Van Hertz Line freighter Spirit of St. Louis from Moon Runners [or Moonrunners] (progs 591–607 (1988)), written by Steve Parkhouse and Alan McKenzie and drawn by Massimo Belardinelli (1938–2007) v Interstellar Queen (1978) by Angus McKie from Spacecraft 2000 to 2100 AD (Chartwell Books, 1978) by Stewart Cowley from his Terran Trade Authority illustrated science fiction book series*
If you’ve ever picked up a sci-fi novel from the ’70s or ’80s, chances are its cover was painted by influential science fiction illustrator Angus McKie, known for his highly detailed spacecraft, futuristic constructions and vivid colours. McKie was also writer, designer and background artist on the Heavy Metal (Columbia Pictures, 1981) segment So Beautiful and So Dangerous, adapted from his story of the same name (1979) in US sci-fi/fantasy comics magazine Heavy Metal – not to mention being a long-time colourist attached to 2000 AD**, thereby delivering this particular homage comfortably within the “borrowed with permission” bracket.
The Moon Runners‘ spacecraft, Spirit of St. Louis, is named after Charles Lindbergh’s (1902–1974) custom built, single engine monoplane† in which he flew on the world’s first non-stop, solo transatlantic flight from New York to Paris in 1927.
Angus McKie also features in HoH No. 191 – The Valley of Gwangi
*Spacecraft 2000 to 2100 AD of the Terran Trade Authority series was followed by Great Space Battles [with Charles Herridge] (Chartwell Books, 1979), Spacewreck: Ghostships [sic] and Derelicts of Space (The Hamlyn Group, 1979), and Starliners: Commercial Spacetravel [sic] in 2200 AD (The Hamlyn Group, 1980)
**Along with – at least for a brief stint – contempory sci-fi illustrator Chris Foss (covers: progs 953–955, and prog 953’s Judge Dredd story Jigsaw)
†Not the Pennsylvania Railroad passenger train, which was named after the plane in the same year