‘King of the Junglies’ Sea King ZA 298 immortalised on canvas

Superb painting of a true legend.

If you have an hour to watch ‘The Sea King – Britain’s Flying Past’ then you should do so.

King of the Junglies immortalised on canvas

A recently completed painting of Sea King ZA 298 by accomplished military artist and army veteran Tony Byrne from Bideford in Devon was presented to 845 Naval Air Squadron at RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset.

Sea King ZA 298, or King of the Junglies as it is colloquially known is no stranger to the world of media.

It was the central focus of a BBC documentary, The Sea King – Britain’s Flying Past presented by the renowned television correspondent Jon Sergeant.

This particular aircraft, which is still fling today, has seen service in all of the major conflicts since the Falkland’s war and has been hit by enemy fire on a number of occasions.

The most recent was in Afghanistan where it was hit and badly damaged by an RPG round fired by the Taliban.

On completion of the presentation to 845 Squadron’s Executive Officer, Lieutenant Commander Matthew Punch, Tony explained:

“I approached 845 Squadron some time back to see if they would be happy for me to produce a painting of this iconic aircraft.

“It was a tremendous honour and privilege to be told they would be delighted for me to do so.

“The work took over 3 months to create and was an incredible challenge, especially as it was my first painting of a Junglie Sea King.

“The response to the finished product has been fantastic and at times overwhelming.”

Lt Cdr Punch added:

“In many ways ZA298 epitomises the Junglie Ethos.

“She has travelled the world, been to the frontline of most conflict regions over the past 30 years and, when at home, continued to work tirelessly for training and exercises, all this with a smile on her face. There is good reason she has become known as the King of the Junglies.

“Tony is clearly an extremely talented individual doing excellent work for many service charities. We are pleased that he has captured ZA298 in such impressive fashion. I, and 845 Naval Air Squadron, thank him for his excellent gift.

“The Squadron will be using it as a feature in our future charity auction and expect it to bring in a very good price for a good cause.”

Unlike many artists, Tony has considerable first hand experience of painting military aircraft as he had served with the Army Air Corps working on Scout, Gazelle and Lynx helicopters although he has painted a variety of aircraft from Concorde to the Vulcan bomber.

This painting along with 10 limited edition prints signed by Junglie Aviators will soon be displayed within the Squadron before being sold at auction to support a number of Service charities.

Mr Tony Byrne presenting his painting of Sea King ZA298 to 845 NAS’s Executive Officer, Lieutenant Commander Matthew Punch.

http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/News-and-Events/Latest-News/2013/July/24/130724-King-of-the-junglies

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