Day one: Arrivals and practice at RIAT 2017, the largest military airshow.
This year marked the 70th anniversary of the United States Air Force and hence a stronger appearance by the USAF was most welcome, with the Thunderbirds, F-22 Raptor, F-15, B-1B Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress all making a welcome return.
Flying Legends 2017, Europe’s largest warbird airshow, featured fine weather, big crowds, a continuation of the revised crowd line and sadly the closure of the “Tank Bank” viewpoint.
However that disappointment was soon forgotten with superb displays from a formation of nine Spitfires, a great Battle of Britain display with 5 Hurricanes, Blenheim and 2 x Spitfire Mk1’s, a spirited Norwegian Dakota display and a Red Arrows display that had to shift is display line to a diagonal that gave the impression they were displaying over London rather than Duxford.
A great start to the 2017 airshow season, clear blue skies, big crowds and superb displays from the RAF’s Typhoon, The Blades, Shuttleworth’s DH Comet & Mew Gulls, Sea Vixen, French Rafale, MiG-15 and finish the show with a pair of Mk1 Spitfires in close formation aerobatics and the Great War Display Team.
Unfortunately the Sea Vixen’s undercarriage failed to lower on its return to it’s home base at RNAS Yeovilton resulting in a belly landing. Thankfully the pilot was unharmed but the aircraft sustained significant damage and it’s return to flight remains in the balance.
Before I start with this quick overview, a disclaimer, I do not purport to be an expert in any of the applications I mention, I am entirely self taught, and therefore they may be workflows which are more efficient than I use.
An evening with an unbelievable collection of replica WW1 aircraft built to the same standards as the originals, located on an original WW1 airfield. Re-enactors helped set the scene, and we were blessed with an impressive sunset to aid our photography. A location and collection I am looking forward to returning to shoot once again.
Day 2 of my visit to 27 Squadron at RAF Odiham saw a trip out to the training areas across Salisbury Plain. This was an opportunity to view Chinook operations in confined operating areas up close & very personal. It quite an experience to have stones & foliage flung towards you!!!
An informative and very enjoyable day spent with 27 Squadron at RAF Odiham, home of the RAF’s Chinook fleet. A great opportunity to view life on an operational RAF base but also to see the professionalism, dedication and teamwork across the RAF’s aircrews and ground crews. My thanks to 27 Squadron and COAP for the opportunity.
Having only watched the 1943 film “First of the Few” featuring Leslie Howard and David Niven, I was staggered when I stumbled across the track “Spitfire” by Public Service Broadcasting. The track features samples taken from the dialogue of the film, whose plot is based around the development of the Vickers Supermarine Spitfire,
An evening with 238 Squadron at RAF Cosford to shoot their collection of Sepecat Jaguars and Panavia Tornado at night. The use of staged lighting, a smoke machine and re-enactors resulted in some very atmospheric shots. My thanks to RAF Cosford and TLE Photos.