Hans Joachim Theodor Gottlieb von Hippel was born on 12th September 1893 in Berlin, the second child of Prussian General Conrad von Hippel and his wife Else von Hippel. He joined Jagdstaffel 5 (fighter squadron) in 1917 at Boistrancourt in northern France, having earlier transferred from field artillery to the Luftstreitkräfte, the Imperial German Air Service.
Although a relatively successful fighter pilot during the last years of the First World War, von Hippel was also an enthusiastic photographer and documented the pilots and aircraft from his time in Jagdstaffeln 5 and 71. At the time, German pilots could paint their aircraft to their own taste and the prominent lightning bolt “Blitz” motif became most associated with von Hippel.
The Albatros D.Va bi-plane flown by von Hippel was a distinctive lozenge shape with an elliptical cross-section, and was much admired by those who flew them, but it could not live up to the fearsome reputation of its predecessor, the D.III.
The second piece from Gregory Percival’s ‘Knights of the Sky’ series, ‘Blitz’ pays tribute to its arresting form. The beautifully curved semi-monocoque proved quite a challenge when trying to convey the essence of this aircraft in such a small section. The kinetic nature of this piece is naturally enhanced by von Hippel’s distinctive paint scheme.
Composition: Solid bronze on a slate or Cotswold stone base
Blitz is available as a limited edition of 50 pieces, each individually numbered and signed by the artist.