Catching up! Part 2

17th August 2014
I've spent a lot of time pointing the lens at aircraft over the last few months with a few base visits,trips to the low level training area and of course a few airshows. First port of call was RAF Lakenheath, I'd heard they were going on to night time training flights for a week so it was a good chance to get a few more low light/night images.
Arriving mid afternoon I managed to capture a few shots of the first F15e flights going out.

An F15e crew doing some final checks before taxing out onto the runway.

The loud end of the Eagle.

F15s taxing from the last chance stand onto the runway,always good for a few head on shots.

A few hours later they came back in.

I took this shot of one them on finales and didn't even realise the moon was in shot until I got home and looked at them on the PC.. :)

An hour or so later a few of the C model F15s that I'd missed taking off came back in.

Hours passed and the base seemed very quiet, I was thinking of heading home as it was getting late but as I was walking to my car I heard a few jets starting to spool up. By now it was dark and it's never easy getting night shots and especially tricky with long exposures using a 600mm lens but this is what I came for.

The Last chance stand, an area where all the jets line up and get a final check over before take off..

Sometimes when it gets a bit full in the last chance the ones that have already got the all clear taxi over to the other side of the runway and wait for the others to finish their checks before all taking off together. This gives you the opportunity to get some close shots.

It was all a bit frantic to be honest and I never really got the shots I wanted, next time I'll try a few different angles to see if I can get some better images.
After Lakenheath I went over to RAF Fairford to photograph some very rare visitors to these shores, rumours were rife that there was a deployment of B52 and B2 Stealth bombers coming over for a 2 week exercise. I only had 2 Fridays to get some images due to work commitments. The first Friday visit was a waste of time as the arrival date had changed and the following Friday although I photographed one of the B2s the B52s were not flying :( and after seeing some of the images friends had got during the week I was gutted.Oh well, you can't win them all and at least I saw the B2.

A few shots of the awesome B2 Stealth Bomber.

A few flight shots.

Between base visits I headed for the hills, first trip was to catch a couple of French Air force Mirages that were dropping into RAF Valley. The planes were about to be retired so the French decided to have a little jolly with a few UK base visits and thankfully a bit of low level flying on route to Valley. I opted for a spot in the loop which isn't great light wise, especially for their estimated time of arrival but I didn't want to run the of risk missing them. Although the light was harsh and in the wrong direction when they turned up, I'd made the right decision as they didn't do a full circuit of the loop and lots of people missed out.

FAF Mirage.

Pleased I had managed to capture the French the next trip was to capture the Americans, Fridays are a bit hit and miss in the loop. It can either be busy or very quiet the latter being the norm. I made my way to Corris on what was a beautiful morning and it was long before a few RAF Typhoons came through.

A great start to the morning and with the Americans on the scanner, Roar flight, a 2 ship of F15e Strike Eagles, it was only going to get better..

This is the first F15 of Roar flight and the lead aircraft, call sign Roar one one.

The second part of Roar flight, the wingman call sign Roar one two.

Then I had a few RAF Tornado GR4s turn up, this turned out to be a great Friday in the Loop.

Now on to the airshows, I've been to a few at the time of writing this but I'll just put up the first one I attended which was the Duxford D Day event. I went on both days of the show but the weather was awful for the first day with strong winds and rain although it did give some dramatic backdrops to a few of the images.

Grumman Wildcat FM2

Messerscmitt BF109 Bouchon

The following day was much better and as usual Duxford put on a great show..

B17 Flying Fortress


P51 Mustang and Supermarine Spitfire

Supermarine Spitfire

Messerscmitt BF109 Bouchon


Supermarine Spitfire BBMF

Supermarine Spitfire BBMF

That's it for now so once again, thanks for looking.