norm, but it is a tricky business, especially at night or in turbulent cloud.

In Michael Rondot's remarkably accurate portrayal of refuelling operations high over an Atlantic panorama, a Tornado moving forward to refuel makes contact with the basket trailed by a VC10 tanker. In these last critical moments the Tornado's probe can either move snugly into the centre of thebasket and plug in, or rip through the spokes, sending a shower of debris into the engine intake. It is all a matter of skill, judgement, age and luck.

Depicting a typical trans-Atlantic deployment of Tornados with VC10 tankers, ATLANTIC TRAIL is beautifully produced on heavyweight archival paper. Each print in the single limited edition is signed and numbered, embossed with the Collectair seal and issued with a certificate of authentication to guarantee the edition size.


A Collectair artist's proof is a print from the artist's private collection. Although some publishers charge a very high price for artist's proofs, they are identical to the rest of the edition except that they are marked Artist's Proof or AP and then signed and sometimes numbered.

A remarque (example shown below) is an original signed and dated pencil drawing applied by Michael Rondot to the border of a limited edition print. An original remarque adds substantially to the value of the print and since each drawing is unique, it can also be titled or personalised for a presentation or special occasion.

Example of a remarque pencil drawing by Michael Rondot

(Example of a remarque pencil drawing)

The Editions

  • 500 signed, and numbered with 50 Artist's Proofs.
  • 500 Signed & numbered prints: 59.
  • 50 Artist's Proofs: 59.
  • Remarqued print/AP: 235.

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