For those who love the sculptures of the big blue horse and the boy reading to a dog in the Topanga Library, local artist Megan Rice also created the “She Plane,” which is now on temporary display in the library.
Many years back, Topanga resident Tony Morris suggested Megan build her own artist’s rendition of the aerial firefighting Super Scooper aircraft. Morris had ardently advocated for the water tankers and lobbied the state over a number of years to bring them into their firefighting toolkit. Eventually they did, and now we also have 69 Bravo’s helispot to accommodate water-dropping helicopters.
Megan says she gave the piece a female gender “for the fun of it but I later learned that planes are often given feminine names.”
During the Second World War, artists were commissioned to paint personal motifs on the front and sides of planes. It was referred to as “Nose Art.” This was done to identify the aircraft and boost morale of the crews flying into very dangerous situations, like today’s aerial firefighters.
A pilot once told Megan in jest, “If you aren’t sure of the aircraft’s gender, look under the cargo bay.”
Or at its nose.