Pictures Of The Week

Week 39, September 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 Rob and his fine composition of Spitfire TD314, taken from DeHavilland Dove VP981 as part of an Aero Legends flight in the Leeds countryside. TD314 is currently wearing the colours of her service with 234 Squadron at Bentwarters in 1945, and is a fine example of one of the last "high back" Spitfires produced from Castle Bromwich, before production switched to the sleeker "low back" design. The Dove is no less special, based at Coventry, and only returned to flight earlier this year. The combination of the two wonderful machines must have resulted in a wonderful day, and that shows from Rob's well-composed shot.

    Image © Rob Laker

  2. From historic fighters to modern mounts, in ths guise of this Finnish F-18C Hornet, taking part in the EART refuelling exercise, which ran parallel to Frisian Flag this year. Dries was lucky enough to travel aboard a French Air Force C-135 tanker, and produced this fine study of Finland's most potent fighter as it received fuel. The Hornets are growing a little long in the tooth in Finnish Air Force service, and in June this year, defence ministers announced plans to replace the fleet by 2030, with the Typhoon, Rafale, Gripen, Super Hornet and F-35 all under consideration, with the official bidding process to commence in 2017.

    Image © Dries Embrechts
    Nikon D750 + Nikkor 70-200mm f4 lens

  3. It's often the most sublime that works so well with aviation photography, and Piotr demonstrates the point perfectly. Taken at the recent Slovak International Air Fest held at Sliac, the team known as Očovskí Bačovia, and consist of 4 L-23 Super Blaník gliders, in a rather colourful smoke-enhanced display, and Piotr captured the poetic effect brilliantly.

    Image © Piotr Kostur

  4. The annual show at Malta took place, as ever, during the tail-end of the season, and once again featured participation of stellar quality. Paul covered the event well with some excellent compositions, but it was this moody shot of the NATO E-3 departing the show that really caught our eye. Becoming something of a running joke amongst enthusiasts, it's a wonder the NATO E-3 managed to attend at all, given it's current resume of cancelling soon after confirming attendance!

    Image © Paul Harvey

  5. Given that F-16s are due to arrive soon in Romania, it seems that time is running out for the venerable MiG-21, and with that in mind, we absolutely loved the composition of Peter's shot of a MiG-21UM LanceR B in all it's glory whilst temporarily based at Mihail Kogalniceanu whilst refurbishment and restructuring work goes on at Fetesti Air Base in anticipation of the arrival of the aforementioned F-16s.

    Image © Peter Terlouw
    Nikon D300s + Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f2.8 VRII lens

  6. As ever, Joint Warrior brings a smorgasbord of aircraft from a variety of different nations to Scotland each year to practice maritime operations. A truly exceptional participant currently visiting the UK is this CH-124 Sea King of the Canadian Navy. Liam captured the machine perfectly following its delivery flight to RAF Brize Norton. Being replaced by the CH-148 Cyclone, as is the case with many Sea Kings around the world; the Queen of the Skies edges closer to retirement, so it's great to see them back in the UK for perhaps a final time.

    Image © Liam Daniels

  7. Well, what more can we say about Rob's splendid thread? Chock full of a superb range of subjects in differing conditions, it looks like he's had far better luck than the rest of us recently! Despite the quality of the thread overall, this shot of a French Air Force Mirage 2000D on their brief visit to the UK (including a visit to the Mach Loop) was an instant winner. We love the way Rob has used the low lighting conditions to his advantage, and has shot the "Deux Mille" in a way that accentuates their attractive camouflage.

    Image © Rob Starling

Pictures Of The Week

Week 38, September 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 a shame that, given serviceability issues, many enthusiasts have not managed to catch 18 Sqn's Chinook display in her special scheme at shows this year, despite it being designated as the display mount. Such is the way of things. We're all the more obliged to Sam, then, for providing us with these truly wonderful shots of the machine holding prior to landing at RNAS Culdrose. The combination of great light, striking subject matter and a lovely background all combine to produce an easy pick for top spot this week. Who says Sammy Side-Ons can't produce great results?!

    Image © Sam Whitfield
    Nikon D7100 + Sigma 150-500mm lens

  2. On his trip to Russia recently, Sam managed to visit the little-known overhaul plant at Chernoe, near Moscow, which overhauls Mi-2s, An-2s and a smaller number of Mi-8s and Mi-17s. With almost free-reign of the multitude of stored and overhauled aircraft, Sam made good the opportunity, and produced some splendid shots of those most charismatic Russian machines.

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

  3. With an all-over special scheme that will go down in memory as being one of the RAF's best, or even one of the best seen on any Typhoon, enthusiasts have been spoiled at the number of shows Synchro75, the display featuring a pairs display of a BBMF Spitfire, and "GiNA", commemorating Flt Lt James Nicholson, and his Hurricane of 429 Sqn in the Battle of Britain. We've seen a great many shots of the machine this summer, but Kevin's might be one of the most unique. Looking almost like a toy as she arrived at Biggin Hill, the angle shows off the commemorative scheme in all its glory.

    Image © Kevin Wills

  4. The number of Bulgarian MiG-21s on strength with the Nation's air arm is dwindling, however, Graf Ignatievo Air Base still holds a most mouth-watering offering to enthusiasts, and such gems are illustrated by Anton's impeccable sunset-shot of a based MiG-21bis of the 1st Fighter Squadron, which reportedly holds six on strength. It was difficult to choose a favourite, but this clean and colourful shot was the winner, though anyone with a passing interest into charismatic Soviet-era machines is thoroughly recommended to click the image and peruse the whole thread; it's well-worth the time.

    Image © Anton Balakchiev

  5. We've featured plenty of Harry's shots in POTW in the past, but taking it up a notch this week is this wonderful air-to-air shot of this Harvard, sporting a rather splendid new RAF colour scheme. Painted as representing AJ481, part of the No. 154 Sqn originally based at RAF Fowlmere before being shipped to the Middle East in 1942. Additionally, sporting the nose art of "Wacky Wabbit", we're of the opinion that the machine looks far better in this guise than her old silver with yellow stripes training scheme, and as per, Harry captured the trainer perfectly on its ferry flight to Duxford.

    Image © Harry Measures

  6. The award for the most exotic aircraft passing through the UK this week must go to this ex-Portuguese Uruguayan CASA 212-300MP passing through Aberdeen on its way from Montijo Air Base in Portugal, via the US and on to Uruguay. The FAU (Uruguayan Air Force) only operates three of the machines, and this, plus another bolsters that total to five. Much like the Dutch sale of F-16s to Chile a few years back, it's a machine that's unlikely to ever touch down in Europe again.

    Image © Mike Riach

  7. We do love Phantoms. There's no better way to close this week's top seven than with this quite marvellous shot of a Japanese RF-4E where it's reported that the JASDF are trialling a new "maritime" scheme. It's wonderful that in Europe the worry over trialling new schemes will mean another shade of grey to add to the colourless chart, and yet on the other side of the world, the Japanese are trialling a new scheme that's just as vibrant as the current one worn by these Phantastic machines!

    Image © Mike Leonard

Pictures Of The Week

Week 37, September 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. A most rapturous start for this week's top seven, as Michael's shot demonstrates. As relations become cooler and cooler between the west and east, the USAF deploys it's most potent and formidable operational platform to Europe as part of a show of force. Whilst it's concerning to note how seriously the US is taking matters, it was great to see the menacing F-22 Raptor this side of the pond again. We particularly liked this shot for reasons obvious, however, it's always intriguing to see these stealthy machines with less than stealthy fuel tanks bolted on!

    Image © Michael Balter (MBAviationImages)
    Canon EOS 1D Mk.III + Canon EF 100-400mm L IS lens

  2. UKAR's own Mr. Butcher headed to sunny Shuttleworth at the beginning of this month for their most excellent pagent. Coming away with some splendid shots, it's sometimes the close, intimate crops full of detail which catch the eye the most, and Dan's shot of that most beautiful Avro Anson does just that. One of just two airworthy "Annies" in the UK, the Shuttleworth Collection's machine always has a tremendous amount of presence at the small Bedfordshire aerodrome. It's a shame we don't see this machine at other shows.

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

  3. Another centenery rolls by, and another RAF special tail is rolled out. This time it's Marham-based 31 Sqn "Goldstars", formed in mid-October 1915 and deployed almost immediately to Bombay, India. Interestingly, the Squadron has apparently spent just 12 years based in the UK out of it's century of existence. A quite remarkable feat. Luckily, the Squadron is in the UK at the moment, and Mark was on hand to catch some this, and a plethora of special-schemed machines at Marham in some quite splendid light.

    Image © Mark Ranger
    Nikon D7100

  4. Just as the Red Arrows celebrated their 50th anniversary last year, the much-loved Italian Frecce Tricolori celebrated their 55th birthday at Rivolto recently, and Kevin was lucky enough to attend. Whilst the Reds were conspicuos in their absence, numerous display teams enjoyed the celebrations, including the Saudi Hawks, who seem to have been a bit quite following their spate of European show attendances several years ago. However, one shot we really loved was a formation of Italian Air Force trainer aircraft, from the historic T-6 through to the most modern and indigenous M-346.

    Image © Kevin Martin

  5. Speaking of display teams, Jersey once again hosted the most excellent Jersey International Air Display, and once again some truly mouth-watering items were on show in some truly excellent weather conditions. One of Stu's shots from his impeccable thread that stood out to us was this wide capture of the Reds in their Big Battle formation with a warm sunset background. On a nice summer's evening with the RAFAT overhead, there are fewer places we would rather be.

    Image © Stuart Thurtle

  6. Long-time UKARian and most hallowed of bimblers, Brian once again brings us some excellent shots from IWM Duxford. Anyone with an interest in the place would have had to have been living under a rock not to know about the recent renovations to the American Air Museum at the site, which involved the tremendous exhibits being re-homed temporarily whilst work was carried out. Curious it is then, that we should choose a shot of the exhibits moving back into the hangar as one of this week's top seven, but the great angle and composure of the IWM's B-29 Superfortress could not be ignored.

    Image © Brian Marshall

  7. Once again, Andrezj features in this week's top seven, with his typically charismatic shot of the Frecce Tricolori performing at their aforementioned celebrations at Rivolto. Whilst his excellent thread is full of his infamous slow shutter-speed work, it was this vibrant and in-your-face shot of four of the team's MB-339s that caught our eye with great colours, and no wasted space, it's an excellent way to round off yet another top-quality week in pictures.

    Image © Andrzej Rogucki

Pictures Of The Week

Week 36, September 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. One of the stars of the UK warbird scene at the moment is Air Leasing Ltd's immaculate and recently-restored Seafire LFIII, and the machine's attendance at the Victory Show, held at Cosby, near Leicester made waves when photos of its display in golden sunlight appeared on our forums. Of course, leading the fore in truly exception shots of the machine was POTW-regular Barrie, and it's not difficult to understand why both subject matter and photography made it to top-spot this week.

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

  2. Ian was also in attendance at the Victory Show and himself came away with some pretty masterful shots, and captured B-17G Sally B in all her glory, with Peter Kuypers performing one of the best displays we've seen of her for some years. Trailing smoke in memory of those B-17s returning home after a battering, or not returning at all, it's been some time since we've seen such a pass as part of a topside in great weather, and credit to Ian for pulling it off perfectly.

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

  3. Marking three for three at Foxlands Farm, it's always great to see new faces on the forum, and Rob produced some fine shots from his record of the Victory Show. It was difficult to pick a favourite, but this punchy shot of Nick Grace flying the wonderful ML407 in a rather photogenic display (before teaming up with his Trig Team colleague Dave Puleston flying the Seafire) stood out, and we look forward to seeing more from Rob in the future.

    Image © Rob Williams
    Nikon D750 + Tamron 150-600mm lens

  4. Airwaves Portrush recently took place in Northern Ireland, and aside from a lot of mainland UK participants, it's great to see shots from Paul of some machines from the Emerald Isle doing what they do best such as this scenic shot of an Irish Coast Guard S-92, call sign Rescue117 normally operating out of Waterford. Being only one of five, it's a rare catch in its own right.

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

  5. UKAR's Peter Reoch braved an early morning to catch a very rare Slovakian Government Flying Service Tupolev Tu-154 at Birmingham this week. Peter caught the machine, of which just two are operated by the Flying Service, in a lucky break of light as it brought the Slovak PM to the Midlands to visit Jaguar following their announcement in August that they would build a manufacturing plant in western Slovakian town of Nitra.

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

  6. Given that AgustaWestland's manufacturing plant is in the UK building Merlins and Wildcats, it's great to see some of these machines in rather more exotic markings than we're used to. There's no finer example of this than Mark's fine study of this South Korean Wildcat. The first export customer of the new Wildcat, South Korea has ordered eight of the type to be delivered in 2015/2016 winning out, some might say unexpectedly, against the MH-60R. Reports in April this year have it that South Korea may be considering placing further orders for the type. With the variant also being considered by the Philippine Navy, and other air arms around the world looking to replace the venerable Lynx in coming years, eyes will be on South Korean deal as a measure for the export success of the new type.

    Image © Mark Stevens
    Nikon D300S + Nikon AFS 70-200mm f2.8 ED-VR lens

  7. Old but most certainly gold is the best way to finish this week's POTW. Carl was lucky enough to travel Eastern Europe in the 1990s, at a time when the Iron Curtain had fallen, and there was a hugely diverse range of both numbers and types of aircraft to be seen, including exercise Combine Rescue in 1995 betwen the USA and Hungary as part of the Partnership for Peace programme. The exercise, held at Szentkiralyszabadja, also gave Carl the opportunity to shoot the based Mi-24s, and we fell in love with this fine composition of the venerable Hind model. What amazing times they were for enthusiasts.

    Image © Carl Brent