Pictures Of The Week

Week 35, August 2016

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 our very own LN Strike Eagle's glorious low-angle composition of Peter Teichman's recently-repainted P-51D Mustang 'Tall In The Saddle' resting at her base of North Weald. Whilst it was a shame to lose 'Jumpin Jacques' from our skies, the aircraft’s new scheme is certainly a worthy replacement, especially considering the incredible level of effort put into ensuring an accurate portrayal. The airfield has become something of a central warbird hub in recent months, and we would strongly recommend a visit to any enthusiast when views like this are achievable!

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

  2. The iconic F-4 Phantom still soldiers on with numerous air arms around the globe, and even back home in the good ol' US of A, there remains an important role for one of the most-loved aircraft types of the jet age, albeit blowing them up as aerial targets! This stunning QF-4E, seen at Oshkosh, belongs to the 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron, but fortunately its a key part of the USAF Heritage Flight, so this one won't be getting exploded any time soon. Gordon's been part of the furniture on UKAR for many years now, but according to our records this image of Phantom and Old Glory marks his POTW debut and finely captures the patriotic spirit of American airshows.

    Image © Gordon Duncan
    Nikon D500 + Nikkor 200-500mm VR lens

  3. Not one, but two F-4s this week, this one a little closer to home. Saved from the scrap yard to perform gate guardian duties at RAF Leeming, ex-RAF Phantom FGR2 XT914 found it's way back home to Wattisham via RAF Brampton and after restoration into the dual markings of both 74 and 56 Squadrons (the last units to operate the F-4 at Wattisham in 1992), it's destined for the Wattisham Heritage Museum. Looking as good as new in Steve's low-down angle taken on a recent photoshoot at RAF Wattisham, it is highly appropriate to see the aircraft set against the backdrop of a Hardened Aircraft Shelter that would have seen many years of Phantom use itself from the 1970s through to the early 1990s. We can't work out why the F-4 ever had a reputation for being ugly though?

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

  4. You wait two years for a post and then two turn up at once! Having returned to UKAR just last week, Slawek Krajniewski earns himself a second POTW spot in as many weeks with another stunning thread of air-to-air images. This time it's Block 52+ F-16s that are the subjects, with a flight of four posing for the camera with endless variety. We've chosen one we feel has a real 'wow' factor - a potent fighter aircraft sharp and close to the camera with a further trio in a well-captured trail formation. Slawek has a style that is every bit as distinct as a John Dibbs or Jamie Hunter, and this is a thread unmistakably from the skilled eye of 'Hesja'.

    Image © Slawek Krajniewski

  5. The rest of this week’s shots take on a very welcome rotary theme. Alistair caught an extremely rare visitor to the islands of Malta this week - arriving on-board one of three military vessels that are currently conducting a world cruise, this Kawasaki SH-60K of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) was caught at Malta International Airport flying missed approaches. JMSDF SH-60s, which haven’t been seen in Maltese skies for a decade or so, provide a complete contrast to Malta's own small fleet of AW-139 helicopters which perform a similar role. Incidentally, the UK is on the itinerary, so keep your eyes peeled for this one arriving in British waters (and hopefully skies!) before the cruise comes to an end in early November.

    Image © Alistair Zammit

  6. Norwegian Sea Kings have always been amongst our favourites, with their distinctive white and day-glo orange paint making them stand out even amongst the varied palette of colours adorned by Sea Kings the world over. Due to be phased out over the next few years, they'll be replaced by the EH-101 Merlin and Rich Pittman, our man when it comes to capturing new military helicopters out and about, caught the first of Norway's Merlins over Judwin on a test flight ahead of delivery to its base. We're delighted to see the striking colours remain.

    Image © Rich Pittman
    Canon EOS 7D Mk.II + Canon EF 70-300mm L IS lens

  7. Through its employment as the new mount for the Royal Navy’s Black Cats, the AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat is beginning to become a more familiar sight across the country, though we don't recall ever seeing an image of an one down low in the Welsh valleys before. Whilst retaining the looks of the Lynx, the Wildcat is a lot more… functional than the original design and therefore it is refreshing to see POTW newcomer James' angle from which the aircraft looks quite stunning. His bravery with the slow shutter speed paid dividends too, showing plenty of movement in both the rotor blades and against the green hill sides.

    Image © James Long
    Nikon D7100 + Nikkor 200-500mm VR lens

Pictures Of The Week

Week 34, August 2016

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. He's back! Slawek "Hesja" Kranjniewski returns to POTW with a typically striking study of the Polish Air Force's fast jet assets soaring high above the clouds on an air-to-air assignment. Perhaps more amazing the the image itself, we discovered that this was Slawek's first posting to UKAR for two whole years! Firstly, where did that time go and secondly, please don't leave it that long again!

    Image © Slawek Krajniewski

  2. We remain in the air-to-air environment for this week's second shot - Kevin's fine study of RAF Typhoon FGR.4 ZK315, proudly wearing the 41(R) Test and Evaluation Squadron's distinctive red and white centenary markings, was captured over the North Sea from A330 Voyager 'Tartan 51'. For our money, this is probably the best of the special tails yet applied to an RAF Typhoon.

    Image © Kevin Daws

  3. Rather uniquely, Eastbourne Airshow has established a reputation for itself that draws people in from far and wide, even marked on the calendars of enthusiasts from the continent, thanks primarily to the unique and memorable photo opportunities presented by aircraft entering and exiting the display via Beachy Head. Sadly, having now been identified as a "secondary crowd" by the CAA, the majority of visiting aircraft this year gave the cliffs a wide-berth. Thankfully the much-loved Sea Vixen provided those gathered on the cliff tops the image they'd all been hoping for following an aborted display with what later transpired to be a season-ending flap failure. 'Foxy Lady' limped back to Yeovilton via the coastline and was one of very few items that was well within range for those that hadn't been deterred by the frustrations of the previous three days, Chris Heal included.

    Image © Chris Heal

  4. The ordinary and the extraordinary all in a single frame. Keith's image shows a typical scene of suburban America - a stereotypical neighbourhood with palm trees and SUVs dominating the foreground. Meanwhile in the background, the long exposure has captured the launch of a ULA (United Launch Alliance) Delta IV rocket from Cape Canaveral. The launch in the early hours of Friday 16th August was to deliver a pair of USAF Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program (GSSAP) spacecraft into orbit - to join an existing pair launched in 2014 - with the aim of detecting potential threats to US satellites.

    Image © Keith Draycott
    Canon EOS 6D + Canon EF 24-105mm f4 L IS lens

  5. It's been some seven years since this incident occurred, but we well remember the buzz around the forums it created when news first emerged that Victor K.2 "Teasin' Tina" had inadvertently left terra firma during one of the high-speed taxy runs at Bruntingthorpe's Cold War Jets Open Day. An "frozen" co-pilot had left the throttles open and, having momentarily removed his hands from the controls to close the throttles, Bob Prothero looked back to find himself in control of a flying Victor that was being swept rapidly away from the runway by a stiff crosswind. It only lasted a few seconds, but Keith Newsome happened to be located at the far end of the runway and got a front row seat as the V-Bomber leapt into the air and was slammed back down onto the grass.

    Image © Keith Newsome

  6. Some nice light, a clean backdrop and a pleasing low vantage point all combine to make Radleigh's very pleasing study of Yak-52 G-YAKI into a POTW-worthy image over and above the air-to-air photos also featured in his thread. It just goes to show how simple great aviation photography can be.

    Image © Radleigh Bushell

  7. We round out this week with Sean's shot of Randy Ball's MiG-17PF powering into the air at the "Thunder over Michigan" airshow. Adorned in Polish Air Force markings, the plume of flames from the afterburner certainly catches the eye, even if the 'Fresco' itself isn't quite the looker that other models from the Mikoyan-Gurevich design bureau can claim to be. Classic jet fans are well advised to give Sean's thread a few minutes of their time, as it also contains fine studies of the rather more attractive F-100 Super Sabre and an equally pleasing TA-4F Skyhawk.

    Image © Sean Kelly
    Canon EOS 6D + Canon EF 100-400mm L IS lens

Pictures Of The Week

Week 33, August 2016

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. An F-15 on finals. It's a familiar photo, but there's certainly nothing like painted like this at Lakenheath! This striking colour scheme has been applied to a jet from the 173rd Fighter Wing to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Oregon Air National Guard. What you can't see from Rod's shot, taken as it arrived at Hillsboro Airshow 2016, are the extra details - both the upper and lower wing surfaces have been given feathers to complete Bald Eagle the artwork that adorns the nose.

    Image © Rod McDonough

  2. UKAR's Polish photographers certainly know how to make the most of every opportunity and Karol's recent visit to the 23rd Tactical Air Base at Mińsk Mazowiecki is another fine reminder of that. A MiG-29 is seen here departing into the late afternoon sunlight with the afterburners fully engaged. Shot through copious amounts of "jelly air" and with the wingtip vortices adding extra interest, it's a great photograph to show the power and beauty of modern fighter aircraft.

    Image © Karol Kakietek

  3. The monstrous Martin Mars featured in last week's selection, and as per that caption, it provided a water bombing demonstration at the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. Step up Wallace Shackleton, who was also in attendance and captured that moment in all its glory.

    Image © Wallace Shackleton
    Canon EOS 1D X + Canon EF 100-400mm L IS lens

  4. Trevor Jago is the envy of all at UKAR towers, as his day job at North Weald Airfield regularly allows him supreme access to some of the rarest and most interesting classic aircraft in the UK, and from time to time, the continent. The Essex airfield is currently playing host to the Vampires of the Norwegian Historical Squadron and also taking up temporary residence from the same stable is the fabulous MiG-15UTI, seen here departing runway 02 in support of the Eastbourne airshow.

    Image © Trevor Jago

  5. We remain at North Weald, where UKAR Staffer Dan was also present to watch the various comings and goings in support of the airshows at both Eastbourne and Herne Bay. The Gnats were flying a pairs routine at the latter, and then flew again later in the afternoon on a local sortie. Ollie Wheeldon was at the controls of G-RORI for the second flight, and this cockpit close-up shows his aircraft as the final preparations were made before clearance to taxy was requested.

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

  6. Markus Schrader earns himself a POTW debut with this fine image of the specially marked Mirage 2000N that has been leading the Ramex Delta display this summer. Now consigned to history of course, following their final ever display at RIAT in July, the lead jet is seen here taxying in gorgeous light at the Belgian Air Force days earlier this summer.

    Image © Markus Schrader
    Canon EOS 7D + Canon EF 100-400mm L IS lens

  7. Topsides of the BBMF Lancaster are amongst the most elusive sights on the airshow circuit, recently unreliability and maintenance issues notwithstanding. Imagine Darrell's delight then, when he not only got that view, but he was looking down on the aircraft from above, perched as he was atop Eastbourne's Beachy Head with the turquoise sea providing the backdrop! The BBMF's very attractive Mk.IX Spitfire completes the picture.

    Image © Darrell Thompson

Pictures Of The Week

Week 32, August 2016

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. This is definitely a different shot to what you usually see of aerobatic teams. The Frecce are a favourite team for UK audiences, in no small part in recent years due to their exuberant commentator Andrea Soro, and are gladly welcomed to any show they attend. Sadly 2016 was his last season but we look forward to hearing what his replacement can bring to the team. Regardless, we know they'll put on a creative display in the sky filled with Italian flair.

    Image © Paul Robinson
    Canon EOS 7D + Canon EF 100-400mm L IS lens

  2. Now this is a touchy subject. The decision to move UK search and rescue duties from the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy to the private sector is an incredibly controversial one, and in our circles perhaps exacerbated by the retirement of the beloved Sea Kings from that role. However, it seems that Bristow have stepped up to the plate with aplomb with their modern S-92s, helped we're sure by the ex-military crews. Here we see it performed a search and rescue demo at Port Isaac.

    Image © Peter Mitrovitch

  3. G-HUEY has to be one of the country's rarest classic aircraft, a shame as the UH-1H has to be one of the most iconic helicopter designs in history. Pictured here at North Weald on one of its rare outings, it's great to see this machine out in the sun. This airframe is well known as being a "spoil of war" from the Falklands conflict.

    Image © Dan O'Hagan
    Canon EOS 20D + Canon EF 70-300mm IS lens

  4. A lot of people don't realise how small an aeroplane the Bf109 (or, in this case, the Hispano Buchon) really is. The size difference between these two infamous adversaries is apparent in Richard's photo. Standing in for "real" Bf109s, the Buchons have been stalwarts of the UK warbird scene for decades. We should hopefully be seeing another couple appearing in the next couple of years as they are being restored at Sywell!

    Image © Richard Davies
    Canon EOS 5Ds + Canon EF 5000mm L IS lens & Canon 1.4x TC

  5. Though not quite the size of the R101, in which's shed it has been rebuilt, the Hybrid Air Vehicles Airlander 10 is still the largest aircraft in the world by some measurements and was this month towed out of its hangar at Cardington Sheds. Looking magnificent if simultaneously bizarre, it certainly had a picturesque location in which to perform its maiden flight, which it did on the 17th of August. HAV have big plans for this big machine, and they're already making plans for an even larger version.

    Image © Alisdair Anderson

  6. Whilst we're on the subject of large aircraft...the Martin Mars is by far one of the biggest flying boats ever built and proved to be one of the highlights of this year's Oshkosh air show, performing a water bombing demonstration. Suffice to say it has quite the capacity! With only a handful still flying it's a rare type and to have such a large machine still flying is a real joy. The size of the cockpit compared to the huge hull shape really highlights how big this thing is!

    Image © Alex Edwards
    Canon EOS 60D + Sigma 50-500mm lens

  7. The Dornier Do-28 isn't an aeroplane many could call particularly dramatic, but Jayson caught something of an exciting shot of this unusual looking aircraft, taken at Northrepps Aerodrome. General aviation can be a difficult area to photograph well, but with a good eye for composition it can provide very interesting images of flight and aviation.

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