Pictures Of The Week

Week 9, February 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. Many doubted at the beginning of the year that the 25th anniversary of Operation GRANBY would be commemorated at all by the RAF. How they were proven wrong by this wonderfully pink Tornado GR4, complete with sharkmouth and eyes. With the days of operational camouflage paintjobs seemingly behind us for good, Gill was "tickled pink" to capture this commemorative scheme returning to Lossiemouth. Sadly, it seems likely that it might not reach the airshow circuit this year due to cracks in the airframe, but we're keeping our fingers (and everything else) crossed!

    Image © Gill Howie (Squadron Prints Ltd)

  2. They don't come meaner-looking than the Apache! This close up look at that most capable of gunships in black and white really shows off how menacing the machine really is - it also emphasises the crew inside, without which, of course, it'd be useless. Neil may have been worried about how far back his lens would go, but with shots like this, we're not complaining.

    Image © Neil Darby

  3. We always look forward to The Skunk's photo threads and he hasn't let us down with this set from the Lightning Preservation Group's nightshoot at Bruntingthorpe. Lightnings always look great, but XR713's black-and-yellow scheme with the bare metal finish looks particularly good under the lights. The roundel picked out in the water's reflection is brilliantly composed.

    Image © Gary Beale

  4. The Germans really know what they're doing when it comes to painting up their jets, and TaktLwG 73 "Steinhoff"'s commemoration of their 10th anniversary of Typhoon operations is no exception. Wittmund's tall treeline provides an extremely photogenic background for this brightly lit fighter, and picks out the artistic design on the tail particularly well.

    Image © 'BigClick67'

  5. We love classic trijet airliners as it is, but Alisdair's shot of this 727-23 at Stansted really caught our eye. Formerly part of Donald Trump's fleet (no comment...) and retaining the same livery, this airframe is now operated as part of a VIP service with a rather luxurious interior. What we'd give for a flight on it...

    Image © Alisdair Anderson

  6. Long-exposure photography can be tricky to get right, but this dramatic skyscape over Bruntingthorpe's Buccaneers works for us. There's something very ghostly about the way Wallace has depicted these jets, giving a real sense of nostalgia. The composition makes the aeroplanes yearn to be in the sky once more.

    Image © Wallace Shackleton

  7. The C-2 Greyhound is a venerable old workhorse that is, perhaps, a little under-appreciated when placed on the same deck as Hornets and Intruders. Gary did it justice at NAF El Centro with this shot, however - hardly the most photogenic of aircraft, it nonetheless looks rather smashing on approach in this golden light. Appropriate, as 2016 sees the type's in-service golden jubilee, and though it is eventually to be replace by the V-22 for the COD mission, it still has a few years left under its belt.

    Image © Gary Stray

Pictures Of The Week

Week 8, February 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. Jordan is no stranger to the UK Airshow scene, but rarely (if ever) do we see some of the assets their military holds. 4Aviation's aviation tour to the country in November seems like one to have gone on judging by some of the shots that came out from it. This stunning photo of a Jordanian Air Force C-101 really got us going - trainers look so good in camo!

    Image © Arnold ten Pas

  2. Another photo from the same tour, and it's another cracker. Everyone loves Northrop's mighty F-5, but Jordan's bare-metal examples looks especially awesome - retro, almost. Seen here on approach, the interesting curves of the type are shown off to good effect. Suffice to say, this is one tour we'll be booking in the future!

    Image © Hans Antonissen

  3. Do Iron Maiden need any introduction? Famous for their larger tour aeroplanes, they've gone all out for their latest tour with a whopping great 747! And of course they painted it up as Ed Force One, seen here in Rob's brilliant "wide shot" of the traffic going into Fort Lauderdale, Miami (we do enjoy these snapshot images). Some may know that Bruce Dickinson flies their aircraft but not widely known is he also flies for the Great War Display Team - a marked difference in aircraft types, that's for sure...

    Image © Rob Starling

  4. We're missing the venerable workhorse already, so any and all photos of the Sea King in any of its guises are relished these days. What a cracker this photo is, depicting two stalwart institutions to whom many thousands have owed their lives over the decades. It's hard to imagine a better background for the Mk5 than a churned up sea. Long live the King.

    Image © Peter Mitrovitch

  5. More Sea Kings, this time from the other side of the channel. The church of Koksijde might just be a little older than the Sea King but, on this occasion, it plays second fiddle to this great looking scheme on this Belgian Air Force Mk.48. Recently boosted by an RAF HAR3 airframe for spares, Belgium's Sea Kings will last only a little longer than the UK's examples, being replaced very soon by NH-90s.

    Image © Wim Houquet

  6. It was difficult to decide on which picture to choose from Jeff's An-124 thread, as the access he had to the Volga-Dnepr giant was simply superb. We settled on this shot as the composition was fantastic, the taxi lines on the tarmac drawing the eye to the cargo aircraft's open hatch, highlighting the sheer size of the aeroplane.

    Image © Jeff Garrish

  7. This Super Tucano hails from Indonesia, a country which has operated the type for four years now. Malta has developed a well-deserved reputation as a spotters-paradise for the occasional rare or unusual gem, as wella s providing superb photographic qualities for them, and Alistair can surely confirm that after capturing this quartet of light attack and training aircraft.

    Image © Alistair Zammit

Pictures Of The Week

Week 7, February 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. A rather morbid start to this week's POTW, unfortunately. Simon provides us with an excellent shot of an occasion soon to be consigned to history. 848 Naval Air Squadron are scheduled to retire their venerable "Junglie" Sea King HC4s at the end of March, and true to excellent form, 848NAS provided a lucky few with a final opportunity to catch them operational and in their element, one last time. Due to be replaced by Merlins, the HC4s final few months marks the latest in a swathe of retirements across the UK Sea King force, with the RAF HAR3s and the Royal Navy HU5s already out for the count. When the green "Junglies" leave us, it will just be the rarely seen ASaC7s left for a few more years until their replacement comes online.

    Image © Simon Galloway

  2. A very interesting catch from Wes features up next. Oakland Aviation Museum's Short Solent flying boat traces its lineage back to the Short Sunderland, and is one of only two surviving machines in the world, the second being in Australia. This particular Solent, a Mk.III version, was owned by Howard Hughes, and even has a minor film role featuring in Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark!

    Image © Westleigh Bushell

  3. Making a couple of trips to and from Stansted recently, Tony caught the ultra-rare Jordanian Il-76MF recently. The "MF" version of the venerable Il-76 is a stretched version, with a 6.6m longer fuselage, and more powerful engines, was never built as a series, and was just built for Jordan. We've got to say, we really like the look of these stretched Candids!

    Image © 'Bestlasham'

  4. Rob produced a great set from Eindhoven recently. In particular, we were taken with this composition of this Ukranian An-12BP. The "BP" variants are fitted with improved navigation and communications suites, and have extra fuel capacity and larger cargo doors, which make them ideal for civilian freight and operation, which is what we see here. Note how effective it is to get some sky between the nose (and indeed, the fuselage!) and the ground for a better-composed shot.

    Image © Rob Hendriks

  5. We featured some of Nick's shots from the Plain recently, but we couldn't go without featuring them again, especially given that he posted this lovely raspberry ripple-schemed ETPS Gazelle this time around! It's a shame that there aren't as many raspberry ripple aircraft around these days, and sadly we have to take what comes, but ETPS/QinetiQ still operate the old Gazelles perform a wide variety of duties, including engine-off landings and auto-rotations in the hands of experienced instructor pilots.

    Image © Nick Thompson

  6. Pete posted a pretty cool set recently, featuring this AW119KE Koala, which was restored and painted by Castle Air into this rather, erm, unique, two-tone colour scheme at the back end of 2015. AW119s being rather rare themselves, it's great to see the machine out and about in the five-seat VIP fit out and about in the UK.

    Image © Pete Brown

  7. We finish with a true goldie this week, in the shame of these Boeing CH-46D Sea Knights, or "Phrogs" as they were affectionately known as by the United States Marine Corps. The Phrogs led an illustrious service life with the USMC, and were only retired in August 2015, as they were replaced gradually by MV-22s. Indeed, the Phrogs were retired from squadron service in April 2015, with (now) VMM-164, which were the first USMC squadron operating the type, being the last ones to relinquish the proven and battle-worn machines.

    Image © Trevor Carpenter

Pictures Of The Week

Week 6, February 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. Our great friend Bartek sets the ball rolling this week, and good god, what a way to do it! Taken at Miroslawiec, Bartek pulled off more than your average nightshot of this Inowroclaw-based Mi-24W Hind of the Polish Army. With full-disk rotors, and excellent atmosphere provided by the lights of a passing vehicle, what's not to like? No further words from us can do the photo justice, but do check out the rest of his excellent thread for some great stuff of machines rarely seen in the UK.

    Image © Bartosz Bera

  2. Phantoms are fast becoming a dying breed across the world, and in Europe, only Turkey and Greece are left flying the mighty "'Toom". Taken at Anatolian Eagle last year, Andy provided us with a stellar set of shots, but we loved this one of a Turkish Phantom. It's an iconic shot of the mighty beast, and has a large amount of presence as it thunders along Konya's runway. for those looking to see this kind of thing again, Anatolian Eagle is back this year from 30th May - 10th June.

    Image © Andy Kenyon

  3. Once again, Peter features in POTW, with an angle of an F-16 we've not seen for some time. Continuing his excellent posts from the USA, this shot has everything you'd want from a trip out there; excellent subject matter, lit burners, plenty of detail and sharp as a pin! Great stuff, once again, Peter. We always look forward to more.

    Image © Peter Steehouwer

  4. Speaking of POTW-regulars, we feature Chris once again this week, with another sensational thread from Lakenheath taken at the start of this year. The guy makes it bloody difficult for us to actually pick a favourite from his smorgasbord of action, but in the end, we settled for this superb composition of a head-on F-15E, with another caught perfectly between his tails. He makes it look easy, but don't be fooled by Chris' expertise though - some people wait years for this kind of shot!

    Image © Chris Heal

  5. Another POTW-regular, and another Chris this time! We've loved seeing Chris' threads from Germany recently, and this one is no exception. Jever Air Base in Germany has had a very long and illustrious relationship with Luftwaffe Tornados, and we loved this special scheme. Take note, RAF, that's how you paint a Tornado!

    Image © BigClick

  6. Providing us with some sterling coverage from Greece, Savvas is featured this week, for his stunning composition of this Hellenic AF F-4 Phantom. Like the Turk F-4 featured this week, Greece are still operating the mighty machines despite their age, and we're obliged to Savvas for providing us with such an excellent thread.

    Image © Savvas Savvaidis

  7. Finally this week, Rich once again features, this time with rarely-seen Spanish Air Force SF-5 trainers of Ala 23 at Talavera. They were an absolute storm with enthusiasts at RIAT in 2015, and we loved seeing them again in Rich's thread. It goes to show that there is still plenty of variety and indeed rarity on the continent, and given the imminent retirement of the Swiss examples, the Spaniards will be the sole operators of the type in Europe.

    Image © Rich Pittman