Pictures Of The Week

Week 48, November 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 Bartosz, who produced an absolutely splendid set of air-to-air shots of Canadian CF-188 Hornets and Portuguese F-16As, photographed from a Lithuanian AF C-27J Spartan. As part of each nation's commitment to the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission, protecting NATO's eastern borders from Russian incursions back in September 2014. Currently, Germany and Hungary are carrying out the mission, a first time for the latter nation's Gripens - before they are replaced at the start of next year by Belgian and Spanish F-16AMs and EF-2000s respectively. Airshow fans might recognise the the name of the F-16 pilot, as it's none other than former Belgian Air Force demo pilot "Mitch" Buelen, currently on exchange with the Portuguese AF.

    Image © Bartosz Bera
    Canon EOS 5D Mk.III + Canon EF 70-200mm f4 L lens

  2. For the first time since the old Tornado F3s were replaced, a rotation of jets protecting the Falkland Islands has taken place, with some of the older model Typhoons returning home to Coningsby. Making an appearance in some rather splendid light, POTW-regular Stu caught the (now ex-) 1435 Flight-marked Typhoons on a QRA launch.

    Image © Stuart Freer (Touchdown Aviation)

  3. The end of November is a time when most of us reflect on the year gone by. Phil did just that, and produced a fine study of a rather excellent formation at RAF Church Fenton (now Leeds East Airport)'s Airshow in 2015. Poignant not only on account of the Vulcan's final season, and a formation of classics, but because of the tragic events involving the loss of the Gnat Display Team's Kev Whyman at the beginning of August. We suspect that Kev would have been very pleased to see the display team carry on, and indeed, carry on with a formation as significant as this.

    Image © Philip Catleugh
    Canon EOS 7D + Canon EF 100 400mm L IS lens

  4. Over the pond, next, and Chris's excellent shot of this Delta Airlines Embraer 175 at LAX, with beautiful, albeit hazy, scenery as a backdrop. As part of the expansion of its already huge fleet, and obviously satisfied with the Brazilian manufacture's wares, Delta announced earlier this year the purchase of an additional 20 larger E-190 models with entry into service anticipated being in 2017.

    Image © Chris Parsons
    Canon EOS 7D Mk.II + Sigma 150-600 OS C lens

  5. Keeping us across the pond for the moment, Kevin attended Andrews Open House this year, following a hiatus. It's great to see US shows returning, albeit gradually, following the axe swing that was sequestration in 2013. In a thread full of winners, this immaculate UH-1N Huey really caught our eye. These machines have served faithfully for around 45 years, of which there are circa 20 units of this guise based at Andrews.

    Image © Kevin Bell
    Canon EOS 70D + Canon EF 70-300mm L IS lens

  6. We're quite lucky in the UK of late to have seen such an array of regular Soviet-era transport visitors in their civilian guises. Ian produced this fine study of both civilian AND military An-26s in one shot at Birmingham! The military variants hail from the Hungarian Air Force, whilst the civilian "Curl" is from a very recently-formed civilian charter company based in Bulgaria, known as "Bright Flight", which used the An-26B as a cargo aircraft. The company also owns a single BAe-146 for passenger flights.

    Image © Ian Bowley

  7. Finally, our own Mr. Wise closes up shop this week, with his thoughtfully-composed shot from the recent Northolt Nightshoot. Featuring the rather pretty French Dassault Falcon 2000LX and London Air Ambulance's MD902 Explorer, we liked the contrast of colours and composition of the shot. We've said it before, but it takes something rather thoughtful to stand out amongst the crowd at places like Northolt, and creative thinking such as this is always to be encouraged.

    Image © Sam Wise
    Canon EOS 70D + Tamron 18-270mm lens

Pictures Of The Week

Week 47, November 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. UKAR's own Keith Meacham takes top spot this week, with what has to be one of the top five shots posted on the forum this year. Shooting the F-5N of the VFC-111 Aggressor Sqn at NAS Key West, Keith and his group made the early morning commitment for a sunrise shoot, and the results absolutely speak for themselves; to say nothing of the symmetry in shooting the "Sun Downers" Squadron at sun-up...

    Image © Keith Meachem

  2. Different author, same event - Ivan was on the same COAP trip as Keith, and we loved his shot of the other visiting birds at NAS Key West. Capturing some F-18C Hornets from VFA-106 of the US Navy. Keith tells us that as he was walking towards an F-5, he looked across and saw this breathtaking sight. Despite the constantly changing light conditions making the shot a challenging one to capture, e thought this image worked excellently; with some gorgeous, dramatic skies really adding to the overall image.

    Image © Ivan Voukadinov
    Canon EOS 5D Mk.II + Canon 17-40mm L lens

  3. POTW-regular Rich's images are fantastic to look through - but the frustrating thing for us is how difficult he makes it to choose a favourite! Presenting the results of what appears to be have been an outstanding trip to Japan - taking in pretty much everything an enthusiast could want to see. Rich tells us that at Japanese airshows there is typically an example of every type in the inventory represented, presenting a brilliant spotting opportunity. We loved this image in particular of one of the Kawasaki T4s of the Blue Impulse display team, taken at Iruma Airshow at the beginning of this month.

    Image © Rich Pittman

  4. Some pictures don't really need a caption or description from us, so we'll just leave Filip's shot up here. Interestingly, if anyone is still reading (having not already rushed off to look at the rest of his thread!) the machine is a rather smart-looking Polish H-130 T2. As Filip says himself, "Who wouldn't like to fly with these aviation girls?"

    Image © Filip Modrzejewski (Foto Poork)
    Canon EOS 1Dx + Canon EF 85mm f1.2 L lens

  5. We like the chaps and chapesses at Bruntingthorpe. They know exactly how to arrange a photoshoot and execute a small event perfectly. Steve's perfect composition of The Buccaneer Aviation Group's Buccaneer S2B XW544 is evidence of just that. It could almost be a Cold War dispersal! We're all in favour of authentic scenes, something ably demonstrated in this shot - it just looks 'right'.

    Image © Steve Tron
    Canon EOS 5D Mk.III + Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8 L IS Mk.II lens

  6. Following Tony de Bruyn's accident flying his OV-10B Bronco back in 2012 and his extensive recovery, it is truly wonderful to see him back into the full swing of things regarding airshow appearances. Adding a second aircraft to his collection (third, if one counts the crashed example in 2012), Bronco G-BZGL had it's first flight in circa 14 years from Duxford this week, flying direct to the Bronco Demo Team's base in Belgium. When the machine arrived at Duxford in 2001, it carried the Luftwaffe markings of 99-26, and appears it will wear that scheme again following a repaint.

    Image © Tony Clarke

  7. Finally this week, we see a great little night shot of one of Odiham's finest at Norwich as the Chinook dropped in for a refuel. Given the windy conditions, in addition to those created by the "Wokka", Peter managed very well with some slow-shutter speed work, and produced some great results in the process.

    Image © Peter H
    Canon EOS 600D

Pictures Of The Week

Week 46, November 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. It's been one of the year's toughest weeks in terms of judging the quality and diversity of images produced on UKAR. Taking top spot this week is Gary's shot of Westland Wasp XT787, which first flew on 19th January 1967. The machine has had quite an interesting operational history - with service in the Falklands, and the Royal New Zealand Navy, before being shipped back to the UK. Caught in utterly splendid light, Gary's shot is one of the best we've seen of her.

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

  2. From the historic to the ultra-modern machines, and UKAR's own Mr. Evans had his review of Miramar Airshow 2015 published recently, but also took the time to post some previously unpublished shots on the forum. Like or loath the F-35 - or "Dave" - with Andy's photos of the machine, it can't be denied that the beast has a tremendous amount of presence at airshows, and we look forward to seeing one in the UK in 2016.

    Image © Andy Evans

  3. Mark's thread from Lakenheath and Marham certainly caught our eye this week, including his most excellent shot of the RAF 12 Sqn Centenary special-tailed Tornado GR4. Although the damp and the cold are depressing this time of year, when the sun does emerge, the light at times can be just fantastic, as is clear from the above.

    Image © Mark Ranger

  4. With their retirement looming, we've not long left to see Royal Navy Sea King HC4s, or "Junglies" in their natural environment. We're all the more obliged to Emilio, then, for his most epic of threads covering the HC4 in the Lindens. With a great backdrop, it's a Junglie, (almost) in the jungle!

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

  5. As we move ourselves through November, the time becomes one of reflection of the year just gone, and Stewart's shot from Flying Legends in July symbolises where the focus has rightly been this season. 2015 has seen the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, and has seen Spitfires a-plenty. No bad thing at all, and indeed, also in Stewart's shot - joined by the TFC pairing of Spitfires V and XIV - is the Rolls Royce Spitfire, which has been great to see at so many events in 2015 following its unfortunate landing incident.

    Image © Stewart Taylor

  6. Marcelo continues to provide us with great coverage from across the pond to the south. In Brazil, the "Open Gates 2015" at Florianópolis looked to have provided a great opportunity for the Brazilian Air Force to show off their newly schemed Tucano - painted as such to celebrate the 30th anniversary since the aircraft first entered service with the Brazilians. What does the special scheme depict? A toucan of course!

    Image © Marcelo Lobo da Silva
    Canon SX-40HS

  7. Finally, closing play this week, Filip has provided us with some fantastic air-to-air shots of a Polish Medical Air Rescue helicopter, in what is the organisation's first air-to-air photoshoot due to operational priorities. Following a huge reorganisation effort in 1997, and the purchase of 20 EC-135s in 2005 (to replace the previous Mil Mi-2 mounts), the Polish air ambulance fleet is now more capable and better equipped than ever before.

    Image © Filip Modrzejewski (Foto Poork)
    Canon EOS 1Dx + Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8 L IS Mk.II lens

Pictures Of The Week

Week 45, November 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. Where else for top spot this week than the largest aircraft flying in the world today? The behemoth An-225 "Mriya" is the only one of it's type flying, and is tasked to haul loads of sizes and or weights which would not be conceivable in more common and contemporary cargo aircraft. It's a rare enough thing in itself to see this mammoth of a machine grace the UK skies, but Gareth's angle of the giant is not one we've seen for some time - and shows to great effect it's original purpose; to shoulder the legendary Buran space shuttle carrying Soviet cosmonauts. Those that turned up to Doncaster Robin Hood Airport were given a rather rare treat of a fly-through from the mighty beast before it landed.

    Image © Gareth Horne
    Nikon D7100 + Nikkor 80-400mm lens

  2. To warmer climes, next, and Savvas was lucky enough to do an air-to-air shoot recently, and presented a great set of shots of Hellenic Air Force machines in their element. As an addition to the traditional celebration of the Hellenic Air Force Open Days held this time of year, a surprise media flight aboard Aegean Airlines' newest A320 with a mouth-watering escort was organised. Whilst not the most media-friendly in previous years, the Greeks have an impressive complement of aircraft at their disposal, as is shown by Savvas' fine study of the air arm's Mirage 2000 and their twin-stick F-16D looking meaty with its dorsal spine.

    Image © Savvas Savvaidis
    Nikon D300 + Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8 lens

  3. As first posts go on UKAR, Samuel's shot of Avro Vulcan XM655 is right up there with the best, with some truly unique use of an inconvenience which would ordinarily frustrate the hell out of the rest of us! Low temperatures caused condensation on his lenses and rather than wipe it off, Sam experimented with it still attached to the lens with exceptional results! As one of the final Vulcans in the UK kept in working order, XM655 is rightly cherished at Wellesbourne, and their night shoots are well-attended, and if Samuel's shots are anything to go by, the set-up appears well worth braving the cold for!

    Image © Samuel Comber
    Canon EOS 7D + Canon EF-S 15-85mm IS lens

  4. Keeping things Cold War-themed; POTW-regular Barrie has wowed us once again with another of his threads, this time from Bruntingthorpe. It's amazing that this is his first nightshoot, and again it was nigh-on impossible to decide which photo to choose for this week's entry with spot-on editing, colours, and composition throughout. We settled on LPG's rather immaculate EE Lightning XR713 in 111 Sqn colours.

    Image © Barrie May
    Canon EOS 7D + Canon 17-40mm f4 L lens

  5. Another POTW-regular features this week. Chris posted a rather poignant set from RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall recently, featuring the F-18s of VMFA-232. The tragic events which followed featuring one of their jets have been well-documented, but we were very taken by this excellent sunset shot of one of the local F-15Cs, in a thread full of excellent composures and variety.

    Image © Chris Heal
    Canon EOS 5D Mk.III + Canon EF 500mm f4 IS lens

  6. As the much-loved venerable Sea Kings are retired around the country, 771 Naval Air Squadron are the latest to shut down the queen of the skies for the last time. Sam was lucky enough to take part in one of their final sorties, and we quite liked this "office view" shot complemented with some rather stunning Cornish scenery to boot.

    Image © Sam Whitfield
    Nikon D7100 + Nikkor 18-105mm lens

  7. Rounding us off this week is Adam's quite splendid air-to-air shot of "Wildcat 1", one of Wildcat Aerobatics' Pitts S-2Bs, with the rather unique background of the Eden Project en-route to Culdrose's show. As Adam says, the cramped confines of a Pitts can be a bit difficult to photograph other aircraft from due to their lack of room - but he has compensated well, producing some shots he should be rather proud of.

    Image © Adam Duffield
    Canon EOS 7D Mk.II + Canon EF 24-105mm f4 L IS lens

Pictures Of The Week

Week 44, November 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. We start this week with POTW-regular Jon's shot from his recent trip to Lakenheath to catch the USMC Hornets and KC-130J stopping over on their way home from deployment. The sad loss of one of those Hornets and its pilot in the days after have been well documented. However, the thread itself is a myriad of excellent photography - and Jon made great use of slow shutter speed as a vehicle passed in front of the well-lit KC-130J to good effect. Jon says a number of people present with him at the time this shot was taken commented on the menacing look this gave the turbobrop tanker.

    Image © Jonathan Haylock
    Canon EOS 7D Mk.II + Canon EF 100-400mm L IS Mk.II lens

  2. They've been out and about throughout this airshow season, but it's the first time we've seen both of the RAF's 2015 Typhoon Display aircraft do an air-to-air shoot together before. Philippe added to his impressive portfolio to cover the immaculate pair together in splendid skies, with the aircraft flying as high as local airspace restrictions permitted. Here's to hoping the RAF continue with their positive trend of great special schemes into 2016.

    Image © Philippe Rey
    Nikon D800 + Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 lens

  3. The Bourne Park/Gazelle Squadron Nightshoot appeared to be a resounding success, hopefully paving the way for similar events to occur in the future. Despite being something you might not have ordinarily thought of, we were quite taken by the contrasting colours and black and white background of the much-loved PT-17 Kaydet. This beautifully painted bird entered US service in 1942, and, thanks to high quality restoration work, looks to have barely aged a day since!

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

  4. Pete produced a smorgasbord of images updating us on local happenings down in North Cornwall. As always, it was difficult to pick a favourite, but we had to settle with this shot of a 771 NAS Sea King HU5 on one of its final sorties before retirement on January 1st 2016. The image was taken at the RNLI Lifeboat Day at Port Isaac, where a demonstration was provided after attempts at previous days had been aborted due to poor weather. An undoubtedly fond farewell to the Ace of Clubs...

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

  5. Jayson's shot of this replica FW-190 is up next. Whilst not a true-scale replica - being about half-size - it's still a decent-looking machine, as most FW-190s are. Owned by Alan Bales, it forms part of his collection of home-built machines - including a Rans S6 and a Pitts S-1C. Alan's certainly a pilot to watch out for as he is intending to gain his display authorisation for the UK airshow circuit in the very near future.

    Image © Jayson Cork
    Nikon D600 + Nikkor 300mm f4 lens

  6. Tony managed well in grim conditions to bring us shots of Turkish Airlines' spectacularly-painted retro A330 on its first visit to Berlin Tegel this week. We think it's one of the prettiest retro schemes we've seen in recent years, and wonderfully reminiscent of the carrier's old DC-10 and 707 days. Tony took this from the airport's viewing terrace - very nicely done.

    Image © Tony Bradley
    Canon EOS 5D Mk.III + Canon EF 100-400mm L IS lens

  7. Last but by no means least, our own DanB features again this week, with the Shuttleworth Collection's rather gorgeous Sopwith Pup at the "Shuttleworth Uncovered" show earlier in the year. Be sure to check out the rest of his thread for some typically Butcher-esque compositions.

    Image © Dan Butcher
    Canon EOS 50D + Canon EF 100-400mm L IS lens