This morning I spent a few hours with the fine folks out at Kelly Airpark. On this day was the Airpark’s Annual Pancake Breakfast & Fly-In.
Kelly Airpark is a private residential community situated between Denver and Colorado Springs, nestled in the rolling, pine covered hills of Elbert County.
The beautiful scenery of the small airstrip with its sod parking areas surrounded by homes with private hangars, was a welcome change to photographing aircraft on the apron of a local metro airport.
I have quite a few photos to sort through from this mornings event. I’ll make updates to this post as photos are processed.
Still going through my photo files from last Saturday’s Kelly Airpark Pancake Breakfast and Fly-In. It was such a welcome change to shoot photos of aircraft on a sod strip out in the countryside, rather than on the tarmac apron of a local metro airfield. Conditions I’ve been waiting on for a very long time.
I missed the Fly-In from previous years and am glad I was able to finally make this year’s event. Such a great place to shoot photos of local aircraft under a relaxed atmosphere, verses shooting around swarms of airshow attendees, baby strollers and orange safety cones!
Here’s my current images, updated as of: 24 JUL 14
Earlier this year, an incident occurred to one of my favorite local warbirds. On March 17, 2014 the Rocky Mountain Wing of the Commemorative Air Force’s TBM Avenger “309″ suffered a collapse of the left main landing gear while taxiing.
Immediately a request was made for donations to help get the TBM back into the air. An estimated $100,000 would be needed, of which only a small portion would be covered by insurance.
In an effort to drum up support and draw attention to the donation effort, and to do my part in helping to get “309″ back into the air, I elected to create a WW2 “warbond” inspired poster utilizing one of my recent images of TBM “309″.
This month I am proud to see my donation poster featured in the official Commemorative Air Force magazine, “The Dispatch”.
Wildfire season has once again reared its ugly head here in the Rockies. And with the fire season comes the fire tankers. KBJC is host to the fire bombers and their crews, with the bomber base set up at the North-Western edge of the airfield.
This year’s aircraft are a bit different than the usual mix of USAF C-130′s and Convair 580′s. This year the tanker base has a new guest-the BAe-146.
Neptune Aviation Services, Inc. of Missoula, Montana has two 146 tankers stationed at KBJC and one of those tankers holds special meaning to me personally. That aircraft would be Tanker 40.
Tanker 40 once flew with United Express livery, operating in the Air Wisconsin Fleet based out of Denver, Colorado. And I as a Line Mechanic at the time, worked on Tanker 40, or as she was known back then, aircraft “608″ (N608AW).
Some of the Air Wisconsin fleet of BAe-146′s met their end dismantled, copped up, and sold for scrap. It gives me pleasure to see “608″ or Tanker 40 as she’s known today, still in the air in her new roll as a fire bomber with Neptune Aviation.
Neptune Aviation Services BAe-146 Tanker 40 At KBJC
Walking around an airshow one Saturday morning a few years ago, I set up to take a shot of one of the aircraft on display, when suddenly this kid comes out of nowhere and jumps up on the aircraft’s left main landing gear.
I immediately lowered my camera and patiently waited for the kid to leave so I could recompose my shot. The little guy was so intent on peering into the cockpit of that plane, that I sat in amazement at all the different angles and approaches he tried, just to get a glimpse inside.
Then it dawned on me, that by waiting for him to leave, I might be missing a photo opportunity. With all these contorted positions he was taking, trying his hardest to get a peek inside, I found it interesting to watch. I picked up my camera and began shooting.
Back at home going through my photo files for the day, I stopped at the images I shot of that kid on the tire. The photos of his awkward, outstretched posture instantly reminded me of the art work of Norman Rockwell and his Saturday Evening Post magazine covers.
I decided to take my post-processing in that “Norman Rockwell” direction and titled the image…
“The Curiosity Of Flight”
The website Warbirdsnews.com recently took an interest in my replica WWII warbond posters, and decided to do a short interview about me and my photography work.
Click on the poster below to go to Warbirdsnews and the interview.
I enjoy taking my images and recreating WWII war bond posters and military related publications. Occasionally I’ll get the inspiration to recreate the opening scenes from an Army Air Corps or War Department training film.
Such is the case with an image of mine, of the B-17 “Movie Memphis Belle”. After watching actual WWII footage of the real B-17 “Memphis Belle”, I decided to take one of my recent images of the real Belle’s doppelganger, and recreate the opening scene from a WWII film covering the “Memphis Belle’s” missions in Europe.
Someone yesterday on Facebook commented to me….
“Beautiful shot of this very Classic Waco! Love all the shots of this bird that you’ve posted…”
Well, I just can’t get enough of this bird either, and keep scouring my RAW files looking over the images I shot of her. Those classic lines and aerodynamics just scream 1930′s & 40′s to me!
I hope to see her again soon at a future event, because I’m not quite done yet capturing this beauty!
Early morning at Love Field, a pilot climbs aboard his Curtiss JN-4D “Jenny”, in this image which I titled…
“Departing Love Field”
I have always admired the work of aviation artists who create oil paintings of WW2 aircraft. I think this love of that art oftentimes comes out in the processing of my work. As one person recently commented about my photography…
“I just love your work, at times the pictures look like old oil paintings and brings out the history!”
Here’s a recently edited photo, processed with those oil paintings in mind.
Up until 1939, the U.S. Army Air Corps utilized biplanes as their primary flightschool trainer. Cadets advanced through three phases of flight training: Primary, Basic and Advanced. In 1940 biplane trainers made way to the monoplane trainer built by Ryan aircraft and designated the PT-16.
Ryan’s design was such a sucess that the Air Corps ordered more of the trainers, an improved design over the original PT-16, and designated them PT-22s. At productions end, the Army had a fleet of 1,023 PT-22s training Air Corps cadet pilots in the basics of flight.
The PT-22 example you see here, was built in 1941 as S/N: 41-15425
AIRCRAFT BASIC SPECIFICATIONS
Engine: Kinner R-540 @ 160 hp
Maximum speed: 125 mph
Cruising speed: 100 mph
Range: 205 miles
Ceiling: 15,400 ft.
Span: 30 ft. 1 in.
Length: 22 ft. 7 1/2 in.
Height: 7 ft. 2 in.
Weight: 1,860 lbs. maximum