Postscript - Cover Art

The painting shown on the cover is from the easel of noted Canadian artist, Rich Thistle. Working from charts, diagrams, pictures, models and innumerable exchanges with the author, he dramatically captured a historically significant instant of aerial combat with stunning accuracy.

Appropriately named Rhino Charge by the artist, the painting places the viewer in a "fighting wingman's position" behind and to the right of the attacking F-4E at the instant of the kill. Details accurately depicted include: Underlying terrain, cloud layer, sun angle, bullet ballistic path, angle-off, slant range, plane of motion, afterburner plumes and shock rings, M-61 gun gas exhaust, lift induced vaporization, wingtip vortices, and 20mm bullet strikes.

I will always be grateful to Rich Thistle for the tenacity, dedication and patience he showed in the creation of this painting which hangs proudly over my bar, and shall forever be a treasured possession.

This drawing is to exact scale. It shows the relative positions of the aircraft as well as the bullet stream for a 0.15 second interval (during which time the MiG flew through that bullet stream).

The F-4 is 63' long and is traveling at 1,363 feet per second. The MiG-19 is 42' long and traveling at 833 feet per second.

Fifteen bullets are in flight, with bullet #16 just leaving the muzzle of the M61 cannon which is firing 100 bullets per second. Bullets #1, #8, and #15 are tracer rounds and should be visible on the painting.

At the instant shown, bullet #6 (the 3rd to hit) is just striking the MiG in the right wing root area. 1/100th second earlier, bullet #5 explodes the canopy, and 2/100th second earlier bullet #4 hits the left tip of the MiG's nose. 1/100th second after the instant shown, bullet #8 will hit the right fight stabilator.