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2014 Pikes Peak Regional Air Show

On Saturday 9 AUG 2014, my day started at 0400 with a shower, shave, quick breakfast and out the door I go! The bulk of this summer Saturday consisted of crawling, kneeling and walking around yet another hot, dry airport ramp shooting images at this year’s Pikes Peak Regional Air Show!

Airshow gates opened promptly at 0800. I like to arrive early to these events and showed up around 0730. Arriving as early as possible, not only allows one to beat the crowd but also to take advantage of that small window of “good light”.

Unfortunately, arriving early to this event did no good- 0800 is 0800 to these event organizers! Once the starter pistol was raised in the air, and the start shot fired (just kidding, seemed like a race though) it was a mad dash of photogs and spectators as everyone went scattering to all corners of the ramp, rushing to be the first to get in a few shots of the aircraft before the others arrived.

A 0800 start time still provided a bit of decent light, but a clear blue, almost cloudless sky quickly let the sun shine down full bore on the field.

Here’s one shot I managed to capture, just about at the end of that window of “good light”.

Red Star Sunrise

 

I’m still going through photo files at the moment, sorting through the images shot that day. Updates to this posting will be made as images are processed. Here’s a couple shots to get things started!

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The majority of the fighters were lined up here at the back of the Hot Ramp, an area which I affectionately dubbed “Fighter Row”.

Fighter Row

 

The Other End Of Fighter Row

 

Warm sunlight basks the cockpit of the Stinson L-5 “Miss Stitch”.

Stinson L-5 "Miss Stitch"

 

P-40 Warhawk from the Pikes Peak Regional Air Show, with a Kodachrome/Vintage twist to the processing.

P-40 Warhawk WW2 Kodachrome

 

A6M “Zero” or  “Zeke” as it was called by our Allied forces.

Zero-4

 

A Hypnotizing spinner.

Hypnotizing Spinner-4

 

Cockpit of the P-40 Warhawk.

P-40 Cockpit

 

The Tuskegee Airmen P-51.

Tuskegee P-51

 

More photos being processed, check back often! And don’t forget, you can keep up with my work on Facebook. Just follow the link above!

NCAR RESEARCH AVIATION FACILITY OPEN HOUSE

On the morning of Saturday August the 2nd, I attended the National Center For Atmospheric Research (NCAR) aviation facility open house.

Currently NCAR and the National Science Foundation (NSF) are  conducting in-flight studies to understand summertime air quality along the Colorado Northern Front Range.

The aircraft NCAR and NSF are flying, are literal airborne laboratories equipped with remote sensors and air sampling instruments, sampling  Colorado’s air quality  at altitudes between 1,000 and 28,000 feet. Testing is being conducted between 16 July – 16 August 2014.

On this clear blue Saturday morning, NSF/NCAR had two aircraft present on the ramp- the C-130 “Snowflake” and a NASA P-3. I was able to briefly catch the P-3 as it fired up its engines and taxied out for an air sampling mission. The C-130 was parked on the apron for guests to admire, and within the hangar was the NSF’s Gulfstream V “H.I.A.P.E.R.”- which stands for: High performance Instrumented Airborne Platform for Environmental Research.

I hope to get a chance soon to head out in the evening and capture more images sometime before this research ends. In the meantime, here are some shots from Saturday morning…

P-3 Engine Start

NASA P-3-1

HIAPER Gulfstream V-1

NCAR C-130

Snowflake In The Sun

NCAR Open House

 

 

Thumbs Up For FiFi V2.0

One of my most popular images from last year’s Rocky Mountain Airshow, was a photo of the world’s only flying example of the B-29 Superfortress. I titled that image, “Thumbs Up For FiFi”.

This morning, while going through those RAW photo files, I stopped on this variation of that image from last year, and decided to process it as well. Here’s “FiFi” again, in all her glory….

“Thumbs Up For FiFi V2.0″

Thumbs Up For FiFi V2.0

Kelly Airpark Annual Pancake Breakfast & Fly-In

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.

Fleet Model 7 Framed

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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

Pietenpol Air Camper

VANS RV7A

On Approach

Make A Hole

Dawn On The Strip

Sunrise Fly-By

Pietenpol Air Camper

Fly-In Sunrise

1931 Fleet Model 7 On The Strip

 

July 2014 Edition: Commemorative Air Force magazine “The Dispatch”

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”.

July 2014 CAF Magazine The Dispatch

 

 

Neptune Aviation Services, Inc. Tanker 40

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 Tanker 40 Edited-3

Neptune Aviation Services BAe-146 Tanker 40 At KBJC

 

The Curiosity Of Flight

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 Curiosity Of Flight

Interview With Warbirdsnews.com

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.

B-24 Tail Gunner Position War Bond Poster

Memphis Belle Movie Intro

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.

-Memphis Belle-Movie Intro