GHOSTS – Phil Makanna’s Legendary Warbird Calendars Are Ready for 2023!



by Richard Mallory Allnutt

It is doubtful that anyone with even the vaguest interest in vintage military aircraft could fail to have seen or been moved by the work of the legendary aerial photographer Philip Makanna. His images have appeared in countless magazines and books over the past forty plus years, but Makanna is perhaps most well known for his famous line of GHOSTS calendars, which have graced the walls of many a home and aircraft hangar across the world since 1981. Personally speaking, I received my first GHOSTS calendar as a Christmas gift when I was a college student in the mid-80s, and I have owned succeeding editions for almost every year since. Printed on thick, glossy paper, these full-sized calendars are renowned for both their premium quality and, of course, for their magnificent images. In fact they are so good that, unlike with most calendars, people tend to save them beyond their intended period of use – and whom among us hasn’t clipped a favorite image from the binding to frame or pin up somewhere we enjoy spending time (I know I have!). With a keen sense for lighting and composition, Makanna’s images also have a timeless quality to them which captures the spirit of both the machine and the era from which they came. And for 2023, as in recent years, there are two different calendars available – one featuring aircraft from WWII and the other from WWI.

The WWII edition is described below, with details for the WWI version following a little further on…

The cover page for the 2023 edition of Phil Makanna’s WWII-themed GHOSTS calendar feature’s the Collings Foundation’s magnificent TP-51C Mustang, “Betty Jane”. (image by Philip Makanna)

The FORTY-THIRD edition of the Ultimate Aviation Calendar.

  • 12 magnificent air-to-air color photographs of the combat aircraft World War II by Master Aviation Photographer Philip Makanna
  • Each month is suitable for framing
  • Plus our unique chronological history of the aviation events of the war
  • Plus specifications and silhouettes
  • Each page 20″ x 14″ – Opens to 20″ x 28″

Aircraft Included:

Vought (Goodyear) FG-1D “Corsair”
Lavochkin La-9
Lockheed P-38 “Lightning”
Naval Aircraft Factory N3N-3 “Canary”
Douglas AD-4 “Skyraider”
Ryan PT-22 “Recruit” (3)
Supermarine “Spitfire” Mk. Ia
North American P-51C “Mustang”
Hawker “Hurricane” Mk. XII
Republic P-47D “Thunderbolt”
Avro “Lancaster” Mk. X
Curtiss P-40 “Kittyhawk” (2)

The twelve images which will appear in the 2023 edition of the WWII GHOSTS calendar. (images by Philip Makanna)

 

The WWI Edition is described below…

The front cover for Philip Makanna’s 2023 GHOSTS of WWI calendar. (image by Philip Makanna)

GHOSTS, THE GREAT WAR 2023 – The Ultimate WWI Aviation Calendar

  • 12 magnificent air-to-air color photographs of the combat aircraft of World War I by
    Master Aviation Photographer Philip Makanna
  • Each month is suitable for framing
  • Plus our unique chronological history of the aviation events of WWI
  • Plus specifications and silhouettes
  • Each page 20″ x 14″ – Opens to 20″ x 28″

Aircraft Included:
Sopwith Pup
Curtiss JN-4H “Jenny”
Albatros D.II
Royal Aircraft Factory FE.2b
Royal Aircraft Factory RE.8, BE.2f, BE.2c
Caudron G.III
Royal Aircraft Factory BE.2c
Sopwith PUP
Royal Aircraft Factory SE.5a
Fokker D.VII, Dr.I, Pfalz D.III
Albatros D.Va
Royal Aircraft Factory BE.12

The magnificent aircraft depicted in the 2023 edition of the GHOSTS WWI calendar. (images by Philip Makanna)

And for those who wish to have something a little weightier, Phil Makanna also has some truly spectacular hard-cover books featuring many of his images too. As with his calendars, these books are beautifully designed and of the highest quality. Makanna has such lyrical prose as well, placing you in the scene almost as effectively as his images. We featured a write up of his most recent effort last November, but there are other wonderful books available too… be sure to check them out HERE!

2 Comments

  1. Hi,
    I just looked at your 2023 WW2 calendar and noticed again that there are no pictures of German, Japanese, or Italian aircraft. Why is it only American, British, and one Russian plane? How about showing all sides of the war in the air?

    • Well… if you think about it, it all comes down to aircraft availability and the willingness of owners to take their exceedingly valuable aircraft up for a photo-flight, which is itself a hugely expensive exercise, and not one without risk. That being said, there are presently no Italian WWII combat aircraft flying – a situation which has been true for decades. While there is one authentic, mostly original Zero capable of flight, it has not flown in some time due to engine issues, amongst other things. With respect to the two or three Japanese fighters flying regularly, they are essentially replicas. And if you ignore the Buchons, the same is true for Luftwaffe fighters too. Other than the 109 which flew for the first time just a few months ago, there are only a couple of Me 109s and Fw 190s capable of flight, and they have not flown in several years either. Even so, some might not consider it prudent to glorify the flags of fascism, but rather to celebrate those who defeated it…

Graphic Design, Branding and Aviation Art

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