Focusing on Scale Models

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am starting to focus more on scale model building. This was the original goal of So Many Aircraft anyway. To that end, I will start blogging about ongoing model projects, of which I have many (my so-called “shelf of doom” is full of projects many of which are close to being finished). Some of the ongoing ones, very close to completion, are:

  • Focke-Wulf Fw 190F-8 (“Q9+AB”, W.Nr. 931666) – Hasegawa 1/72nd scale kit with a new (earlier style) canopy from Squadron, decals from Authentic Decals. The particular aircraft served with I/SG 5 and was seen at Utti in Finland in August 1944.
  • Göppingen Gö 9 (“D-EBYW”) – AML 1/72nd scale kit. This was a testbed for trying out new aerodynamics for the Dornier Do 335 -fighter.
Finnish Air Force Messerschmitt Bf 109G-2, Fine Molds’ 1/72nd scale kit

You will start seeing more blog posts about my ongoing projects.

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2020 in retrospect, and current plans

Callsign “PACK91” departs KMHT on 2020-09-17: Boeing KC-46A (17-46034, c/n 34114) of 157th Air Refueling Wing, NH ANG, temporarily stationed in Manchester

Last year ended up being very slow as far as aviation photography goes. I took practically no photographs (approx. 1,500 compared to about 10,000 on a “normal” year). The highlights ended up being the re-opening of the Aviation Museum of NH (with a fly-by and visit of a DC-3) and the runway work at Pease (which forced the KC-46s to be parked at KMHT for a while). I also managed to work on a book about Dauphin helicopters, that should be read soon (I hope). But, unlike four years ago, I did not catch all that many aircraft carrying presidential candidates.

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Virtually around the world

The aircraft used in the simulated flights

The Aviation Museum of New Hampshire decided this spring to organize a virtual flight around the world, using their flight simulator. When the museum had to close due to the coronavirus pandemic it was decided that an online resource such as the virtual flight would nicely fulfill the museum’s educational mission. So Many Aircraft assisted the museum in producing the Web site for this program, using our own site generation tools.

Low pass over the airport

The aircraft chosen for this mission was a Douglas C-47, the military version of the classic DC-3 airliner. As the mission progressed, the museum was able to attract more and more sponsors, the logos of which then adorned the aircraft.

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Dauphin book nearing completion

For quite some time I have been working on a book on the AS.365 Dauphin II helicopters. The goal is to produce a book that can serve as a visual reference to folks building scale models. I also hope other helicopter enthusiasts will find the book attractive.

I am now nearing the completion of the book. The photograph selection is done; the book will have both overview photos as well as detail pictures. In addition, the book will have 1/72nd scale plans as well as color profiles, and I am (more or less) done with those as well. The only thing still missing is the completion of my own scale model project, as the book will have a chapter discussing modeling aspects of the Dauphin.

The form factor of the book will be the same as our first book (available on Amazon).

Dauphin book cover
Draft cover of the book

Hurricane Hunters Visit

Two hurricane-hunting aircraft visited the Quonset State Airport (KOQU; North Kingstown, RI) yesterday:

  • Lockheed WP-3D Orion (N42RC; c/n 285A-5622) of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and
  • Lockheed WC-130J Hercules (97-5304, c/n 382-5474) of 53rd WRS, 403rd Wing, AF Reserve.

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WP-3D Orion

The aircraft were part of NOAA’s “Hurricane Awareness Tour” aiming to “raise awareness of the impacts from tropical cyclones threats and the danger of being caught without a personal hurricane plan.” The Orion is one of two such aircraft operated by NOAA, based in Lakeland, Florida and equipped to do data collection to supplant data from ground-based radars as well as from satellites. Similarly, the Hercules collects weather data from storms and other adverse weather phenomena; this aircraft is based in Keesler AFB, Mississippi.

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Experimenting with Image Blending

ERJ 170 vapor MHTI am generally very much opposed to deceptive image manipulation and consider it “altering history”. On So Many Aircraft, photographs are considered a historical record, thus editing has to be limited to minimal corrections of the original photograph (straightening the horizon, fixing exposure, etc.). See this blog post on more information about the importance of accurate captioning of photographs.

That said, I recently decided to see if I could learn some more advanced editing techniques. Since I use the Adobe Creative Cloud tools, it was time take my skills with Adobe Photoshop CC to the next level. I actually fairly seldom use Photoshop, since I find that the kind of editing I need can all be done with Adobe Lightroom Classic CC.

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Hawaiian Airlines now flies to Boston

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Together with some other spotters I witnessed the arrival and departure of Hawaiian Airlines’ new Honolulu-Boston-Honolulu route on 2019-04-05. The flight arrived 5:38 am, before sunrise, and pushed back from the gate at 8:09 am. In between, representatives of the airline gave us nice leis and some Hawaiian Airline swag.

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Aircraft in Serengeti

This time we bring you some interesting aircraft photographs taken by my sister, Dr. Pilvi Lassila. She is a veterinarian who frequently travels to exotic locations, and on her recent visit to Tanzania she managed to capture some images of aircraft operating at the Serengeti National Park.

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Regional Air -operated Cessna 208B Grand Caravan (5H-REG, c/n 208B0443) at the Kogatende Airstrip.

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