July 19, 2010 (Farnborough, UK) – For more than 30 years, a collection of stunning, colorful posters that chronicle aviation history have hung in the offices of Cambridge Information Group (CIG), the majority parent company of flight operations software and services leader Navtech, Inc. Now, Navtech is introducing the collection to aviation enthusiasts everywhere by way of a virtual exhibition on Navtech’s corporate website, www.navtech.aero.
The collection was begun forty years ago by Robert N. Snyder -- entrepreneur, amateur aviator, and CIG Chairman -- as homage to his lifelong passion for travel. While the ever growing physical poster collection is spread around the world, decorating the CIG offices, its virtual presence – digital images of the works – is housed on the Navtech website. Accessible to all, website visitors can tour the virtual galley at anytime.
Farnborough Air Show visitors may be especially interested in the variety of posters that chronicle the very first air shows. For example, by clicking on the Great Paris Fortnight, an advertisement for a 1909 French air show, they’ll see the ad in detail and get a description of the clumsy – but ultimately successful – two-week event:
“The ‘Great Paris Fortnight’ was the first opportunity Parisians had to see not only one airplane in flight, but several machines in the air at once. Many of the experienced pilots did not attend the meet until the middle of the first week, and most of the contestants were novices. The first pilot raced his plane along the ground in front of the stands and stopped, never getting into the air. The second man met the same fate. Finally, a pilot in a Voisin biplane made a short, sputtering flight which overjoyed the crowd that had been waiting all day. This got the meeting going, and shortly, Count Charles de Lambert raced out on his Wright biplane. Two others followed and the crowd cheered the three planes wildly.”
“Bob and I feel as though we’ve found the perfect home for this collection on the Navtech site,” said Navtech CEO Mike Hulley. “The common denominator among the visitors to our site is a passion and deep respect for the innovation that puts a heavier-than-air machine into the air. This collection reminds us of our roots… this is an industry that has always faced challenges. But our history shows that our tradition of ingenuity can conquer all barriers.”
The entire collection encompasses five galleries organized by time periods, beginning with the late 1800s and ending in the 1940s. The first “gallery opening” takes viewers on an historic tour of the very beginnings of flight– ballooning – through the development of the “aeroplane” to the onset of the commercial aviation industry at the close of World War I. Gallery I’s nearly 80 works dating from 1893 to 1918 include advertisements (such as the Great Paris Fortnight), movie posters, and magazine covers, providing a diverse and unique introduction to the early years of aviation.
“The Navtech Aviation Poster Collection — the bulk of which documents aviation activity before World War I (1914) — is especially interesting to me because its imagery gives us a glimpse of how this new-fangled, high-tech thing was introduced to consumers. Also, it gives us indirect insight into how the turn-of-the-20th century public wrestled with understanding the significance and repercussions of aviation,” said Joanne Gernstein London, PhD, a former curator of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s aviation poster collection, who has worked closely with the Navtech Collection.
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