Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Anthony’s Favourites 2014:part 1


Probably my favourite picture of the year: two Lancasters, British and Canadian, with their escorts approach Beachy Head at low level
I’m going to divide this year’s favourites into two parts:
1 will be aircraft
2 will be general photography

This year has seen a coincidence of several anniversaries with aviation links, as well as some new or visiting aircraft that I’ve not seen before. 2014 has seen the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, the 70th Anniversary of D-Day, as well as the 50th Anniversary of the Red Arrows. Not only that, but we’ve had a tour from the Canadian Heritage Museum Lancaster (giving us two in the air at once with the BBMF Lanc), as well as other significant aircraft such as a pair of Polish Fitters. There’s been a seeming rush of new replicas around too, such as a Travelair Mystery Ship, a Mew Gull and two BE2c aircraft.

The pictures here are all reasonably large files (1400px or 2000px on their longest side), so worth clicking on to view large.

I’m a big believer that with blog posts, in general, less is more, but, really, I find it hard to edit this selection down much further. So, there’s about 26 pictures – ten or so more than I’d originally meant to assemble. I’ve also not tried to duplicate too many aircraft types, but sometimes it just can't be helped :-)

On with the show!

To start with D Day commemorations at Duxford, end of May.




The D-Day anniversary brought out large numbers of aircraft with connections to the invasion. Multiple Dakotas (C47) appeared at various events, including these on the flight line at Duxford in May. That day, they commemorated the parachute jumps onto the continent, including this demonstration from the Parachute Regiment.  Duxford would be much diminished without Spitfires, so here is MH434 still low after take-off. Finally, the Duxford-based Wildcat made a very welcome return.

The return of Biggin Hill
I was delighted at the return of an air display at Biggin Hill for the first time in a few years. Unfortunately, the weather wasn't great, so I got few pictures that could stand out. But the Typhoon display with plenty of jelly air was great.

RIAT in July: really too many pictures, but what can you do?
 50th Anniversary fly past by the Red Arrows with representatives of 4 other team: the Breitling jets, the Patrouille de France, Patrouille Suisse and Frecce Tricolori.
 Spiral descent: Solo Turk F-16
 Polish Fitters
 Frecce Tricolori singleton
 US Navy FA-18
 Swedish Gripen turning in the rain on the Sunday morning
 Making its on clouds: A400M
 The Italian Airforce Tornado display was one of the best I've ever see from this type
I'd not seen the A-11 AMX before: this is an Italian aircraft
 The Textron AirLand E530 Scorpion N531TA was also new to me
 ... as was this P-8 Poseidon

And now - as they say - for something completely different: Headcorn

 I made several trips to Headcorn as usual, to hang out on the fence with Graham, Colin and Len: it is amazing the variety of types that come through. As an example, here is an Auster AOP6 WJ368.
In commemorating the outbreak of the First World War, there had been an attempt to re-create the first flights of the aircraft of the BEF to France. The weather was bad enough that it never happened as planned, but one of the BE2c aircraft made it to Headcorn. This record shot of it is a stitch of 4 overlapping pictures at 200mm f/4 to get a bokeh-pano to isolate the aircraft a little from its background.

Old Warden
 The Mystery ship

 A pair of Mew Gulls
 The DH88 Comet
Chilton DW1: this made a UKAR picture of the week

I made two trips to Old Warden to see displays put on by the Shuttleworth Collection, the second one with Martin. The restored Comet looked amazing!

I've blogged about the Shoreham Airshow previously, so I won't include any of those pictures here, but otherwise the Vulcan and Dragonfly in front of Lancing Chapel would certainly be here.

Finally, a couple of night shots.

I only made it along to one of the Northolt Nightshoots this year: this picture shows the Qinetiq Alpha and a Hawk T2. Best viewed large as it is a stitch of multiple overlapping shots: I'm showing it here at 2000px wide.
 Finally, the Spirit of Kent runs at the Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar. UKAR chose a different one from this set as a picture of the week, but I do like this picture. As with the previous, this is a multi-image stitch, so best viewed large (just click on it).

All in all, I've had great fun this year photographing aircraft. About 3 months to go before everything gets going again: can't wait!


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