Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Pic(k) of the week 35: STAMPE SV-4B ( V42 / OO-WIL ) AT SCHAFFEN FLY-IN

It's no secret that most expats try and escape most of the hot and humid summer weather in Dubai. This year I was lucky enough to have three breaks between June and early September; top season in Europe and the US for airshow photography. I'm actually just back from a great warbird airshow near Los Angeles, called "Wings over Camarillo". Time permitting, I might blog about the event, but meanwhile be sure to check out the gallery link here.  

While airshows are normally quite popular with the general public, aircraft Fly-ins are often less popular. A Fly-in is an aviation event where a number of aircraft are being flown to a certain airport (sometimes very small) for the day (or weekend). While the pilots hang out together and talk about each others flying machines, the public is almost always welcome as well, most of the time for free. A great way to discover the joy of aviation and meet some interesting people!

My home country is one of Europe's smallest countries, but over the years has developed the tradition of having weekly fly-ins all over the country almost on a weekly basis; starting early July and often going till at east mid September.

Belgians largest fly-in is the International Oldtimer fly and drive-in at Schaffen-Diest , east of Brussels. The 35th edition of the event this year was held during the weekend of 11-12 August in near perfect weather! As the name implies it mainly concentrates on attracting old vintage aircraft; a perfect opportunity to fly our 64 year old Piper Super Cub to Schaffen for the event! The "Drive-in" part, is all about a large number of Oldtimer cars that show up on both days; a great way of attracting more people and after all both vintage car and airplane owners seem to be thinking largely along the same lines! 

Back to the Pic(k) of the week; one of the many aircraft that was there was a Stampe SV-4B biplane built in 1952; registered OO-WIL (OO- stands for all Belgian registered aircraft) the aircraft is part of Belgians Aviation heritage.

First flying for the Belgian Airforce as a primary training aircraft (registration V-42) based at Wevelgem it eventually became a civil aircraft and remained for a large part of its history at both Wevelgem and Moorsele; the two airfields where I did pretty much all of my training as a pilot and still do all of recreational flying. As I know the aircraft since I started taking my first steps in the early seventies, it is needless to say that she is close to my heart! 

Since 2008, she's in great hands and is co-owned by my aircraft mechanic, Raymond Cuypers (RAR) and Inge Daems.

When I saw the aircraft sitting in the beautiful sunset light at Schaffen the other day, I spend a few minutes thinking what she must have gone through in those 66 years... after a bit of day-dreaming I eventually clicked the shutter! 

Image details:
  • Fujifilm XF10
  • ISO 3200, f16, 1/320s
  • RAW development in Lightroom CC
I'm often asked how to best shoot a sun star burst; well it is actually very easy; start with selecting a small aperture (large number, f16 here) and position yourself where the sun just sits on a hard edge; in this case the nose section of the aircraft. It is defentively something that is much easier to do on a mirrorless camera compared to an old fashioned DSLR, as one sees the resulting image before the shutter is pressed.

The review of the ultra compact camera (Fujifilm XF10) the image above was shot with, can be found here.

In a few days, on September 1st, I plan to participate at another great Aviation event; together with about 35 other planes we will be landing on the beach at Le Crotoy (France), where in 1913 the brothers Caudron had the Worlds First Flying school. Beside my own Piper Super Cub, the SV-4B in the image above, is also planned to be there.

Remember: "Life is a journey, enjoy the flight".


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