Over the years I have taken a lot of aircraft photographs. It really started as means to get accurate information for scale model projects, and I still take “detail pictures” whenever I have the opportunity. But I also take pictures that (I would like to think) are simply attractive to look at, if not for everybody then at least for those who like airplanes. Lately, I have been thinking about turning some of those pictures into books.
The question is, what would be good topics for airplane books mainly consisting of photographs. I am thinking “classic aircraft”… but what does that mean? Some of you are now thinking of P-51 Mustang, B-17 Fortress, etc., and sure, those are “classic”, no doubt. And while I have plenty of pictures of Mustangs and Fortresses, those topics are already covered quite well, just go to your local bookstore. Continue reading →
On Friday I was able to stop at the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum‘s “World War II Weekend” event at the Reading Regional Airport in Pennsylvania. This is a huge 3-day event that comprises of an airshow, re-enactments, talks by visiting veterans and other experts, etc. For the past several years I have had conflicting engagements that have prevented me from going to this event, and I had one this time too, but at least I was able to stop in Reading for a couple of hours when “passing through”.
For some time now I have been planning to build a scale model of the Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin helicopter, in 1/72nd scale (since all my models are in that scale). Given that I regularly spend time in Central Pennsylvania, I thought perhaps I could make the model to represent one of the Dauphins operated by the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, specifically their Life Lion Critical Care Transport unit. They operate three Dauphins.
I do this to “link” the photograph to relevant entities on the Web. Someone looking at the picture might now have their questions answered better (“What is PSA Airlines?”, for example, in the case of this image).
Last Saturday @kbosspotter alerted me that an An-124 was due at KPSM (Portsmouth, NH) later that day (thank you for that!). My youngest daughter and I drove there and were able to witness this huge aircraft arrive.
The specific aircraft in question is an An-124-100 Ruslan (UR-82029, c/n 19530502630) operated by Antonov Airlines, a subsidiary of the Antonov Design Bureau. It flew to NH from France, and later in the afternoon continued on to NC.
Despite having flown between US and Finland for a few decades now, up until last week I had never done that on Icelandair. Now I wonder why, since I discovered that the BOS-KEF-HEL route is certainly the most convenient way to get from New England to Finland. Draw a great circle route from Boston to Helsinki and it pretty much goes over Iceland.
Last April I reported about the beginning of the Presidential Election season, given that this is an exciting time for an airplane spotter here in NH, our state being very early in the primary calendar and always getting disproportionate attention from the presidential hopefuls. Now that the NH primary is well behind us it is time to see what kind of aircraft were spotted here.
A few days ago I wrote about what I would like to see in photo captions I find on the Web. Among other things, a caption should include the date on which the photo was taken. So, can you tell what this date is: 12/3/10? Americans would say that is December 3rd, 2010. Most Europeans would probably say March 12th, 2010 although I have seen people write like this and mean either March 10th, 2012 or October 3rd, 2012. Not helpful, is it…?
There are a lot of really nice photographs of aircraft one can find on the Internet. Not only do people create galleries of photographs, but you can find pictures by “following” individuals on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, or by joining specific Facebook groups.
What irritates me – and I am saying this because I tend to look at photographs as a form of historical record – is the lack of information about what all these photographs depict. I started So Many Aircraft as a means of providing and distributing reference information about aircraft, based on my own interest on building scale models. Collecting reference material for a model project often involves attempts to understand where and when a particular aircraft was used, and correlating multiple photographs found from different sources (as a model of an aircraft is like a snapshot of history). Against this, finding a (nice) photograph of, say, a Boeing 737 labeled “737 taking off from runway 17” is frustrating: Exactly what variant of 737 is this (I can see that it is a 737, but is it a -300, -7H4, or what?), what specific aircraft is this (what is its tail number and/or construction number?), where was this picture taken (runway 17 where?) and when?