In the Cold War our ancestors flew giant gothic steampunk bombers that were so big, you had to ring up the engine room for takeoff power (No joke -- 2:55): youtu.be/ruE8yhkHke8
They decorated these behemoths with HERALDICALLY CORRECT nose-art (3:06) and jolly candy-cane striping on the engines and gear doors.
This is not alternate history. This is real history. And it's wilder than anything we could invent.