Thursday, August 26, 2010

Air2Air, meeting in the sky!

Combining two passions in one, is always a great thing. Photographing other aircraft from a flying camera-ship is probably what I enjoy doing most! During my recent 3 week stay in Belgium, I managed to do exactly that! Even better... on 3 different occasions!
Good Air to Air photography often involves flying close formation, which could be a potential dangerous thing if not properly briefed and trained. Flying formation with different types of aircraft which fly at different speeds, makes the whole thing even more challenging.
Air to Air with YAK52 above the English Channel
The first image of this YAK52 were made over the English Channel, from a single engine 4 seat Robin DR400-160 with my wife Djamila, at the controls. Ideally one wants to fly with a door removed or a window open for best results. The Robin unfortunately doesn't allow either of them. Still, I'm happy with the results!  

Air to Air with YAK52 above the English Channel
Sometimes you don't even want to be too close to the subject plane... The tip of Cap Gris Nez (Northeastern part of France) in the top right and the ferry on the left, add something to the story. Anybody familiar with the region knowns we are crossing the Channel.

Formation flight with Pitts Special S2B N51AF
On the next occasion we flew in close formation with a Pitts Special S2B. On the image above, both planes are only a few meters away from each other.

Formation with 2 SV4's near Duffel, Belgium
On the way back from the 2010 Schaffen fly-in, I made some shots of 2 Stampe SV-4's, also heading back to Kortrijk-Wevelgem airport. 
Formation with 2 SV4's near Duffel, Belgium
The last one using a 70-200 Nikkor lens, is a close-up image of one of the biplanes crew.

I would like to finish by giving you two of my favorite Air to Air photography links:

MaxAir2Air; great photography mostly done from a WW2 B25 bomber with the rear gun turret removed.
Eric Coeckelberghs : excellent work from a few different Belgian photographers using mainly a Short Skyvan

My own Air2Air gallery can be found here.

Last but not least, to all participating pilots; Djamila, Vincent, Lieven, Johan and Alain a big thank you!

Click that shutter,