This is from the Leach Corp. site itself:
History of the Collection
When Leach Corporation, as it was then called, commissioned a painting of a World War I aircraft in flight, little did management know it was giving birth to what would become widely known as the "Heritage of the Air Collection." Leach, which was involved in manufacturing relay components for the aerospace industry, simply wanted to feature the work in a corporate advertising campaign.
The painting appeared in a Leach ad in the February 16, 1959, issue of "Aviation Week & Space Technology," and it received such favorable response that Leach quickly commissioned another painting, followed by another, then another, and so on. By 1966, the series comprised a total of 45 enormously popular original aviation paintings with many thousands of prints in worldwide distribution. Now, almost 30 years later, a 46th painting has been completed.
"The Grand Adventure Begins"
Merv Corning, creator of 43 of the original 45 paintings, has brought new life to the collection with the addition of "The Grand Adventure Begins." His latest work commemorates the 70th anniversary of Charles Lindbergh's famous trans-Atlantic crossing in the Spirit of St. Louis.
The passage of time between paintings, however, has not changed Corning's fastidious attention to the little particularities that make his paintings so unique. A careful look at "The Grand Adventure Begins" reveals a rich pallet of details designed to please even the most discriminating of aviation buffs.
Details of "Lucky Lindy's" instrument panel can be seen through the aircraft's side-door, which has the only piece of glass on the entire plane. Not known to many students of history, but carefully detailed by Corning, is the fact that the "Spirit of St. Louis" had no front windshield. The land shown is the Newfoundland coast as it must have looked to Lindbergh as he began the over-water portion of his historic 33-hour flight.
History on Canvas
From 1959 through 1966, the Heritage series focused on World War I military aircraft. The research and dedication that Corning put into his painting assured Leach Corporation that the works were accurate in detail, educational and, above all, interesting.
Response to Corning's work has been overwhelming. Over the years, the company has received more than 20,000 requests for reprints.
Enthusiasts and students of aviation history alike have found many of their favorite flying "aces" within the series; from the famous German aviator Manfred von Richthofen
(Red Baron) to America's top ace, Capt. Edward Rickenbacker
. In fact, the painting depicting "Eddie" Rickenbacker in his famous "Spad" is available for viewing in the Smithsonian Museum's permanent art collection.