to my personal photography blog. I specialize in making unique and highly detailed photographs. Notice I said making and not taking. Yes I take photos but a lot of time and work is involved in pushing and punishing the pixels in my images to achieve the look I like.
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Entries in Aviation (59)
This huge MD-11 cargo plane leaves impressive vapor trails in the moist early morning air during its landing at Los Angeles International Airport. It was really interesting to see the various aircraft emerge from the fog surrounding the field and touch down while displaying such grace and power. The noise was deafening in some cases.
Kathy and I made plans to go to 3 car shows on Saturday. Unfortunately 2 had been cancelled. The remaining show was in Rialto and was excellent. On the way home we stopped at the Chino Planes of Fame Museum. This is a MiG-17 fighter designed in Russia. The NATO code name for the MiG-17 is Fresco. All Russian fighters were assigned NATO code names that started with a letter F. For example, the names for the MiG-15, 19 and 21 were Fagot, Farmer and Fishbed respectively. This example has been nicely restored, its bright red and black paint stood out beautifully when compared to the other aircraft in this hanger which were mainly silver or grey. American pilots that encountered the MiG-17 over Vietnam quickly learned that trying to turn with this nimble aircraft would most likely result in the MiG shooting them down. The solution was to fight in the vertical plane, using the American aircraft's superior thrust to accelerate away from the MiG and re-engage from a more advantageous position. In the 1960's, a few flyable examples of the MiG-17 were "obtained" by U.S. intelligence agencies and participated in mock combat against American pilots and aircraft to train them in methods of effectively overcoming the MiG's advantages in the skies over Vietnam. One valuable lesson they learned was that at speeds over 450 knots, the MiG's control stick would partially lock up. American pilots engaged by the MiG were instructed to accelerate to 500+ knots and evade. The MiG would be unable to follow.
On Memorial Day I'll pause to say thank you to the men and women who have served and are serving our country in a dangerous world, protecting our freedoms and keeping us safe. I also want to say thank you to their families who sacrifice so much for us.
These two Northrop aircraft at first glance look quite similar but only the white T-38 Talon saw service as a training aircraft and MiG simulator for our Aggressor squadrons based at Nellis AFB near Las Vegas, NV. The gray F-20 Tigershark was an aircraft without a home. Designed by Northrop at the "suggestion" of the US government, once complete it found no customers. Only three were ever built and this is the only surviving example.
I decided to take my neice Alexandra and her boyfriend Josh to San Diego for the weekend. We had a great time on the USS Midway aircraft carrier museum in San Diego harbor. I have been to the Midway a few times before, but this time we explored parts of the ship I had never seen including Pri-Fly and the Bridge.
I was sorry to hear the fireworks display in the bay went so badly this year. Nobody hurt but I understand all of the fireworks went off at once and the show was over in 12 seconds. Apparently about a thousand people had paid for viewing spots on the Midway's flight deck.
Pictured behind us in this fisheye / facebook style shot is an F4 Phantom II fighter / bomber which like all of the aircraft on the Midway has been wonderfully restored. A great day and a lot of fun.
I have read that even with the accute raw material shortages and rationing that went on during WWII, anything needed for the Manhattan project was was delivered on a silver platter. It was understood that if the United States failed to create a working atomic bomb before the Germans or the Japanese we would likely lose the war. Within the Manhattan project, nothing was given a higher priority than the special modifications that were needed to be made to standard B-29 bombers which would enable them to drop atomic weapons. For that reason these modifications were code named "Silverplate". Pictured here and preserved for history is the Enola Gay which dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima Japan, the effects of which probably killed between 90,000 and 166,000 people while helping to end WWII and probably saving 1 million American lives.