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Military aircraft, during manufacture and in action, feature heavily in the work of the official war artists of the First and Second World Wars, and more recent conflicts, most of which is held by the Imperial War Museum. As well as documenting the essential factory work of the home front, war artists were commissioned to record aircrews at work in the field, and made imaginative use of the vapour trails of aircraft in action, as Paul Nash did in his Battle of Britain of 1941.

Some collections, such as Gloucester Museums Service, have commissioned paintings of current and historic aircraft from specialist artists in order to document the history of the aviation industry and its military service.