I am not one that attend air shows. It’s not due to lack of interest. I must admit despite my stepping outside the bubble, I am still not too keen with dealing with crowds so that makes attending them impossible. At least for now. This doesn’t mean I don’t check in from time to time to see how the squads are hanging in. The other day I was having a conversation about one of the iconic symbols on one of the navel aircrafts. At first glance one would easily mistake this symbol as the “Playboy” bunny icon. This is pretty much sad because the history of this bunny holds so much more worth.
The infamous bunny first made its appearance on Marine and Navel aircrafts under several different names – Rapid Rabbit, Black Bunny, Vandy One and several other names. This was never seen as a sex symbol, yet it was seen more as a symbol of pride among the military aviators within the marines and more the Navy. This insignia has been a part of their aviation history since the 1950’s. Which predates the birth of the Playboy empire?
Hugh Hepner didn’t copyright this symbol until around 1971, when he brought the copyright to the aviator’s symbol. That very year a letter was sent to the Navy to stop using their own symbol. Instead of following through on any legal action, a compromise was made between Playboy and the Navy if the curtailed the symbol to resemble the one of Playboy. Hence bringing a compromise of the use of this iconic symbol.
So next time you go to an air show and see this icon on the tail of that fighter jet. Don’t get offended and go on the attack. Why not just ask the pilot and the crew about the history (True history!) of this symbol. Take a moment and find out it’s true meaning to the airmen (and women). You might be surprised on what they might add. Just saying!