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Gallery Of The Week: Miles In The Air

Apologies to those of you who glanced at the headline above and opened this story expecting to see dramatic images of powerboats soaring above the water. The picture that went with the headline was chosen to provide a teensy clue, but you never know, right? We all lead busy lives and sometimes miss things.

A Bombardier Global 5500 jet is far and away the fastest object Stephen Miles has ever painted.

Then again, this Bombardier Global 5500 aircraft boasting graphics designed by Stephen Miles of Stephen Miles Design flies faster with a top speed of 690 miles per hour—that’s Mach .90 for the record—and farther with a range of 6,789 miles than any go-fast catamaran or V-bottom on the planet. And it boasts a color scheme created by one of the most talented gentlemen in the high-performance marine industry.

With a 94-foot wing span, 25-foot height from the bottom of its wheels on the landing gear to the top of its tail and almost 97-foot overall length, the private aircraft was a touch large for the Stephen Miles Design paint booth in Owensboro, Ky. But even if the facility had the space, the paint work needs to be done in a Federal Aviation Administration-certified facility.

“It’s insane how quickly and efficiently those guys work,” Miles explained. “Even their main designer at West Star was happy about me coming in with something new and different. Not only was this design like nothing they had ever seen, with SMD they had a designer who could also climb up on the ladder and show these guys how to spray some effects that they had not previously executed.”

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Here’s a closer look at the details of Miles’ first jet-aircraft graphics project.

The project began last year when Steve Dupper, who manages Gulf Crosser Yachts in Tampa, Fla., contacted Miles. The two had never met—Dupper learned about Miles and his work online. Miles and his team ended up traveling to Tampa to handle painting a 52-foot Gulf Crossover model.

Six months later, Dupper asked him if he’d been interested in creating graphics for a client’s private aircraft. Miles, who was honored to even be considered much less asked, accepted immediately.

“It’s so unbelievably cool to see a project in this size come to life,” he said. “This client wanted something that was like nothing like the private aviation world had ever seen in custom painting, yet it still had to be clean and classy. And I feel like we definitely achieved that.”

After the job was complete, Miles let everyone involved know he’d be willing to tackle other aircraft-graphics projects. A week later, he had contracts in hand—from two new private aircraft clients—to handle graphics for a Bell 427 helicopter and Citation 560 XL jet-aircraft.

“Give me just the slightest opportunity, show me where the door is and I’m going to do my best to kick it down,” he said, then laughed.

So where would you go first if this were your aircraft dressed in graphics from Stephen Miles Design?

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