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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Last Dauphin Photo Shoot

Last week I did — I hope — my last photo shoot for the upcoming book on Dauphin helicopters. Many thanks to Jarrett Lunn of Talon Helicopters (in CYVR) for facilitating this. This (C-GTLW, below) was the first Dauphin equipped with a hoist I have photographed, so I got some good new details to be added to the book.

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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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Beach City Baby Flies!

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Low pass past the hangar that will be her new home.

After almost three years of restoration work, “Beach City Baby”, a Douglas C-53 Skytrooper (41-20095, c/n 4865) flew for the first time in more than 20 years this past Saturday. Jason Capra, a captain for Republic Airways, and his band of volunteers completed the aircraft to a point where FAA could grant a “ferry permit”. This allowed the aircraft to be flown from Beach City, OH to her new home at Venango Regional Airport (KFKL) in Franklin, PA.

This aircraft was built in 1941 and was accepted by the US Army Air Corps in January 1942. She served with the Air Transportation Command in places like North Africa and Italy as a troop and VIP transport. After the war, the aircraft was sold to Danish Air Lines (later SAS); many European airlines were “jump started” after the war with surplus DC-3s. She returned back to the US, and from 1963 until 1983 served as the official transport of the Governor of Ohio. Eventually, she ended up in Beach City where she sat since 1992.

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What’s going on

I thought I’d write something about the current activities at So Many Aircraft. Summer is just about here and there will be air shows, so some serious photography is in our future. The plan is to visit at least the air shows in the New England area (Quonset and Westover) as well as various fly-ins. Also, visits to NH by the Collings Foundation aircraft as well as some other warbirds (e.g., “Fifi”) will be covered.

If at all possible, we plan to be in Beach City, OH (yep, no beach there and it is not a city) this summer when “Beach City Baby“, a C-53, will finally be flown to Washington, PA. Captain Jason Capra and his crew have done amazing work and the restoration is proceeding well; go visit their Web site to see what’s going on there.

On the publishing side, we are working on a Kindle version of the KMHT book. That should be available soon. Beyond that, the DC-3 book is still being worked on, and a book on Eurocopter Dauphin is being planned (and, we are interested in anyone who could arrange access to photograph these).

On the strictly bureaucratic side, the new EU privacy regulation (“GDPR”) came into effect, so we now have a privacy page. The blog has been updated as well, so if you are reading this within the EU, you should have seen some kind of notice).