Pictures Of The Week

Week 52, December 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. Bartosz looks to have had a fantastic year of air-to-air opportunities, with our choice being this stunning picture of an Italian Air Force F-2000A Typhoon banking away from the camera ship with full reheat engaged. He says he was lucky enough to have two hours flying with crews conducting Baltic Air Policing out of Šiauliai Air Base in Lithuania. The airfield backdrop makes this shot yet more impressive – what a joy it is to see such potent military aircraft pictured in this way. Let’s hope for more of the same from Bartosz in 2016.

    Image © Bartosz Bera
    Canon EOS 5D Mk.III + Canon EF 24-105mm f4 L IS lens

  2. UKAR’s very own Rod is featured this week, with a lovely shot from NAS Whidbey Island in June. The event offered one of the last occasions to view the US Navy’s EA-6B Prowlers in flight, before the curtain came down on almost 45 years of service. However, our attention was drawn to this close-up image of a home-based MH-60S ‘Knighthawk’ seen performing an extraction demonstration as part of the show. The MH-60 is a highly capable helicopter, and replaced the legendary CH-46 Sea Knight in Navy service.

    Image © Rod McDonough

  3. It’s hard not to be impressed by Barrie’s sublime capture of this KC-135R Stratotanker caught circuit bashing at RAF Lakenheath in December. Following a long day of photography (alongside many other enthusiasts in need of a post-Christmas outing), he says the aircraft appeared just as the sun was setting: the switching on of the runway lights giving an extra dimension to what is an already impressive image. Barrie himself credits this to a ‘right place-right time’ moment!

    Image © Barrie May
    Canon EOS 7D + Canon EF 100-400mm L IS lens

  4. Whilst not the most dramatic shot ever featured in POTW, Vincent’s shot is certainly right up there when it comes to rare subject matter. During a visit to Taiwan, he captured this Republic of China Air Force T-34C Turbo Mentor on approach to its home of Kangshan Air Base. Kangshan is the home of the Air Force Academy, as well as the Air Force’s own display team, the Thunder Tigers. The air arm is thought to have 37 of these ageing trainers on its books, and we think they look great in this distinctive livery.

    Image © Vincent Pirard (AviaScribe)
    Nikon D300S + Sigma 100-300mm f2.8 lens

  5. UKAR Staff Member Peter visited Radom Air Show in August, where he pictured this glorious Romanian Air Force MiG-21 Lancer C on approach to the event. This airframe, ‘6807’, was one of a quartet of airframes which visited Waddington and RIAT back in 2005: they’d be very welcome back! Pete should be very proud of this image, which captures all the salient features of this elderly fighter in great detail.

    Image © Peter Reoch

  6. Tony’s picture of this Bermudan-registered Boeing 747SP is a hugely welcome one, given the sparse few examples of the type still flying nowadays. Not much is definitively known about this aircraft, but – regardless – the opportunity to see the aircraft visiting the UK is always a welcome treat. The aircraft was at one stage operated by both Pan Am and United Airlines, before becoming a more luxurious business jet from 1995 onwards.

    Image © 'Bestlasham'

  7. Shaun can always be relied upon to produce top-quality images regardless of the event. His 2015 highlights thread is also a smorgasbord of variety – with this shot of the much-loved Sea Vixen FAW2 flaring to land at RNAS Yeovilton following a flight for the Sea Vixen supporter’s day. As well as the close crop, the size of ‘CVIX’ is hugely apparent: it never gets any easier to believe these were, at one stage, landed regularly on carriers! Here’s hoping for a strong, safe season for the Vixen in 2016.

    Image © Shaun Schofield

Pictures Of The Week

Week 51, December 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

Clockwise from top left:

  1. Well, something rare as hen's teeth will certainly put you within a shot for POTW, and something rare as hens teeth blasting through Rainbow Canyon will pretty much do it for the top spot! POTW-regular Tim spent an excellent couple of days in Star Wars Canyon, and came away with some typically excellent results, including this pristine-looking F-18A which is used by NASA for research purposes and as a chase plane.

    Image © Tim Laurence
    Canon EOS 5Ds + Canon EF 500mm f4 L IS lens & 1.4x TC

  2. Another POTW regular, Stuart posted a great retrospective set from 2015, including this splendid portrait shot of two early-mark spitfires. The shape of the machines, including their fine elliptical wings are shown off to great effect, and in great light, too. Need we say more?

    Image © Stu Freer (Touchdown Aviation)

  3. Flying with a mix of IAR-330 SOCAT and NAVAL variants, Bogdan's great air-to-air shot features next, with these two Romanian Air Force IAR-330 SOCAT machines flying in their National Day Parade at the start of December. Aside from the fine composition of the shot, and great rotor blur (not easy in a bumpy photo-ship!), we just love the charismatic camouflage applied by our Romanian colleagues.

    Image © Bogdan Movileanu

  4. Our next shot comes courtesy of Mark, who captured this stunningly sharp image of an F-15C Eagle at rest in a Hardened Aircraft Shelter during a two-day visit to RAF Lakenheath in October. He was lucky enough to visit many areas of this extensive base during his trip; however this shot caught our attention in particular due to its high angle and beautiful lighting. The distinctly Cold War backdrop of the HAS makes the image yet more dramatic. It will certainly be a sad day when we lose this classic American fighter from East Anglia for good!

    Image © Mark Rourke

  5. Long-time UKARian, and Long-time POTW candidate, Rich produced the goods once again with his retrospective thread looking back at 2015. As ever, he made it nigh on impossible to choose, however, choose one we must, and we couldn't escape this great sunset shot of this Italian HH-101A "Caesar" at Merryfield Open Evening last summer.

    Image © Rich Pittman

  6. Bulgaria seems like a great place for enthusiasts at the moment. As another former Soviet-equipped military that is slowly switching to western equipment, there's a great and diverse mix of types on offer. Rob made the best of his opportunity over there, and produced this finely-composed image of a Bulgarian Air Force L-39ZA Albatros, of which the air arm reportedly only has three serviceable machines in its inventory.

    Image © Rob Hendriks

Pictures Of The Week

Week 50, December 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

Clockwise from top left:

  1. We begin this week with a great shot from Emilio, featuring the brand new 27 Sqn centenary special scheme Chinook out in some yet more stunning winter light (we'd love to know where everybody finds the bloody stuff!). Bearing the Squadron colours, and a rather unique version of their elephant motif (derived from flying the Martinsyde G.100 "Elephant" fighters in 1915), it's great to see that the RAF have extended their rather well-thought special schemes to rotary craft, too.

    Image © Emilio Di Pietro
    Canon EOS 7D Mk.II + Canon EF 100-400mm L IS Mk.II lens

  2. Lloyd's amazing shot of the Textron AirLand Scorpion, taken during a air-to-air photo shoot on it's way to RIAT earlier this year, is next on our list. Several of his other shots of this machine have been all over social media and in UK aviation magazines. Indeed, anyone with an interest in the hobby would have had to be living under a rock to miss them, and we'd be wrong not to feature them this week. Lloyd is one of the best aviation photographers out there at the moment, and his retrospective thread will leave you utterly green with jealousy, but do be sure to check it out on our forum.

    Image © Lloyd Horgan
    Nikon D7100 + Nikkor 24-70m f2.8 lens

  3. Our own Mr. McDonough features next this week, with a rather special catch from his final trip to Rainbow Canyon this year. This F/A-18F of VX-9 "Vampires" based at China Lake is the Navy's principle test and evaluation squadron, operating a myriad of types and variants. notably, this machine carries the rarely-seen AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW), as it rips through the canyon.

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

  4. Dave has provided us with some of the best angles one can expect to get of landing A-10C Warthogs. Originally based at Davis Monthan AFB, they stayed for a week at NAS Fort Worth from where this image was captured. It might just be us, but we cant get enough of these charismatic and rugged machines, and so we're grateful to Dave for these lovely shots.

    Image © Dave Chng

  5. Wim Houquet also returns this week, with his shot of this Belgian Air Force NH-90 making practice approaches at the brand new helipad at the hospital in Veurne, along with it's Sea King stable-mate. We loved the composition of this shot, with the disk created by rotor-tip lights in newer helicopters such as the NH-90 and the spotlight in the nose casting a beam in the misty conditions making a really atmospheric image.

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

  6. The Norwich airport photographers get their fair share of 'scoops' with a variety of exotic liveries in and out of the Air Livery hangar. One they were all keen to capture was Formula One Management's latest acquisition, and POTW regular Matt grabbed this great shot of RJ70 M-STRY out on the ramp under the flood lights. We're not sold on the livery, but Matt's image beyond reproach.

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

Pictures Of The Week

Week 49, December 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 the inevitable grounding of the Vulcan finally taking place earlier this year, rightly or wrongly, aviation enthusiasts in the UK and further, are waiting with eager eyes for the next "big" restoration on the UK circuit. NX611 notwithstanding, the Coventry-based Avro Shackleton WR963 looks to be one of the stars of the future UK airshow scene. The team aiming to get the machine into the air, the Shackleton Preservation Trust, recently hosted a nightshoot featuring the Coventry-based aircraft, and Gavin came away with some great compositions, including this one. If you haven't experienced the four contra-rotating engines roar (or should that be "growl"?) into life, you're certainly missing a treat.

    Image © Gavin Pardoe
    Canon EOS 7D Mk.II + Sigma 17-70mm f2.8 C lens

  2. Don't ask us how or why, but there's something "right" about that blue-grey scheme on the Luftwaffe Typhoons that makes them look infinitely more attractive that their other European counterparts. Taken at Neuberg, Mathias produced an utterly splendid set of shots in all ranges of light and darkness. Impossible to pick a favourite of a thread that despite featuring only one aircraft type, is full of diversity, however we loved this composition of this TaktLwG 74 "Bravarian Tigers" machine at night.

    Image © Mathias Grägel

  3. Next up is a great nightshot of this Enter Air Boeing 737-400 at Exeter Airport. The Polish airline started just five years ago in 2010, operating on the low cost model which has seen the likes of Ryanair, Easy Jet and many others soar from the early 90s onwards. With a relatively small fleet size, the airline is rarely seen in the UK, despite offering a number of routes to UK airports - meaning nightshots like this are all the more unique, and great to see.

    Image © 'PlymouthFlyer'

  4. Long-time UKARian Geoff features too this week, with a shot from his superb set showcasing his time in Finland. In a thread full of quality and diversity amongst the Scandinavian air arm, we were really taken with this shot of the spirited and very rarely seen L-70 Vinka. Designed and built by Valmet in the 70s, the little trainer was never exported; and of a production run of just thirty, 28 remain in service.

    Image © Geoff Stockle
    Nikon D300 + Nikkor 18-200mm VRII lens

  5. Further splendid lighting conditions come this week from Thomas, and his visit to Redhill. Thomas had dropped in hoping to glimpse G-SASR in a new green and white livery, which he managed, but the light on this sleek looking EC-130 was too much for us to resist.

    Image © Thomas Hemburrow

  6. Whilst Mildenhall is no stranger to hosting "white tops", the rather charismatic variants of the old C-135s are are still great to see. Whilst this RC-135W "Rivet Joint" wears the tail codes of Offutt AFB in Nebraska, the airframe has been on detachment to RAF Mildenhall for some time. In some rather sublime light, Matt caught the machine preparing to depart the Suffolk base for the States.

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

  7. Finally this week - it takes something to stand out from the crowd to be picked for POTW. It takes something really special when the subject is a museum piece, however Paul's shot of this immaculate CV-7A Caribou at Travis AFB Heritage Centre ticked all the boxes. The fairly small museum houses most of its aircraft exhibits outside, with little indoor hangar space, much less for something the size of the CV-7A. To see the machine exposed to the elements so immaculately preserved, then, is rather encouraging indeed.

    Image © 'Donkey'