This stunning GPS portrait of Queen Elizabeth was created over a period of months – using six individual light aircraft.
The 12 aircrew members from Henstridge in Somerset, England, in the United Kingdom, teamed up to complete the world’s first-ever GPS portrait to be drawn by multiple aircraft.
Followers of FlightRadar24 may have spotted a few strange recent goings-on with aircraft across the county.
Their flight paths generated some very unusual shapes over the course of several months.
Code-named ‘Art Force 1’, six individual club aircraft belonging to the Light Aircraft Association’s Wessex Strut and 12 crew members were handed a secret GPS plotted path from team leader, Amy Whitewick.
“None of them had any idea what the final image would look like – each team was given a small, unrecognizable chunk which, when flown, recorded on SkyDemon [aircraft GPS software] and sent back would be stitched together digitally to form the final image.”
Amy began illustrating images by air in 2020 between lockdowns, having since drawn a wide range of images in her 1972 Cessna 150 Aerobat including an award-winning and world-first GPS portrait of early aviator, John Stringfellow with her co-pilot, Mervyn White.
“It was a fun skill to try out when flying the local area. I was bored of bimbling and wanted to start something exciting and new”, she added.
“My fellow pilot friends at Henstridge showed a great and kind interest in my GPS scribbles, and then it clicked; it would be so much more fun to try one together as a united team with as many aircraft as possible.”
There were many challenges involved, including planning around tricky weather conditions, a re-flight undertaken due to co-pilot health and a Carbon Monoxide scare in one aircraft’s cockpit.
But the teams took the problems in their stride with extraordinary courage, skill and determination to complete this image.
Amy continued: “I must thank the team members for their extraordinary courage to push the boundaries of aviation forward, to try something new to them and air sports as a whole.
“Their unwavering trust in following a somewhat crazy artist, and their unrivaled strength and tenacity of spirit is of considerable merit.
“The range and diversity of our members and fleet is truly demonstrated in this mind-blowing image that we are proud to present to Her Majesty the Queen and the United Kingdom – I’m so immensely proud of our whole team who are like a family to me.”
Produced in association with SWNS.