Pictures Of The Week

Week 35, August 2015

Pictures of the Week
Pictures of the Week Pictures of the Week
Pictures of the Week Pictures of the Week Pictures of the Week Pictures of the Week

Clockwise from top left:

  1. First off in week 35, is the monstrous Su-35! Taken at MAKS, which has been well covered on our forums, POTW-regular Andrezj made it hard to pick a favourite from his incredible thread, but the more we thought about it, the more the colours and composition of Sukhoi's most potent fighter in this shot stood out. Forming part of a half-hour of Sukhoi demonstrations also featuring the PAK-FA and Su-34, the Su-35S put on a world-beating display.

    Image © Andrzej Rogucki
    Canon EOS-1Dx + Canon EF 500 f4 L IS lens & Canon 1.4x TC

  2. Keeping things Eastern, the star to many of the Radom show in Poland was the Romanian Air Force's participation in flying and static of the charismatic MiG-21, and nothing we've seen demonstrates this point more than Chris' amazing shot featured this week. It's been circa ten years since these machines last visited a UK show, given that Romania has the highest number of the venerable MiGs in Europe, we'd hope to see them return to the UK before inevitable retirement.

    Image © Chris Heal
    Canon 1D Mk.IV + Canon EF 500mm f4 L IS lens & Canon 1.4x TC

  3. Harry has, as ever, a great eye for composition. Taking this shot of a twin-stick Hawker Hunter at Bruntingthorpe's recent Cold War Jets day. Making excellent use of the less than dry conditions, the Hunter reflection shot stood out in particular, for reasons obvious.

    Image © Harry Measures
    Canon EOS 5D Mk.III + Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8 L IS lens

  4. It's oft said that familiarity breeds contempt regarding the Red Arrows, or any frequently-seen display team. Whilst we wouldn't go anywhere near as far as contempt, it does take something pretty special photography to stand out amongst the plethora of shots we have seen of the RAFAT on our forums over the years, and Matt's shot does exactly that. Masterfully captured, great colours, and fine composition have produced a winner of a shot. It's great to see Matt take advantage of the opportunities available as the Reds stayed the night at Norwich whilst performing at Clacton Airshow.

    Image © Matt Varley
    Canon EOS 550D + Canon EF 28-135mm IS lens

  5. As autumn begins to approach, we're seeing more low-light and sunset shots, which receive no complaint from us! As if anyone needed persuasion as to how effective these images are, they need to look no further than Tom's capture of this Belgian Navy Alouette III at Koksijde's "Runway Run" event, which involved a charity run at the airbase, and indeed, the lucky winners were treated to a ride in a Sea King! Given a storm passing overhead earlier, Tom came away with an excellent shot of a rather rare machine.

    Image © Tom Houquet
    Canon EOS 5D Mk.II + Canon 24-105mm f4 L IS lens

  6. Returning to Radom, we just had to include Michael's fabolous capture of this Su-22 "Fitter", which is set to remain a mainstay of the Polish Air Force in the years to come. The Su-22 pair was well-received at RIAT last year, and we hope it's not too soon before they visit the UK again.

    Image © Michal Wallo

  7. After feeling of "hit and miss" of previous years, 2015 has been a great year for RAF special-schemes. As squadron centenaries roll around, 41 (Reserve) Squadron's anniversary was recently marked by painting a tail on one of their Typhoons, in advance of their 100th birthday in 2016. Formed in 1916 at Gosport, the tail bears the two-barred cross which is a nod the town of St Omer, which the Squadron was heavily involved with, which bears the same insignia as its arms. Steve was on-hand to capture this fine study of the machine on the day it was unveiled at Coningsby.

    Image © Stephen Blee

Pictures Of The Week

Week 34, August 2015

Pictures of the Week
Pictures of the Week Pictures of the Week
Pictures of the Week Pictures of the Week Pictures of the Week Pictures of the Week

Clockwise from top left:

  1. For possibly the first time in POTW, a Grob G109 has taken the top spot! This is thanks to Rob, who captured this quite incredible image of the aircraft, streaming fireworks, against a gin-clear backdrop of the moon. And people say UK airshows aren't dramatic enough! Although it might not be the most glamorous of aircraft, this motor glider is one half of the 'AeroSPARX' team which gave an impressive performance as part of Bournemouth's 'Night Air' flying display.

    Image © Rob Laker
    Canon EOS 5D Mk.III + Sigma 150-600mm C lens

  2. Enthusiasts like ourselves relish the bi-annual MAKS event in Russia because it gives us the opportunity to feast our eyes on images of some of the most interesting military and civil aircraft the world has to offer. Peter's set was both concise and highly atmospheric; UKAR particularly liking this shot of the gorgeous Sukhoi Su-34. The vapour trails; combined with the close, sharp crop makes this a lovely shot of a type which, despite its modern looks, first flew a quarter of a century ago.

    Image © Peter Steehouwer
    Nikon D800E & Nikon 400mm f2.8 VR lens

  3. Sticking with the theme of big Eastern jets, we bring you Alex's lovely shot of the Polish Air Force MiG-29 display performing at August's Radom Airshow. Radom seems to be one of those beautifully-lit airfields and Alex has evidently taken advantage of these conditions - with the sun gently lighting the underside of this beast of a fighter. The Poles continue to regularly upgrade the 'Fulcrum'; making it likely that we'll get to see the aircraft remaining in European skies for a number of years to come.

    Image © Alex van Noye
    Nikon D600 + Nikkor 200-400mm VR II lens

  4. Probably the most 'marmite' fast jet scheme seen on UKAR in the past 12 months has come - surprisingly - not from an RAF type but instead from the French Rafale's efforts for this year's Tiger Meet in Konya. However, love it or hate it; Łukasz's picture is undeniably beautiful. This shot was also taken at Radom - where the airframe was being utilised to provide the solo display of the type. Top work, Łukasz!

    Image © Łukasz Lipka
    Canon EOS 60D + Tamron 70-300mm VC lens

  5. UKAR Staff Member Peter Reoch captured this dramatic image of the stunningly painted RAF Typhoon FGR4 (known to some as "GiNA") at the RNAS Yeovilton Air Day 2015. The sun broke through the clouds and illuminated the aircraft at just the right time as she taxied past; with the showground behind in shadow creating a striking image.

    Image © Peter Reoch
    Canon 7D + Canon EF 100-400mm L IS lens

  6. Given its ongoing withdrawal from service, we make no apology for our seemingly regular inclusion of Sea Kings of one form or another in POTW. Shaun can always be trusted to produce a top-quality batch of images wherever he goes, and his shot of a 'Jungly' Sea King from the Commando Assault rehearsal at Yeovilton this year is no exception. The depth to this picture is stunning, with the sharp example in the foreground blurring out the pair in the background with the heat haze from its exhausts. Lurking on the grass below the airborne pair can be seen a Merlin HC3 - the slightly less soulful replacement for the 'Junglies'.

    Image © Shaun Schofield
    Canon 7D + Canon EF 100-400mm L IS lens

  7. Adding the final dose of heavy metal to this week's selection is Stu's impressive topside of a F-15E Strike Eagle as it flies through the infamous Mach Loop. The amount of detail he has managed to capture is fascinating; giving us a look almost right inside the cockpit of this Lakenheath-based machine. The fact the backdrop to the aircraft contains no sky at all gives some idea of the dramatic spectacle low-level hill flying is - both for crew and spectator!

    Image © Stu Freer (Touchdown Aviation)
    Canon 7D Mk.II + Canon EF 100-400mm L IS lens

Pictures Of The Week

Week 33, August 2015

Pictures of the Week
Pictures of the Week Pictures of the Week
Pictures of the Week Pictures of the Week Pictures of the Week Pictures of the Week

Clockwise from top left:

  1. Top spot this week goes to Nigel for his splendid marriage of light, colours and subject matter to form an image that would not be out of place in an aviation art gallery. The Boxkite, a replica built for "Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines", is a much-loved part of The Shuttleworth Collection, and has been a stalwart of many an Old Warden show over the years. Despite this, it's been some time since we have seen a shot of the aircraft as wonderful as this. Nigel took this image at August's Evening Proms event.

    Image © Nigel Pitt
    Canon EOS 7D + Tamron 150-600mm lens

  2. Keeping things at Shuttleworth, the maestro that is Barrie May features once again in POTW - with yet more fascinating angles on the collection's fine steeds. The DH88 Comet has been the star of Shuttleworth's shows since it was re-introduced to display flying at the tail-end of last year. It's great so see some unique shots of this aircraft still being posted on the forum. This was Barrie's first time seeing the Comet fly, and he tells UKAR he was "quite taken" with the old girl.

    Image © Barrie May
    Canon EOS 7D + Canon 400mm f5.6 L lens

  3. Of course, 2015 is the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. Argued by many as one of the key turning points in the war - and certainly the most well-remembered British conflict in WWII - it was highly appropriate that Biggin Hill (one of the few famed RAF stations involved in the Battle that is still active) celebrated the anniversary with a huge gathering of both Spitfires and Hurricanes. Ian naturally made use of what was on offer, and we did not have to look any further than this shot; harking back to those desperate scrambles 75 years ago.

    Image © Ian Amis
    Canon EOS 600D + Canon EF 100-400mm L IS lens

  4. Speaking of the Battle of Britain, an oft overlooked aircraft involved at the time was the Bristol Blenheim. Like the DH.88, this machine returned to flight after a painstaking restoration in the latter end of 2014. This season has seen her make a début to display flying in the very capable hands of John Romain, and the machine has been truly wonderful and, rightly, has been given pride of place at shows around the country. Eastborne was one such show, and Darrell was on hand to capture her from the much-loved Beachy Head location. We've seen many topsides of the Blenheim this season, but none with a background quite like this.

    Image © Darrell Thompson
    Nikon D7100 + Nikkor 300mm f4 & 1.4x TC

  5. UKAR's own Rod McDonough has recently had the summer tour that surely would have made the rest of us green with envy. Stopping at a plethora of active bases on his way to Red Flag, whilst fighting a 40+ degree heat, Rod caught this VMFA-121 "Green Knights" F-35B in some rather splendid light at MCAS Yuma. The Green Knights, of course, were the unit due to bring a brace of their F-35Bs to RIAT and Farnborough in 2014 along with an RAF example; had it not been for an unfortunately-timed engine fire.

    Image © Rod McDonough
    Pentax K-3 + Sigma 50-500mm lens

  6. A sight sadly now to be relegated to the history books; Graham managed to shoot the Vulcan from Beachy Head one last time. Providing ample topsides over the waves of the English Channel, it would be impossible not to include UKAR's most discussed ever aircraft in her swansong. She will undoubtedly be sorely missed after her retirement.

    Image © Graham Butcher
    Canon EOS 50D + Canon EF 70-300mm IS lens

  7. On the topic of venerable and charismatic aircraft. the Hellenic Air Force is still operating a fleet of the quirky T-2 Buckeye for training purposes. The Buckeye, first designed in the '60s, is growing rather long in the tooth these days, and candidates are lining up to offer their proposals for a replacement fast jet trainer. Given that we've probably not got long left to see these machines, shots such as this one from Aaron are most welcome on the forum.

    Image © Aaron Paxton
    Nikon D300 + Nikkor 16-85mm lens

Pictures Of The Week

Week 32, August 2015

Pictures of the Week
Pictures of the Week Pictures of the Week
Pictures of the Week Pictures of the Week Pictures of the Week Pictures of the Week

Clockwise from top left:

  1. With friendly authorities and a rather diverse array of machines on show, Fort Lauderdale presents itself as a pretty decent spotting location of anyone in Florida has a spare few hours. There is no greater example of this that Rob's excellent shot of this L-39 in some rather splendid light departing the airfield, which takes the top spot this week.

    Image © Rob Starling

  2. The Czech Air Force's pair of Mi-24/35 "Hinds" were most welcome at RIAT this year, where many of us were able to see the machine in the air, and a special-schemed one on the ground. Rene went further than this, though, and was given the opportunity to do some air-to-air photography of a pair of these Czech machines on their way to Texel Airshow in the Netherlands.

    Image © Rene Köhler

  3. Whilst the SAAB Gripens that Hungary now operates don't hold a candle to the charisma of their old MiG-29s, there is still some pretty unique photography to be had from these leased Swedish machines. The Hungarians must be pleased with the fighter's fourth generation capabilities in lieu of their former Soviet mounts, given that their government extended the lease of the 12 Gripens in active service until 2026. Gut made use of some excellent low level lighting and unique angle to capture one of the jets on approach to Kecskemét Air Base.

    Image © Gut Zoltan
    Canon EOS 600D + Canon EF 10-22mm lens

  4. The Swiss Airforce have recently visited RAF Valley, and of course no trip to the Anglesea RAF station would be complete without dropping by the Mach Loop for some low-level training. Something that the Swiss, given the terrain back home, are probably not averse to. Regardless, it was interesting to see some foreign military navigating the Welsh Valleys, and as ever, Laurie was on hand to capture the "flying cola cans" as they navigated the route. Also of note was an RAF pilot in the back seat.

    Image © Laurie Hughes
    Nikon D7100 + Nikkor 200-400mm f4 lens

  5. Last month, we featured the sublimity of the Bristol Ballon Fiesta, and this month, we're at it again, this time in Metz, France. Keith was present during the event, and captured some stunning photography across several days, including Sunday's ethereal mass-launch, and this shot, which features such a diverse variety in terms of scale, colour and subject matter. We've said it before, but something doesn't have to be fast or loud or historic just to feature in POTW. Oft, as is the case here, it's the sublime that truly captures the imagination.

    Image © Keith Brooks

  6. Philippe is one of those photographers that is both skilful, and lucky enough to climb a peak in the Alps and "ask" a Yak-9 for some passes, as you do. The fabulous machine is part of Switzerland's somewhat lesser travelled but immaculate warbird scene.

    Image © Philippe Rey
    Nikon D800 + Nikkor 300mm f2.8 VR II lens

  7. UKAR's own Andy Evans covered the historic event of the Canadian Lancaster's visit to the UK last year, in particular, the "Avro 3 sisters" event at Waddington. Given the Vulcan's retirement next year, it's an event never to be seen again, and on the one year (!) anniversary of the event taking place, Andy posted an excellent set featuring the three machines. It was, however, this shot of the pair of Lancasters that we felt epitomised the trip, and one that will live long in the memory of all those who saw them, and a worthy way to close this week's POTW.

    Image © Andy Evans
    Nikon D300s + Nikkor 16-85mm lens

Pictures Of The Week

Week 31, August 2015

Pictures of the Week
Pictures of the Week Pictures of the Week
Pictures of the Week Pictures of the Week Pictures of the Week Pictures of the Week

Clockwise from top left:

  1. By all accounts a very successful show this year, RNAS Culdrose was blessed with excellent weather for most of the show - a notable departure from the grey skies we've been begrudgingly getting used to this season. Taking the top spot this week is Peter's lovely composure of two of the Gazelle Squadron's mounts departing the show, seen here near the Lizard. It was fitting to see XX436, painted in the livery of the machines used by the Royal Marines in attendance, given that this aircraft spent much of it's service life based at RAF Culdrose.

    Image © Peter Mitrovitch
    Nikon D200 + Nikkor AF-S 80-400mm lens

  2. It's great to see something different once in a while on our forum, and Rich's early morning shot is the perfect example of that. Catching the sublime nature of the Bristol Balloon Fiesta, we were struck with the composure of images in his thread. Nothing garish, or over the top; just subtle tones that capture the essence of the show - which we think, when cut back to its roots, is the true measure of successful aviation photography.

    Image © Rich Andrews

  3. POTW regular Andrezj once again features this week with, once again, some splendid images from a show we've seen lots of. It's always great to see so many shots of RIAT posted on the forum, but it really takes some clever thinking to stand out from the rest. Andrezj's shot of the Patrouille de France is an example of that. Well-lit, and pin-sharp, it is that it's a shot that we have all tried to get, but precious few have succeeded.

    Image © Andrzej Rogucki
    Canon EOS 1Dx + Canon EF 500mm f4 L IS lens

  4. Exercise Thracian Star took place in July this year at Graf Ignatievo in Bulgaria. The F-16s of the 117th FW of the New Jersey ANG of the US Air Force participated in the bilateral exercise with the Bulgarian Air Force providing some basic but valued air-to-air training and fighting manoeuvres. Allowing both forces to fight against "traditional" adversaries, these exercises are becoming more and more common in Europe. POTW regular Ivan was on hand to catch the former Soviet hardware on show, including this wonderfully charismatic MiG-21bis, of which just three are reported as left flying. This image was made even more significant when Ivan told us it is likely the MiGs will be retired by the Bulgarians towards the end of 2015.

    Image © Ivan Voukadinov
    Canon EOS 5D Mk.II + Canon EF 100-400mm L IS lens

  5. The long-awaited Exercise Indra Dhanush IV took place in the UK over July, when four of India's powerful Su-30s were deployed to RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire. POTW regular Chris managed to make the best use of the weather (which can be described as inconsistent at best!) with this shot full of contrasting light levels. Whether or not one believes the dubiously one-sided victory rate the Indians scored or not, it's always excellent to see some Russian-made hardware in the UK.

    Image © Chris Heal

  6. Forming part of a rapidly growing list of Sea King operators soon to retire the type, 40 Sqn of the Belgian Air Force hosted a SAR demonstration at Koksijde, making use of their new NH-90NFH helicopters. But of course, it's the venerable Sea King that we really love, and with just four of the type on service, and due to be phased out in 2016, we're making the most of fantastic shots like this whilst we can.

    Image © Wim Houquet
    Canon EOS 5D Mk.II + Canon EF 70-200mm f4 L IS lens

  7. Home is where the heart is, and rounding us off this week is Ian's excellent shot of Shuttleworth's infamous DH88 Comet, and the equally-loved Percival Mew Gull in formation. At a time when most vintage aircraft appreciation and commemoration appears to be primarily of war machines (no bad thing, we might add) the aircraft of the Shuttleworth Collection should be praised for their uniqueness, and the fact that they portray some of the more romantic eras of those early days of pioneering excellence.

    Image © Ian Bowskill