P-51 Mustang

I didn’t get to see it fly during the show, but I did see it fly over my house on it’s way out of town the next day. There are a lot of single-engine prop planes flying around where I live, but nothing sounds like this. It growls like something out of a Tolkien story.

Three RAW exposures blended in Luminance HDR and finished in Topaz Adjust 5, then a little de-noising and sharpening in CS2.

Piper J-3 Cub

Facing the likelihood of being drawn into WWII, the United States formed the Civilian Pilot Training Program (CPTP) in 1939 to increase the ranks of America’s trained pilots.  The CPTP adopted the Piper J-3 Cub as it’s primary trainer.  Of the 435,000 new pilots who learned to fly in the program, three quarters of them were trained on the Cub.  By the end of the war, 80% of American military pilots received their first flight training in Piper Cubs.

This Cub, painted in the famous chrome-yellow-with-black-lightening-bolt color scheme, soars in the National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center in Dulles, Va.

On A Wing and a Prayer

I haven’t posted anything for a while.  Life’s been busy and there just never seemed to be enough time to sit down and work on a photo.  So the other night I stayed up after the dishes were done, homework finished, and the kids in bed, and took some time.  It was really nice to just sit down with no other distractions and play with this image I caught at a local air show recently.  Nothing fancy, just a few clicks in Digital Photo Professional, a couple in Photoshop, and here it is.  But it sure was nice taking the time to do it.

Incidentally, the lady standing on the wing is the ex-wife of the guy flying the plane.  Now that’s trust…and self-control.

Lockheed P-38J Lightning

Back to the Udvar-Hazy Center today with the kids.  My goal was actually to get images of two other planes, but as I was walking across the central catwalk, I saw this.  I’ve shot this plane before, but for whatever reason just never got an angle I liked until now.

The P-38 saw service in both theaters during World War II, and is credited with downing more Japanese aircraft that any other U.S. fighter.  The four Browning .50 caliber machine guns and 20mm canon mounted in the nose gave the Lightning a definite edge in combat, and it’s speed, range, and handling made it a favorite among pilots.

Three exposures culled from a single RAW, then processed in Luminance HDR, with some finishing in Topaz Adjust 5.

North American F-86 Sabre

In the early days of the Korean War, the Soviet-built MiG-15 outclassed all UN-based aircraft, ruling the skies.  When the North American F-86 Sabre arrived in December 1950, it leveled the playing field considerably.  Of the 41 American pilots who earned the ace designation during the war, 40 of them flew F-86 variants.  This specimen, an F-86A, resides at the Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles, VA, and wears the livery of the 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing.

No HDR this time, just a black and white conversion followed by a copper-and-blue split toning effect in PS7, and some detail enhancement in Topaz Adjust 5.

Fulton FA-2 Airphibian

The Fulton FA-2 Airphibian was designed in 1946 by Robert Edison Fulton.  After detatching from the wing assembly, the propeller could be removed and the passenger compartment could be driven on the road.  A limited number were built by Fulton and his collegues in Danbury, CT between 1946 and 1950.  This particular specimen, designated N74104, was licensed for flight by the CAA (forerunner of the FAA) in 1950.  It was also licensed for road use by the state of Connecticut.