Monday, June 20, 2011
Propeller times - La Ferte Alais 2011
I've an unwritten list of Aviation events I want to photograph one day... Earlier this year, I managed to tick off my top 3 US events; Airventure, Reno Air Races and Sun 'n Fun. Closer to home, the "Temps des Helices" (Propellor times) airshow was ticked off the bucket list last week!
Going back to 1970, every year on Whitsunday, an excellent antique aircraft flying display is held at La Ferte Alais airport.
The small grass runway 40km South of Paris is home of the Amicale Jean-Baptiste Salis aircraft collection. More than 70 flying vintage aircraft from the early 1900's Bleriot's XI, through World War I biplanes, WW II warbirds and Vietnam era aircraft.
The layout and setup of the airport is a photographers paradise. The public is facing North (sun in the back) along the flightline which is parallel to the runway. That way, all aircraft taking off, landing and taxing are relatively close to the spectators.
A high tree line on the opposite site of the runway keeps the background relatively clear of distractions. A common problem with a lot of other airshows around the world.
Before 1 p.m. (start of the airshow), one can tour the static aircraft parking. There are however low fences around them, making it at times a challenge to have clean shots. Concentrating on details like the Skyraider cockpit above or the P-51 Mustang wheel doors below, are the way to go!
Shooting from a low angle like this DC-3 Dakota image seems to also work well!
There was a large variety of aircraft, including this Vietnam veteran OV-10 Bronco which got a lot of attention!
Visitors could also buy tickets for short touring flights on either an Antonov AN-2 biplane or a WWII Junckers JU-52. It looks like it was a good experience for the couple above getting off the Junckers!
There were quite a few aircraft, like this Morane MS406 C1, which I had not seen flying before.
Overall the show is very well orchestrated. Aircraft from the same era, go out flying together, like these two Junckers JU-52 (actually the green one is a license built Casa 352L) and a Fieseler Storch.
I really enjoyed this years La Ferte Alais - Le Temps des Helices show and will likely be back the coming years...
Don't just take pictures, make pictures!,
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