Influences: Aircraft Design
In elementary school during World War II, Pearce was enamored with the design of aircraft. In particular, the fighter planes which had evolved in this period of history were of great interest. The intriguing form, even beauty, of these airplanes correlated to the unprecedented performance demonstrated by these flying machines. The most compelling of these airplanes were the British Spitfire and the American P-51 Mustang. There can be no doubt that the design of these airplanes and others of the period had an indelible impact on Pearce’s sensibilities as a future designer.
The first prototype of the Spitfire flew in 1936. Designed by R.J. Mitchell, this was one of the greatest fighter planes of WW I I. New levels of performance were achieved by this aircraft.
The P-51 Mustang was another important WW II fighter plane. Designed by Edgar Schmued, the senior design engineer at North American Aviation, the Mustang also introduced higher levels of performance than was common in the period.