There are those who say naming your airplane after your spouse or girlfriend is a good way to make points with her. If that is so, then putting your spouse’s picture on the aircraft is the ultimate sign of devotion.
Mike Kelly of Spruce Creek, Fla., saw it that way, so when he and Diane, his wife of 39 years, were deciding on a paint scheme for their RV-8, Kelly decided that her likeness should grace the nose of the sleek machine.
They are both pilots, he noted. He flew for United Airlines before retiring and she is a private pilot. Cris Kruz of Deland, Fla., did the nose art.
Mike Kelly notes that aviation and the fascination with RV-8s runs in the family. Their son Brian is a pilot for Pinnacle Airlines and has an RV-8 of his own. He became enamored with the airplane while helping mom and dad build theirs.