Category: Aircraft Photography

The Phantom Celebrates another 100

The Phantom Celebrates another 100

This post is steeped in history.

It starts 100 years ago and comes together in 1943. My connection started unbeknown to me in 2010 and it all joins up in 2020.

Let me explain a little. I am talking about a WWII veteran born in 1920. He was part of a rookie crew that took delivery of a Lancaster Bomber, a quite famous ‘ton-up’ Lancaster. It flew 121 sorties. It was assigned to 100 Squadron.

Now in 2010 I took photo of the Lancaster with its Phantom nose art, and in 2013 I wrote a post about the Phantom of the Ruhr talking about that aircraft with an extract from BBMF’s website on it’s operational history and crew.

I’d taken many photos of the Lancaster, but loved this artwork and the processing of the photo. I thought the black and white really brought out its detail.

So, whizz on now to 2020 and I receive an email out the blue from a Flight Lieutenant Aicheler at RAF 100 Squadron enquiring about the photo.

It turns out that the daughter of the Rear Gunner, later Squadron Leader, Geoff Green, contacted RAF 100 Sqn, asking if they could request the use of the photo as a birthday card for her father’s 100th birthday.

I have to admit, it was a total surprise to get this email and after talking to Flt Lt Aicheler I was happy to help with the request.

The card was made with my image and the 100 Sqn badge and was given to him on his birthday by people from 100 Sqn

I received a letter from the Squadron with a copy of the card and squadron badges.

It’s nice when you can be involved in something like this, even in such a small way and the fact it involves one of my photos adding to a little bit is history is quite memorable.

You can read a little more here on the RAF website – Veteran Celebrates his own Century

A Garden Airshow

A Garden Airshow

It’s that time of the year again, and indeed that year again, when the Farnborough Airshow is on.

The last time I went to the airshow was 6 years ago, and once again, I didn’t manage to get to it this time either. However, as I live on the other side of ‘the hill’ to the airfield (its not actually as close as it sounds) was are lucky enough to get aircraft overhead when they are on holding patterns or arriving at the show.

This time though, we didn’t really see the Red Arrows or any of the jets overhead. Maybe this is due to the new rules on airshows and where aircraft go, or can display. The Red Arrows was only a flypast. We didn’t see the Lancaster either.

It didn’t however stop a Spitfire circling above, nor a Yak & Corsair.

So, my garden airshow this time was like this.

Sadly all the aircraft seemed to circled around us, not too close.

Until it decided it was time to head to do its display, and fly right overhead! With this shot, the colours are straight from the camera and caused by the lens, but its created an interesting shot.

Then, an aircraft I didn’t recognise but a quick look on the Airshow website told me it was a YAK 3

This was taken in duller conditions so I made the images black and white and a bit grainy. I think it worked well.

There was definitely less aircraft over the garden this year but still so lucky to see them anyway.

After the show had finished, I was settled back at the computer and heard something noisy and low, I trapped the camera and got this photo of the A380 heading home.

Last Flight of the Vulcan

Last Flight of the Vulcan

Anyone who follows the Vulcan would have known that today, sadly it was doing it’s final tour. The weather reflected the occasion, it was dull grey skies, no nice blue sky and clouds to be able to capture any final images of it against.

We had had a busy morning with photo shoots and just happened to pop outside when I was reminded that the Vulcan was due to fly over Farnborough in 30 minutes time!

So I grabbed the camera, told the kids and we headed off on the walk up to the top of the hill over looking farnborough airport.
Checking my watch as we were walking, it was getting close!
We were a minute or so away, I checked twitter, the feed told me it was on time, but not exactly what time! 100 yards from the edge of the hill, someone shouted, there it is! I ran the rest of the distance, with the Kids, pointing it out to them and raised the camera!

It was dull, the camera struggled to focus on the aircraft way in the distance. The initial photo wasn’t great

Ok, deep breath, check the camera setting again, raise it, re-locate the Vulcan in the view finder and shoot again!

Better, great shot of it as it waggles its giant wings in acknowledgment to everyone watching.
Now its along side and starting to move away.
Keep shooting…

Moving away now, it starts to flying into the distance and with it comes the relization that this is the last time you will see it flying. Keep shooting.

Even with the large lens this impressive graceful monster of an aircraft is now looking small. The tremendous exhust fumes and heat, now making it more difficult to focus on the aircrart.

The last image, shows the Vulcan disappearing into the distance, back into history again.

The flypast from first to last images was just 48 seconds!
Another great aircraft now heading for the museum. First Concorde, now the Vulcan.

Unlike Concorde I’m pleased to have photographed this aircraft on a few occasions, its first show at Farnborough and now fittingly its last flight over Farnborough. It was such a pull to airshows, its size was immense and only matched be its noise. For aircraft lovers and airshows enthusiasts it will be surely missed and I will miss seeing it too.

Farewell to the Vulcan…

I’ve given the photos a slight old look as I felt it fitted the occasion. You can view other photos of the Vulcan in my Aicraft galleries

Happy 20th Eurofighter

Happy 20th Eurofighter

Wow, I can’t believe the euro fighter Typhoon is 20 years old! Where has that time flown too!

Anyway to celebrate, here is one of my favourite photos that I’ve taken of it.

This was taken at Farnborough Airshow back in 2010

Happy Birthday Supermarine Spitfire!

Happy Birthday Supermarine Spitfire!

Yesterday was the Spitfire’s 78th Birthday.

I think whether you are into old aircraft or not, most people know the Spitfire and it just grabs your attention and you have to admire the men who fly it. Just it’s sound makes you stop and look up!

So many Happy returns!

Where Did August Go!?

Where Did August Go!?

Hmm, for the first time, I think, I’ve actually missed a month and have blogged anything. Strange thing is, I thought I had. July and August have been such busy months, that it not surprising.

So, just as a quick entry I thought I’d post a photo that I took at the BMRC Auto Historica event that we attended last Sunday. I knew there was going to be a low past from the BBMF, but I forgot to take my big lens!

As it happened, the Lancaster & Hurricane flew over so low, that I didnt need it. This shot was taken at 75mm.

A Low Flypast

The Dambusters

The Dambusters

I wanted to try and create an image to remember the Dambuster raid 70 years ago.

So, I searched my archives and combined a few images to create this.
Hopefully a fitting tribute to the Dambusters

Phantom of the Ruhr

Phantom of the Ruhr

I took this photo of the BBMF Lancaster PA474 at the Farnborough Airshow back in July 2010. I have produced a few versions of this which are used in mousemats and drinks coasters, but this is latest version, processed in black and white to bring out the details.

“PA474 presently wears the markings of the “Phantom of the Ruhr”, a Lancaster that flew 121 sorties (a so-called “ton-up” Lancaster). Originally assigned to 100 Squadron in June 1943, the original “Phantom” was transferred to 101 Squadron in November that year and finished the war as part of 550 Squadron at Ludford Magna. PA474 displays the markings of bombs for operations over Germany, ice-cream cones for operations over Italy and poppies when she releases poppies during exhibition flights.”
Source: Wikipedia

The Phantom of the Ruhr
“Lancaster Mk III EE139 was delivered fresh from the factory to 100 Sqn at Waltham on 31st May 1943. It was initially allocated the code letters ‘HW-A’, although it subsequently became ‘HW-R’.”

“The aircraft was allocated to a new 100 Sqn ‘sprog’ crew straight out of training: W.O Ron Clark (Pilot/Captain), Sgts Harold ‘Benny’ Bennett (Flt Eng), Jim Siddell (Nav), Doug Wheeler (Bomb Aimer), ‘Lish’ Easby (WOp), Les Simpson (Mid-upper Gunner) and Geoff Green (Rear Gunner).”

“The crew named the aircraft ‘Phantom of the Ruhr’. ‘Benny’ Bennett, the crew’s Flt Engineer, painted the ‘Reaper’ on the nose with its skeletal hands scattering bombs”
Source: BBMF
read more on the BBMF website

"Low Flying" Lanc!

"Low Flying" Lanc!

Another photo from ‘The Hill’ during the airshow.

Just Airborne
It was great to see the aircraft take off below us, and gradually bank round and come up over our heads.


The Lancaster and Spitfire pilot also obilged us with a direct over head pass when the finished there bit and where heading home.

Airshow from the Hill

Airshow from the Hill

I gave it a lot of thought, but decided that this time I would skip going to the airshow. This was partially to do with the weather, but also the cost. The ticket prices had gone up again.
So when a neighbour said they where walking to the otherside of the hill we live on, to watch if from there, I thought I’d join him.

It was great to see all the airfield below with some great cloud background. I thought I’d go for more scene and dramatic shots instead of the usual close aircraft images. This was mainly due to the fact the only aircraft that come low over the hill were the Red Arrows and Lancaster.

So here is hte first of the shots from Yesterday.
Airshow from the Hill

In Readiness for Farnborough

In Readiness for Farnborough

In readiness for the Farnborough Airshow, which is fast approaching, I thought I’d post a before and after of the Lancaster


This image was converted to HDR, then Topaz Adjust for Details, and finally Lightroom filters applied to give the colours.

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