Franz Stigler Me 262
Screen colors may vary from print colors
Print Size: 32" x 20"
All prints are sold unframed
"Outrun the Eagles"
- A Low Level Escape -

a fine art print by

April 1945 . . . Minutes before, Franz Stigler and his comrades of JV 44 were high over Bavaria, ready to attack a formation of B-17s—until the P-51s arrived. Outnumbered and outgunned by the escort fighters, Franz fled, but the P-51s gave chase.

Diving like a bullet, Franz pushed his jet to 625 mph, past its red line. As the earth neared, he tried to pull up, but the stick was locked in an “evil spell.” Pinned by Gs, Franz realized: I just killed myself.

Then, he thought he heard a voice: Kick the rudder! Franz obeyed, kicking the rudder pedals until the jet’s tail wagged and the control stick freed. Now, having regained control at “0” altitude, Franz finally outruns the P-51s.

As he blasts over a field, farmers watch as the jet’s exhaust burns the hay that they’ve laid out for their animals. With the Danube slipping past, Franz curses himself for flying so recklessly while thanking God for flying with him.

Only 160 prints, each numbered and signed by artist
Gareth Hector and the following fighter pilots:

- Me 262 pilot Franz Stigler, depicted in the print!
(signature on separate card)


- P-51 "Jet Victory" pilots Joe Peterburs (20th FG)
& Wayne Coleman (78th FG)

German fighter pilots Jorg Czypionka (Me 262) and
Harold Bauer (He 162 jet & later US Navy!)

PACKAGE INCLUDES:
-
Color COA with "History Behind the Art" story

All prints are sold unframed

AS FEATURED IN:
INTERNATIONAL:
$295 + $65 Priority
Mail
USA: $295 + $25 SH
CO residents add 4% sales tax

Only 190 prints, each numbered and signed by artist
Gareth Hector and the following fighter pilots:

- Me 262 pilot Jorg Czypionka

- P-51 "Jet Victory" Joe Peterburs

PACKAGE INCLUDES:
-
Color COA with "History Behind the Art" story

All prints are sold unframed

AS FEATURED IN:
INTERNATIONAL:
$145 + $60 Priority
Mail
USA: $145 + $25 SH
CO residents add 4% sales tax

SOLD OUT!

Only 140 prints
, each numbered and signed by artist
Gareth Hector and the following fighter pilots:

- Me 262 pilot Franz Stigler, depicted in the print!
(signature on separate card)

- P-51 "Jet Victory" pilots Joe Peterburs (20th FG)
& Wayne Coleman (78th FG)

- German fighter pilots Jorg Czypionka (Me 262)
Harold Bauer (He 162 jet & later US Navy!)
Karl Evers (Fw 190/Bf 109 & later US Army!)
and Bf 109 pilot Gernot Heinrichsdorff

PACKAGE INCLUDES:
-
Color COA with "History Behind the Art" story

All prints are sold unframed

AS FEATURED IN:
A Signer Proof edition of 50 prints exists for print signers and project helpers.
A Valor Studios giclee edition of 45 canvases may also be released in the future.
Read the full story behind "Outrun the Eagles" as told in the bestselling book "A Higher Call." This excerpt begins when Franz is diving away from a squadron of P-51 Mustangs defending a formation of B-17 bombers . . .

"White 3 raced faster and faster toward a layer of clouds at 20,000 feet. Franz’s eyes watered. His airspeed indicator wound past the 600 mile per hour mark. The jet’s redline was painted on the dial at 625 miles per hour. When the needled reached that hash mark the speed of sound was known to freeze the plane’s controls.

Franz knew he had left the P-51s behind when clouds whipped past his canopy revealing his blinding

The jet tore through 10,000 feet then 8,000 feet. Franz saw the farm fields ahead tighten in clarity with crop lines and roads appearing. Franz wanted to rip back the throttle but fought the urge. He kept kicking the rudder. He pulled back on the control stick, grunting and straining. He was certain the stick was about to snap.

Slowly, White 3’s nose twitched. Then it rose. Gritting his teeth and straining at the stick, Franz pulled the jet into a gentle arc. He saw the

speed. Thanks to gravity and the turbojets, his ‘262 had become a bullet, ripping through 10,000 feet in seconds. Bursting through the clouds, the wide, patchwork fields below spread across Franz’s windscreen in all directions. Franz decided he was safe with the clouds separating him from the fighting above. He tried to pull up, but the joystick was frozen, locked by “an evil spell.”

The cockpit turned silent. Only the sound of the wind howling across the wings told Franz he was alive. The speedometer’s needle quivered at the 625 mile per hour mark. He had flown past the plane’s limits. It was frozen in a death dive. He struggled to pull the control stick but it felt as unbending as an iron bar. Pinned to his seat, Franz knew he could not bail out. He felt himself grow cold as the thought struck him. I just killed myself. Franz began to pray feverishly.

Kick the rudder! Franz thought he heard a voice. But his earphones were silent. Perhaps it was the voice of one of his instructors from jet school. Using the immovable control stick as leverage, Franz dug his heels into the rudder pedals. He pushed the left pedal forward with all his might. The jet shook from the tail. He pushed the right pedal.

The jet shook again. Franz began kicking the rudder pedals, one then the other, until the jet’s tail began to wag. Suddenly Franz felt the control stick move.

earth approaching, 3,000 feet away then 2,000, then 1,000. Franz knew it would be close, whether his pullout had enough arc to curve above the earth. Franz stopped breathing but kept pulling. Just before the jet’s underslung engines could scoop the soil, White 3’s nose lifted upwards and her engines’ thrust blasted off the earth.

Regaining control, his altimeter at “0,” Franz glanced to his left as he flew along the field and saw the shocked faces of a group of farmers. Climbing and turning he caught his breath. Then he saw something incredible. The farmers were stomping flames that had broken out amongst the hay they had been laying out for their animals. His engines had made the ground catch fire.

Franz flew past the farmers again and waved. The farmers stopped and stared in wonder, too shocked to wave in reply. Their cows bolted from the jet’s noise. The farmers returned to stomping. Turning for Munich, Franz flew past a plume of black smoke that rose from Ingolstadt where the B-17s had struck an ordnance depot.

He unzipped his black leather jacket. Sweating, Franz cursed himself for being so stupid. In the same breath, he thanked God for flying with him. His instructors had never warned him not to dive in the ‘262. No one could have experienced what he had and come back to warn of it. Franz knew he had not pulled from that dive alone. Something had broken the evil spell, and it was a force more powerful than his muscles."

 
   

A brilliant collection of rare signatures from the brave men who
flew and fought during the last days of World War II in Europe!

COMMANDER HAROLD BAUER
Born in the US Embassy in Berlin to an American mother and German father, Harold was raised in Germany and became a 17-year-old Luftwaffe ferry pilot, flying the new He 162 “Salamander” jet. On March 24, 1945, Harold's jet was shot down by P-51 Mustangs and he was captured by American forces, who helped him recover from his injuries. After the war, Harold came to America and joined the Navy, becoming a reconnaissance pilot during the Korean War. Leaving the Navy as a Commander, he would become a journalist working with the Associated Press and UPI.
CAPTAIN WAYNE COLEMAN
Wayne flew 75 combat missions as part of the 78th Fighter Group, based at Duxford, England. He first piloted the P-47 and later the P-51D Mustang. It was during a B-17 escort mission to Germany on March 31, 1945, that Wayne heard over the radio that enemy jets were in the area. Soon after, he sighted a lone Me 262 below him and did a “Split S” maneuver to catch the jet. Once in gun range, Wayne hit the Me 262 along the canopy and right engine causing it to flip and dive into the ground, earning him the last of four victories he scored during the war.
LIEUTENANT JORG CZYPIONKA
Jorg joined the Luftwaffe in 1939 to pursue his dream of flying. He became an instructor and later a fighter pilot, first flying the Bf 109, and then the Me 262, as a night fighter against British bombers. As the war neared its end, Jorg flew off the autobahns near the Danish border until his squadron turned their aircraft over to the British instead of destroying them. In the years after the war, he first worked as a typewriter repairman and eventually attended university, became a textile engineer, and started a new life in America. In 2011, Jorg was a technical adviser on the book “A Higher Call.”
MASTER SERGEANT KARL EVERS
Born in Kiel, Germany, Karl became a skilled machinist making U-Boat parts after his middle school was destroyed by allied bombing. Having flown gliders since the age of nine, Karl then joined the Luftwaffe to become a pilot and was trained with JG 103 in both the Bf 109 and Fw 190. When the Soviet army neared his training base at Stolp-Reitz in 1945, he and his fellow aviators were transferred into the infantry and Karl became a mortar man. In 1951, Karl immigrated to America and joined the US Army, serving during the Korean War with the 94th Engineer Battalion and retiring as a Master Sergeant.
GERNOT HEINRICHSDORFF
The son of Europe's first female landscape architect, Gernot grew up in a household that hid three Jewish children during the war. In 1943, Gernot was drafted and enrolled in the Air Force academy near Dresden, the same school that Franz Stigler had instructed at. At age 18, Gernot took flight training near Vienna, where he piloted the Bf 109, before becoming an infantryman due to lack of fuel for flying. He then fought the Soviets near Vienna until wounded. In 1958, Gernot came to America, with the help of the Jewish children his mother had saved, and became a successful landscape designer.
COLONEL JOSEPH PETERBURS
At the age of 19, Joe was flying combat as a P-5 pilot in the 20th FG. It was on an April 10, 1945 escort mission that Joe pursued an Me 262 and shot at it before the plane vanished into clouds. Soon after, on the same mission, Joe was shot down while strafing an airfield. Protected from a mob by Luftwaffe personnel, Joe survived the war and years later learned that the Me 262 he hit had crashed and its pilot, Walter Schuck (206 victories), survived. Joe and Walter would eventually reunite and become good friends with Walter crediting Joe with saving his life by giving him an injury that kept him out of the war.
LIEUTENANT FRANZ STIGLER
Franz's extracted signature comes with the Publisher & Artist Proofs
Franz began flying at age 12 and later became a Lufthansa Captain, before joining the Luftwaffe. Franz flew combat as a Bf 109 squadron commander with JG 27. He was hand picked as the technical officer of Gen. Galland’s elite JV 44, “Squadron of Experts,” flying the Me-262 and is depicted in “Outrun the Eagles.” Franz was credited with 28 confirmed victories during more than 487 combat missions. He was made an honorary member of the 379th BG Association, in honor of his sparing of the B-17 “Ye Olde Pub.”
GARETH HECTOR
Born in 1973, Gareth found an early passion for painting and military history while growing up in Scotland. He would go on to a successful career in the world of computer animation and digital painting, working on projects such as Medal of Honor, Doctor Who and Halo.

In the aviation art field, Gareth's work most frequently appeared on the cover of Osprey publishing's aircraft books and on aviation magazines spanning Aviation History to Aeroplane.

In 2010, Gareth dusted off his oil paints and returned to his love of traditional painting after a 15 year hiatus.

Since his rebirth as an oil painter, his original paintings have found their way into the collections of the CIA, RAF and Marine fighter squadrons, and in private homes across the globe.

Valor Studios is proud to publish our first work by Gareth, a rising star in the world of military artwork!