Pictures Of The Week

Week 22, May 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. Bartosz's close relationship with the Polish military has bagged him some brilliant photo sets over the years, but this particular set might be one of his finest ever - it certainly made our jaws hit the floor when we saw it posted. Without a doubt some of the finest images ever taken of the Polish Air Force's MiG-29s, Bartosz has upped the air-to-air game. Look at that light! Don't take our word for it - have a look at the whole thread...and then look at it again..and again...

    Image © Bartosz Bera

  2. One of the most important events in aviation occurred in May this year, when the first F-35s to travel east across the Atlantic landed in Europe, in the guise of two RNLAF F-35As which touched down at Leeuwarden AFB. They've come over to make noise checks for the surrounding area to make sure they're "quiet" enough to operate there, but it wasn't just locals that were gathered at the base to see them land, with people travelling from all over the continent to see the arrival. The F-35A certainly looks interesting from this angle, but there's no doubting the power of the machine!

    Image © 'Doordelens'

  3. Speaking of F-35s, here's a type that is set to be replaced by the B variant in the future. We miss Harriers oh-so-much here in the UK, so it's no surprise that people are willing to travel just to see them. UKAR staffer Sam went to Italy so see, among other things, the Marina Militare's AV-8Bs at Grottaglie Navy Base, and didn't leave disappointed as this photoset demonstrates. The hosts were kind enough to tow out an aircraft just for the group to photograph it in the sun - an impromptu photoshoot which benefited from some glorious Italian sunshine.

    Image © Sam Wise

  4. Infrequently seen on the UK airshow circuit, the UH-1H Iroquois (better known, of course, as the Huey) was one of the attendees at Duxford's May "American Air Show". Controversies surrounding the show aside, it was a cracking lineup of hardware from over the pond, and it was great to see what is probably the most iconic helicopter in the West strutting its stuff in the air.

    Image © Ian Winfield

  5. Strike Eagles might not be particularly exotic for those of us in UK, but its safe to say that not many will have seen Singaporean ones. Adorned with what must be one of the coolest roundels on the planet, these Eagles were taking part in the Royal Singaporean Air Force's Open House at Paya Lebar Air Base. The tiny nation is in fact a very recent operator of the Strike Eagle, selecting them in 2005 to replace their ageing A-4s. In fact, it's probably the most advanced Strike Eagle in the world!

    Image © Mark Rourke

  6. A rare visitor to these shores, this Russian Air Force An-30 takes part in the Treaty on Open Skies overflights which permit nations that have signed to fly over and conduct surveillance over other member nations, in the name of fostering peace and openness. Tom managed to catch it landing at Brize Norton during its visit here. It's always great to see old Soviet hardware like this on our shores - you just don't see noses like that any more!

    Image © Tom Gautier

  7. It's safe to say that this is a scheme that's divided opinions! The Luftwaffe have been brilliant in giving their Typhoons all-over special schemes like this to commemorate anniversaries and events, but some weren't quite sure about this one, which marks sixty years of the German Air Force, when it was revealed. We'll let you make up your own minds...

    Image © Mathias Grägel (GME-AirFoto)

Pictures Of The Week

Week 21, May 2016

Pictures of the Week
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Pictures of the Week Pictures of the Week Pictures of the Week Pictures of the Week

Clockwise from top left:

  1. NATO Tiger Meet schemes can range from a couple of painted pylons to entire jets covered in black and orange (or sometimes any other colour!) and this year's event at Zaragoza in Spain saw the whole gamut. Very much in the latter camp was this 31 squadron F-16MLU from Belgium - simple yet effective, it's everything a tiger scheme should be. The judges at the NTM agreed, awarding the jet the Silver Tiger award, the organisation's most prestigious prize.

    Image © Steven Harrison-Green

  2. RAF Marham recently hosted their first evening shoot, and despite the star of the show (the Granby Tornado) still being under repair the attendees were still keen to see the event go ahead. Reception was positive and Chris' set has shown the excellent opportunities available on the night, including shooting some night running aircraft. Some excellent processing produced this eerie shot of a type now in its twilight years.

    Image © Chris Heal

  3. We like photographs of aeroplanes at sunset, and we like photographs of MiG-29 Fulcrums. Any guesses why we chose this photo, then? Carlito grabbed some excellent shots of the type (and a Mi-2) during his trip to 23rd Tactical Air Base in Poland, in what looks like divine weather. Check out some of his experiments with filters at the end of his set too.

    Image © 'Carlito'

  4. South American aircraft feature infrequently on our forums, so when we get a set like this it's hard not to take notice. Marcelo has posted some great sets from the varied military of Brazil, and this shot from the 100 Years of Brazilian Naval Aviation is mouthwatering indeed! Brazil is one of the last remaining military operators of the 'Scooter', and still flies them off its aircraft carrier the NAe São Paulo.

    Image © Marcelo Lobo da Silva

  5. UKAR Staffer Andy recently went on an aviation tour round Italy, and one of the highlights was visiting the Guardia di Finanza, AKA the customs police, at Grottaglie air base with their pair of HH412s. Overall, the Italians were exemplary hosts, with the GdF even putting a helicopter in the air just for the tour group! The Guardia have been very busy in recent years, performing missions many times a week as part of the response to the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean.

    Image © Andy Evans

  6. La Ferté-Alais is a French heaven for warbird action, as well as some modern military goodness, and produces some favourable photography as well. Among the many stars of the show was this replica Yak-3UA, built around the year 200 in Texas but operated now in France. Keeping it very low on takeoff, this powerful "warbird" usually puts on a good show when it displays.

    Image © Martin Eames

  7. 2016 sees the 70th Anniversary of the de Havilland Canada Chipmunk, and Old Warden was host to an event put on especially for the venerable trainer. Nearly fifty of the type flew in to the Bedfordshire airfield to honour the occasion, but 19 operated from RAF Henlow, gathering there in the preceding days and arriving at Old Warden just before noon. This formation was the reason why, and what a magnificent tribute to a hugely popular and stalwart aircraft it was.

    Image © Ian Winfield

Pictures Of The Week

Week 20, May 2016

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Clockwise from top left:

  1. It seems like every photographer and their dog has been to Lakenheath this year. Some very sneaky visitors made the headlines and no one wanted to miss the chance to grab some shots of those elusive visitors - but we've also had some very fine images of the "home team" come out of it as a result. Stuart's Golden (light) Eagle is a smashing shot of one of our favourite jets - opinion was divided on the staff team but a certain aptly named member definitely preferred seeing these aircraft in recent months over their younger brothers...

    Image © Stuart Freer (Touchdown Aviation)

  2. ...but having said that, quite a few were drooling over the latter as well. It's fair to say the Raptor looks better from some angles than it does form others but this is one that you definitely don't want to see - not if you're in its bad books, anyway. With that very distinctive planform we also get to see it here with a pair of drop tanks, their roundness juxtaposing the angular form of the jet. While we were sad to see them go, we're definitely looking forward to seeing them return later in the year, accompanied by their stealthy cousins.

    Image © Jonathan Haylock

  3. Firefighting aircraft are infrequently seen, usually hanging around their bases near convenient sources of water, but visitors to France's most famous airshow at La Ferté Alais were lucky enough to catch this formation of two Sécurité Civile aircraft, the CL-415 and Conair Turbo Firecat. Rarely seen over here, their distinctive colour schemes work very well together and the pair of them look fantastic together in the air. The airshow audience must have certainly been appreciate of the hard and brave work the crews of these aircraft put in in their duties.

    Image © 'Doordelens'

  4. We'll never get tired of seeing F-5s, and we'll especially never get tired of seeing Patrouille Suisse F-5s against some of the most stunning backdrops to be had, in their twilight years of service. The Tiger has served Switzerland faithfully over the years, but airframe issues have seen some of the display team's jets being recycled into frontline service recently. This angle says it all for the Tiger - power and grace.

    Image © Philippe Rey

  5. So, so much has been made of the Shuttleworth Collection's opening show this year with regards to the photographic opportunities available. Anyone who attended even as recently as last year will know that the venue's unique characteristics could produce some of the most stunning warbird photography around, but this has been curtailed with the new CAA regs. Nevertheless, a smart photographer could still get some great shots there, demonstrated perfectly by Nick's awesome shot of Peter Teichman's P-40M.

    Image © Nick Collins

  6. When you think of Duxford, you think of warbirds, right? But on one of Brian's famous bimbles he was very lucky to catch this four-ship flight of Army Lynx AH.9s passing overhead - and was smart enough to compose them over this DHFS Griffin which was operating at the Duxford heliport. Perfect timing, for sure! While we've recently seen the departure from service of the Army's Mk7 Lynxes the Mk9s still have a good few years left in them before the Wildcat fully takes over.

    Image © Brian Marshall

  7. A photo that utterly speaks for itself. Very much a scene of yesteryear, we simply love catching these types of images in our Golden Oldies section. "Wrexham Mackem's" shot of this Harrier GR.3 take off from the 1986 RAF Church Fenton (as was!) show reminds us of what the RAF used to put on, and the sort of displays that were almost normal back then. Halcyon days.

    Image © 'Wrexham Mackem'

Pictures Of The Week

Week 19, May 2016

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Clockwise from top left:

  1. Towards the back-end of the last airshow season, it seemed the Vulcan spent as much time flying air-to-air photo sorties than it did displaying as VTST sought to build up a stock of images and video for posterity. On the day of the final public display at Old Warden, Ben Montgomery was one of the lucky ones waiting in a Cessna Skyvan to hook-up with the Vulcan as it made it's way back home to Doncaster having just performed for the sell-out Shuttleworth audience, and he certainly made the most of it with a thread of outstanding images in wonderful autumnal light.

    Image © Ben Montgomery
    Canon EOS 7D + Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8 L IS lens

  2. The HH-60 Pavehawks of the 56th Rescue Squadron don't seem to get as much attention as Lakenheath's noisier residents, but they're every bit as photogenic. John caught this example making a quick drop in at the Norwich & Norfolk helipad, allowing him to get up close and personal in a way that's very tricky to do at the unit's Suffolk base.

    Image © John Bilcliffe

  3. Speaking of Lakenheath, the F-22 Raptor deployment has certainly put a spotlight on the home of the 48th Fighter Wing. Another one of the many that has been lining the fence on a daily basis to catch a glimpse of these rare visitors was Rob Laker, who made the most of the variable weather conditions on his visit. We just loved the colours in this image.

    Image © Rob Laker

  4. An Indian Navy Sea Harrier FRS1 - we don't get too many of those posted on UKAR! David Jones has recently been out to India and despite the airlines conspiring to lose his luggage, and therefore his longer lens, he did manage to snap some pictures on a shorter focal length at the Indian Navy Museum in Goa. Amongst the extreme heat and dust, there are some real gems to be seen in his thread besides this 'SHar'.

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

  5. A rare catch for Peter, who travelled to Stansted to see the arrival of a VVIP-configured Turkmenistan Government EH-101 Merlin in the distinctive white and green livery. This is one of two airframes operated in this role, both manufactured of course by AgustaWestland down in Yeovil when they were photographed by UKAR members fresh out of the factory prior to delivery.

    Image © Peter H

  6. The Shuttleworth Collection's first display of the season has certainly sparked a big reaction on UKAR - draconian new airshow regulations have upset many loyal customers, with pilots even questioning the wisdom and merits of the very different airshows we're adjusting to post-Shoreham. 'Dr Cake' seemed to cope with the challenges better than most, and his set was just about as good as we saw from Old Warden on what proved to be a difficult day for those of us used to photographing Shuttleworth shows of old.

    Image © 'Dr Cake'
    Canon EOS 70D + Canon EF 400mm f2.8 L IS lens

  7. The Grumman F-11 Tiger is another jet we don't see much of, and this may in fact be the first one we've ever featured in POTW. Once the former aircraft of choice for the US Navy Blue Angels of course, the Tiger was a supersonic jet of the 1950s and 60s. This pristine example has recently been restored to static condition at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum, which is situated close to the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.

    Image © Dino van Doorn

Pictures Of The Week

Week 18, May 2016

Pictures of the Week
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Clockwise from top left:

  1. The decommissioning ceremony for the EA-6B Prowlers of VMAQT-1 'Banshees' took centre stage at the 2016 MCAS Cherry Point Airshow. Performing in the twilight show, this trio performed a number of formation flypasts in the last rays of the day before being retired from service, as the US Marine Corps begins to follow in the footsteps of the US Navy and another charismatic and much-loved type is gradually withdrawn from military service.

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

  2. The Gazelle Squadron are making a name for themselves as one of the most friendly and communicative stables in the UK at the moment - they already have several aircraft airworthy with more being restored all the time, and their own night shoots and hangar tours have gone down very well with the UKAR members that have attended. Seen here at Abingdon airshow's own floodlit photo shoot is XZ934, which wears the VIP colour scheme of 32 Squadron.

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

  3. Lloyd recently had the opportunity to work closely with the men and women of the 56th RQS at RAF Lakenheath during their Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) missions. Working in the low light conditions and battling the rain for the external shots, we rather liked this image of the illuminated cockpit, showing the pilots performing their final checks prior to the engine start.

    Image © Lloyd Horgan

  4. Similarly, Bartosz Bera has also been documenting the work of units conducting CSAR operations, on this occasion the 56th Air Base near Minsk Mazowiecki in Poland. As with Lloyd's thread, we've overlooked the air-to-air images and chosen to highlight the human side of the military training exercise, with a PZL W-3 Sokół pictured operating at low level whilst armed troops on the ground secure the landing zone.

    Image © Bartosz Bera

  5. Geoff's part of the furniture on UKAR now, and he's finally got around to editing some of his airshow photos from last summer. The Sopwith Snipe replica pictured here made it's debut last year at Shuttleworth's July evening air display, but on that occasion the sun had gone down by the time it flew and the twilight didn't really lend itself to photography. There were rather more favourable conditions for it's second Shuttleworth appearance in August, as Geoff ably demonstrates. The Snipe spent the winter hibernating in a Rolls Royce showroom in Essex, but we hope to see it up and about again soon as the airshow season gets underway again.

    Image © Geoff Stockle

  6. With all the attention last week on the F-22 Raptors that paid a visit to the Mach Loop, the Belgian F-16s that were operating in the low level areas on the same day were somewhat overlooked. For a veteran of the hills like Laurie, catching these Belgian 'Vipers' was probably more rewarding than the F-22s, because he's been after images like these for nearly a decade. Good things come to those who wait.

    Image © Laurie Hughes

  7. The latest Joint Warrior exercise in Scotland once again attracted it's fair share of interesting participants from both sides of the Atlantic. Paul's thread nicely illustrates the variety on offer, with a US Navy SH-60 Seahawk probably the pick of the bunch in terms of rarity, but P-3 Orions from several nations aren't to be sniffed at either. Here a Norwegian example is seen just seconds from touchdown, watched by a crowd of enthusiasts.

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