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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Bernard Bourrand Sketchbook

 Collection — Box: One
Identifier: 2022-10-06
The Bernard Bourrand Sketchbook is a single-item collection: a bound volume full of drawings and sketches by French artist Bernard Bourrand, dating to 1947-1951. The illustrations depict aircraft, automobiles and other forms of transportation, the majority of which are experimental models. Also among the illustrations are other "Atomic Age" futuristic designs.

The volume is a record book with paginated ruled pages. Each page has multiple drawings by Bourrand primarily in graphite and red, yellow and blue colored pencil. There are finished drawings on pages 1-121 with incomplete sketches on pages 121-122 and intermittently on pages 338-400. Some loose sheets are tucked in. The finished drawings include identifications and sometimes dates while the sketches do not have identifications.

There are nearly 400 finished drawings in the first 121 pages of the book. These drawings are primarily of aircraft with about 227 illustrations of airplanes, 32 drawings of helicopters, and 24 drawing of rockets. A variety of types of mid-twentieth century aircraft are depicted with the majority being experimental models such as: Consolidated XB-36; Curtiss XF15C-1 and XP-55 Ascender; Douglas D-558-2 Skyrocket; Horten 18; Martin (Glenn L.) XB-48; North American XP-86 Sabre; Northrop XB-35 and XP-56 Black Bullet; Republic XF-12 (R-12) Rainbow and XF-84 (XP-84) Thunderjet; Ryan XF2R-1 Dark Shark; and Vought V-173 ("Flying Pancake"). There are several World War II-era models such as the Avro Lincoln, Boeing B-17 and B-29, Gloster Meteor, and Messerschmitt Me 262. Commercial airliners depicted include the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, Breda-Zappata BZ 308, and Douglas DC-6. There are several French-manufactured aircraft including the Breguet Bre.76-1, Leduc O.10, Nord N.2100 Norazur, and SNCASE SE.161 Languedoc (Bloch 161). The pictures also include flying boats such as the Martin (Glenn L.) JRM-2 Mars, Piaggio P.136, Republic RC-3 Seabee, and Short S.35 Shetland. There are cross-section views of the Convair SC-99, Douglas DC-4 Skymaster, and Nord N.1101 Noralpha cockpit, and among others. Helicopter models illustrated include Bell 47B, Fairey Gyrodyne, Gazda Helicospeeder, McDonnell XH-20 Little Henry, and Sikorsky (VS-316B) XR-6. Rockets, missiles and bombs depicted include the Rheintochter R1, Blohm & Voss BV 226, Henschel Hs 298, and KA2N Gorgon. A few flying cars are depicted, including the Taylor Aerocar and a fanciful helicopter-car.

Additionally, there are 68 illustrations of cars, 4 of buses, 1 of a tank, 7 of trains, and 8 of ships or boats. More than 30 makes of automobiles are represented, and include Austin, Buick, Ford, Kaiser-Frazer, Nash, Packard, Studebaker, and Tucker; French manufacturers Peugot and Renault; and Italian makes Isotta Fraschini and Alfa-Romeo. The automobile drawings also include some amphibious cars, a cross section and three-quarters view of a variant of the Bluebird hydroplane, a "scoot-mobile", a futuristic taxi design, a sectionable bus, and other experimental designs. The depictions of trains include an electric train, a supersonic train, and an overhead monorail.

In addition to the drawings of specific aircraft and vehicles, there are also illustrations of transportaion-related scenes such as an exprimental aircraft model in a wind tunnel; a Greyhound bus terminal with a helipad; a giant telescope; a house-hangar; a pressure cabin; an underwater robot explorer; an aircraft cabin interior with beds; a lunar base; a flying saucer; a synchrotron particle accelerator; and an automobile showroom in Detroit, Michigan.

The incomplete sketches in the back are primarily of automobiles but also include a house, a scene of a river through a French city, and the personified playing cards from Alice in Wonderland.


  • 1947-1951


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research and is accessible in the Dahlberg Research Center by appointment. For more information contact us.

Conditions Governing Use

The Museum of Flight (TMOF) Archives is the owner of the physical materials in the archives and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from TMOF archives before any publication use. TMOF does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.


.25 Cubic Feet (1 half-width legal size document box)

Biographical Note: Bernard Bourrand

Bernard Bourrand was an artist active in the mid-twentieth century based in Dieppe, Normandy, France. He was born in 1930 or 1933 and died in 2020. No further information is known.

Custodial History

The sketchbook was purchased from Type Punch Matrix rare book dealer and then donated to the Museum. Previous ownership is unknown.
Guide to the Bernard Bourrand Sketchbook
Completed - Level 2
Nicole Davis
Description rules
Language of description
Edition statement
1st edition

Repository Details

Part of the The Museum of Flight Archives Repository

9404 East Marginal Way South
Seattle Washington 98108-4097

The Museum of Flight | 9404 E. Marginal Way South | Seattle WA 98108-4097 | 206-764-5874
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