Vintage US Navy manual


Todd says:

I think you'll dig these illustrations from a 1945 US Navy manual
issued to pilots who were learning instrument flying techniques.
Wonderful images, and it turns out they were designed by the General
Motors Styling Section under the direction of Harley Earl — the
father of the tailfin.

And who was Harley Earl? Earl worked as a designer at General Motors from 1929 until 1959, where he rose to become the postwar chief of GM's styling section. He drew styling inspiration from airplanes throughout his career, and Earl's most famous design innovation was a little trick he cribbed from the swooping rear fins of the P-38 Lighting fighter flown during World War II. Earl adapted the design for the 1948 Cadillac, and in a stroke, he set in motion a "tailfin" craze that would continue for more than a decade. Before that, however, he put his staff in the service of the war effort, and "Flight thru Instruments" was created in response to a US government contract.