The Week In Pictures

Week 13, March 2010

The Week In Pictures
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Clockwise from top left:

  1. Mere days after its first public appearance at the Northolt Nightshoot we were treated to this Air-to-Air shot of the 2010 display Hawk, flown by Flt Lt Tom Saunders, courtesy of Berry Vissers. In Berry's own words:

    After climb-out and short transit to the south, we were greeted with some lovely sun-shine at around 10,000 feet, ready to start snapping away. This was the first real view I got of the new coat of paint applied to XX263. The striking design was perfectly applied by the team in the paint shop at RAF Valley and will most certainly be an eye-catcher at the venues it will appear at this year. About an hour after take-off most pictures were taken, as planned, and the journey back to Valley begun. En-route, I noticed the water of the Caernarfon Bay through a few small gaps in the clouds and occasionally even a wee bit of sun on XX263. I asked 'Rambo' to increase our height by a few feet to reveal more of the markings on top of the wing and once in position, took this shot.".

    More pictures can be found on the Hawk Display website.

    Image © Berry Vissers. Canon EOS 1DS MkIII + Canon EF 24-105mm f4L IS USM lens

  2. Jens Lingier spent the morning photographing Belgian Police MD-900, G-12, at a football field near the police office of his hometown, Koksijde, as it popped in and out while it was performing a search. Before departing the pilot told Jens that they were off to help another MD-900, in a nearby town, which had suffered a mechanical failure while following a bike race. A quick relocation resulted in this rather excellent wide-angle shot of the 'injured' MD-900, G-11, taking off to return to Brussels after its compatriot brought in the necessary spare parts from their home base. Feel the downdraft!

    Image © Jens Lingier. Nikon D70s + Sigma 17-70mm lens

  3. This week has seen the demise of dedicated maritime patrol in the RAF with the loss of the Nimrod MR2 after decades of service. But those who still want to see that trademark "double bubble" can still do so by going to RAF Waddington to photograph the "Mighty Hunters" of 51 Sqn, the Nimrod R1s, just like "The Week In Pictures" regular Tom Hill did. [ "Mighty Snoopers" shurely? - Ed]

    Image © Tom Hill. Nikon D2x + Nikon Nikkor 300mm f2.8 VR lens

  4. Time for another TWiP regular now with this shot from the Northolt Nightshoot by Egon who shows us that you don't need to spend a fortune on a tripod and head for night shots, heck you don't even need them at all as a beanbag and some patience is enough. Low angle? Check. Blue dusk sky? Check. 41 Sqn GR4? Check. Job's a good un!

    Image © Egon Johansen (SilverWingPix). Canon EOS 50D + Sigma 18-200mm lens

  5. Chile and FIDAE 2010 is the scene for our next choice. Tony Osborne was at the Latin American tradeshow and captured this Fuerza Aerea De Chile Bell 412 in the glorious sunshine. Rare subject and superb quality made it one of this week's must haves.

    Image © Anthony Osborne. Canon EOS 40D

  6. What is it they say, "When it rains it pours"? More retirement related photography in TWiP this week with Mark Handley's shot of diamond nine of "Ninjas" as 4 Sqn marked its forthcoming disbandment with a formation exercise with accompanying Hawk photoship.

    Image © Mark Handley. Nikon D80 + Nikon 300mm f4 AF-S lens

  7. Bringing this week's selection to a close is Chris Emmerson's shot, taken from the airport viewing gallery (remember those?), of a British Airways Airbus departing Innsbruck against the mountain scenery. A BA short-haul flight in the air, shurely shome mishtake?

    Image © Chris Emmerson. Nikon D90 + Sigma 50-500mm EX DG APO lens

The Week In Pictures

Week 12, March 2010

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Clockwise from top left:

  1. "No smoking" or should that be "No Schmoking"? A very atmospheric shot of the Dutch F-16 display aircraft. The image was taken at Leeuwarden Air Base during a photo shoot of the new team members for the Dutch F-16 demo team. The shot was taken during the evening and was lit by three studio lights.

    Image © Cristian Schrik. Canon EOS 1D MkIII + Canon EF 24-105mm f4 L IS lens

  2. A rare glimpse of training 'down under'. Ian Harding captures a Hawk MK127 of 76 Squadron in bright Australian sunshine. The shot was taken at taken at the RAAF Base, Williamtown. Fast jet recruits start the first stage of their Introductory Fighter Course at Pearce with 79 Squadron before proceeding to the tactical side of the IFC with 76 Squadron at Williamtown.

    Image © Ian Harding. Canon EOS 40D + Canon EF 24-105mm f4 L IS lens

  3. For most aviation enthusiasts who visit the welsh hills this is the sight that they want to see. A stunning capture of an F-15E as it screams through the Mach Loop. Which was a fine reward for Frank, a patriotic Irishman, who gave up his pints of Guinness on St. Patricks day to travel to the welsh hillsides.

    Image © Frank Grealish (IrishAirPics). Canon EOS 40D, Canon EF 300mm f4 IS lens + Canon 1.4x teleconverter

  4. "There's a sting in the tail". A beautifully lit Gannet belonging to the Yorkshire Air Museum at Elvington, during a special night time shoot. Thanks for posting it Neil!

    Image © Neil Bury

  5. A pair of Swiss Air Force F-5E Tigers taken at Sion on 17th of March. These Northrop F-5E are flown by the Squadron 19 which had its 70th birthday in 2008. The emblem of Squadron 19 can be seen on the J-3044's nose.

    Image © Philippe Rey. Nikon D300 + Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8 VRII lens

  6. "Helo to you". A stunning composition of an AAC Apache AH1, and a superb sunset, show off the rather unconventional lines of Boeing/Westland built beast. It was taken from just outside the fence at Netheravon on the FRP in use for the MRX on Salisbury Plain back in February.

    Image © Chris Lofting. Canon EOS 40D + Canon 70-200mm f2.8L lens

  7. This Harrier was captured at the event marking the 4 Squadron transfer to Wittering. This aircraft displaying a rather "flashy" (no really) flashy tail, the new insignia of 501 squadron. Good capture, tailslides.

    Image © tailslides

The Week In Pictures

Week 11, March 2010

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Clockwise from top left:

  1. There aren't many more majestic aircraft than the U-2 Dragon Lady. Michael was lucky enough to have a base visit including a night time shoot with this clandestine aircraft at its home base at Beale AFB. To say we're green with envy would be an understatement!

    Image © Michael Balter. Canon EOS 1D Mk.III + Canon EF 28-135mm IS USM lens

  2. This living and breathing RAF Jaguar was captured at RAF Cranwell this week. The aircraft is part of the Engineering Officer Training Consolidation Flight. Kevin explained that "photography was difficult due to the glossy black paint on the jets as well as bright sunlight causing significant glare."

    Image © Kevin Bell. Canon EOS 450D + Canon EF 24-105mm f4 L lens

  3. Any Harrier seen at low level is a welcome sight, but seeing a pair in close formation is remarkable. Laurie captured this shot from Bluebell in the Mach Loop and admitted he'd never seen two aircraft so close together.

    Image © Laurie Hughes

  4. With the sad, but imminent demise of the RAF Nimrod MR2 fleet from active service, it was only appropriate to feature the Mighty Hunter in this week's selection. The shot depicts a fuel-laden Nimrod MR2 XV235 lifting off from Kinloss's Runway 26 in November 2008, with the characteristic smoky Spey engines - a sight and sound that will be greatly missed.

    Image © Mark McEwan. Canon EOS 40D + Canon EF 300mm f2.8 L IS lens

  5. In the distance, Rogier thought this was T-6 Texan II, as it approached to his great surprise it was a rather unique Super Tucano. Arriving just before the days Red Flag sorties started at Nellis AFB, this Super Tucano using the callsign "Pony1", is currently being evaluated by the US Navy under a classified program called "Imminent Fury", as a future Close Air Support platform to support special operations forces.

    Image © Rogier Ottens. Nikon D90 + Nikon AF-S 70-300ED-VR lens

  6. Kev was lucky enough to visit NAS Whiting Field in February. In this shot three Bell Sea Rangers, of some 120 stationed at the base, are seen on the ramp. One and a half million take offs and landings each year, makes NAS Whiting Field the busiest Naval air complex in the world, accounting for 11% of all Navy and marine flight hours world wide.

    Image © Kevin Daws. Nikon D300 + Nikon 200-400mm VR f4 lens

  7. Once again Fred treats us with some more photos from his extensive archive. This time a splendid image of the Swedish Air Forces Saab Viggen take off at RIAT 1993 at RAF Fairford. Fred remembers it as "quite a spirited display routine".

    Image © Fred Martin. Nikon F90 + Prinz Galaxy 300mm lens, using KR64 film

The Week In Pictures

Week 10, March 2010

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Clockwise from top left:

  1. RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire is synonymous with the RAF Aerobatic Team, The Red Arrows. This is where Dean captured this fantastic image of 3 of the team members heading out to their respective mounts on the 4th of March, to practice a 7 ship formation. The Reds are due to deploy to Cyprus for the final 8 weeks of intense training before gaining display authorisation and their coveted red flying suits.

    Image © Dean West. Canon 350D + Canon EF 100-400mm L IS USM lens

  2. The F-15 - familiar to locals of RAF Lakenheath - but not in this guise. The eye catching aggressors of the 65th Aggressor Squadron, based at Nellis AFB play the bad guys in dissimilar air combat tactics training. Glenn caught this Eagle blasting out on a Red Flag mission.

    Image © Glenn Bloore. Nikon D3 + 500mm VR lens

  3. Any shot of a Tornado F.3 will draw in the eye of the enthusiast at the moment, with the continuing draw down of operations, edging ever nearer to final retirement. This "Fin" was caught as it blasted through Low Flying Area 17 in Cumbria, en-route back to its home base of RAF Leuchars in Fife by Paul. Treble-One Squadron "The Tremblers", is the sole remaining RAF Squadron that operate the type.

    Image © Paul Cameron. Canon EOS 50D + Canon EF 300mm f2.8 L lens

  4. Rob's trip to London Heathrow Airport luckily coincided with the departure of two immaculate Japanese Air Self Defence Force 747-400s that had been in the country in connection with a VIP visit. Shot in perfect sunny blue skies at the familiar haunt of Feltham Park - recognisable by the spectacular topside angles available as the aircraft bank around after taking off from runway 09R.

    Image © Rob Laker. Sony A350 + 70-400mm lens

  5. The US Navy's Flight Demonstration Squadron, The Blue Angels, usually based at NAS Pensacola, Florida, deploy to NAS El Centro, in California, for their annual winter training - This is where Kieron captured his outstanding set of images. We felt that head on angle combined with the action in this shot, the brown jet exhaust and the slot pilot just starting to move into position made it stand out - but it was a hard choice!

    Image © Kieron Pilbeam

  6. Night photography is something we've become accustomed to here at UKAR with the excellent events held at RAF Northolt, and anyone that has tried it will know it's not easy! The quality of this shot stands out a mile, with colour and sharpness, and Egon shot this USMC KC-130T Hercules at rest at Copenhagen airport.

    Image © Egon Johansen (SilverWingPix). Canon EOS 50D

  7. The Golden Oldies section of the forum is place to find shots of classic aircraft from times gone by and Mike posted a set full of gems from Duxford in the 1970s. The image we chose was of the Javelin FAW.9 in a striking red and white scheme. This was the last ever Javelin to fly, and it arrived at Duxford in 1975 after being used at Boscombe Down for chase and calibration duties.

    Image © Michael Hall. Practica L, Pentacon 50mm 1.8 lens + Kodachrome II film

The Week In Pictures

Week 9, March 2010

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Clockwise from top left:

  1. The huge beast that is the Antonov AN-225 is a rare visitor to the UK. Glenn Beasley was on hand to catch its first ever operation through Robin Hood airport (the one time RAF Finningley, in a Cold War irony) when it arrived to collect a 70 tonne generator for delivery to Lahore, Pakistan. 'Luckily', for the creation of this stunning shot, its arrival was delayed until the sun was heading south, giving Glenn the opportunity to capture the 'Cossack' in some lovely light, which also beautifully highlights its fresh colour scheme.

    Image © Glenn Beasley. Canon EOS 1D MkIII + Canon EF 24-105 IS lens

  2. Brian Marshall has become synonymous with Duxford, apparently spending every spare moment at the IWM's Cambridgeshire airfield, and bringing to the pages of UKAR some great images of the jewels within. For this visit to Duxford Brian was looking to try something different: 'Rather than go down the HDR route, this set of photos was an experiment in tweaking images using Local Contrast Enhancement in my workflow just to see what they looked like on the web.' Take a look to judge for yourself. Pick of the bunch is this image of the Sea Fury in the TFC hangar.

    Image © Brian Marshall. Sony Alpha 350 + Sony 11-18mm lens

  3. Growlers and Prowlers. US Marine aviation. Both always favourite subjects amongst fans of military hardware. Throw in some smart new CAG birds and you've got a sure winner, despite the unfavourable weather. Melchior Timmers paid a return visit to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington, USA, to catch these machines at work.

    Image © Melchior Timmers

  4. Gold medals and golden skies. Derek Heyes caught this CF-18 Hornet returning from patrolling the skies above Vancouver. He explains: 'Known as Operation Podium, 409 Nighthawk TFS deployed to Comox to fly security missions day and night over the 2010 Winter Olympics. Flying in support of the Integrated Security Unit led by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and flying under NORAD control, close to 20 CF-18s flew missions using newly acquired SNIPER pods, JMHCS helmets, upgraded NACES ejection seats and armed with live AIM 7 and AIM 9 missiles. The fighters were able to fly long five hour sorties performing air to air refuelling from CC-130T Hercules and Airbus A310MTT CC-150 Polaris tankers.'

    Image © Derek Heyes. Nikon D700 + Nikon 80-200mm f2.8 lens

  5. Back on the US Navy theme, and another set of stunning images, this time from the lens of Mike Leonard who was not only luckier with the weather, but also managed to catch this spanking new Kawasaki P-1 maritime patrol aircraft during a visit to Atsugi Air Base in Japan. Although these are a brand new design, they bear a striking similarity to the P-3s that they are to replace. The results of Mike's visit illustrate an amazing mix of US and Nippon types and schemes at the one base.

    Image © Mike Leonard

  6. The 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) is located in the vast deserts of Arizona. It looks after more than 4000 airframes and has become somewhat of an aviation enthusiast's Mecca, mostly due to its collection of older jets from the height of the Cold War. This view by Ian Scaife of row upon row of B-52s and C-141s is mirrored throughout the complex by just about every type imaginable. Ian made use of one of the flights chartered specifically for viewing the facility to get this shot.

    Image © Ian A. Scaife. Nikon D3 + Nikkor 18-135mm lens

  7. We chose this menacing head-on image of an Apache from Cliff Ibell's set taken from his visit to the Deptford Down area of the Salisbury Plain Training Area on 2 March to round off the week's top shots, but any one would have been a worthy option. Blessed with some lovely winter sun, each of the collection stands out. Cliff reports that the Apache was on an instrument flying exercise. A stunning area to spend some time, with or without rotary activity.

    Image © Cliff Ibell. Canon EOS 30D + Canon 300mm USM IS L lens