Simanaitis Says

On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff


KATIE HOUNSOME IS A TALENTED ILLUSTRATOR with an evident love of classic aeroplanes. “My parents think it’s hilarious that I’m so retro,” she told Mick Walsh in Classic & Sports Car, August 2022. I have special affinity with Katie’s illustrations because of my GMax/Microsoft Flight Simulator hobby.

Katie Hounsome. Her website notes, “I am a mum, I have two young girls; it’s the best job ever.” 

 The Westland “Lizzie.” My favorite is her poster for “Spies and Intrigue: Wings and Wheels Evening Airshow” at the Shuttleworth Collection.

This and following images from Classic & Sports Car, August 2022.

Indeed, Katie and I chose to render the same Westland Lysander, part of Britain’s Special Operations Executive during World War II. 

My Lysander was the most intricately detailed GMax aircraft I’ve attempted so far. 

Katie’s Grosvenor House. The red de Havilland D.88 Comet G-ACSS named Grosvenor House is celebrated for its victory in the 1934 MacRobertson Trophy Race from London to Melbourne, Australia. This particular craft is one of those included in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight, aka FS9.

The cars in Katie’s poster are the 1910 Fiat S76, aka The Beast of Turin, and the 1933 Napier-Railton.

Daughter Suz sent me two e-mails about The Beast of Turin, the first reading “Can I have one? Please?? xo.” The second one read simply, “Bwahahahaaa!!!!” followed by four red hearts. She was especially enamored of its “just barely internal” combustion. 

And driving John Cobb’s Napier-Railton at Pebble Beach is still one of the high points of what passes for my automotive career. 

The Napier-Railton and me at Pebble Beach, 2007. Image by John Lamm.

Katie’s Moth. There’s another Railton, its 1937 Light Sports Car, featured in Katie’s poster for “The Richard Shuttleworth Garden Party with the LAA,” July 18, 2020.

Producing a lovely air-cooled inline-four sound above the Garden Party pair is a de Havilland Moth. The DH.60 was the first of a series of what became the most popular civilian aircraft in Britain.

G-EBLV is the eighth DH.60 produced. Its G-EBWD sibling chosen by Katie was originally Richard Shuttleworth’s in which he learned to fly.

Thanks, Katie, for your wonderful illustrations. ds 

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2023 


  1. Andrew G.
    May 1, 2023

    Lysanders and de Havillands — gotta love it!

  2. brosgunter
    May 2, 2023

    Viewing her work here, and her catalogue, Ms. Hounsom is a master of British graphic design. Very inspiring. Thank you for posting.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: