787-9 Maiden Flight

IMG_4277.jpgI was tasked by Airchive.com to provide some secondary coverage of the Boeing 787-9 first flight. It was my first opporrunity to cover a Boeing event from the press area. After a few minor delays, the 787-9 took to the air as planned and made a 5 hour flight without event and touched down at the flight testing center at Boeing Field.



Japan Airlines 787 Double Delivery

Japan Airlines took delivery of their first two 787's, the first powered by GE engines.



Boeing 747-8 VIP Delivery

I was able to cover the Boeing 747-8 VIP delivery press conference and fly away on behalf of NYCAviation.com this week. This was technically the first Intercontinental passenger version delivered, but it is the VIP version rather than the true passenger version which will be delivered to Lufthansa later this month.


In the press!

Having a job with a a lot of flexibility has its benefits! I was asked to cover the Korean Air Cargo "double delivery" ceremony at the Future of Flight Museum on behalf of NYCAviation.com. My first media gig!

The full write-up can be read at NYCAviation.com.


Air 2 Air Photography Class Finale

IMG_2849.jpgThe culmination of my Air2Air Photography class at the Historic Flight Foundation was flying in the HFF's B-25 Mitchell, taking air to air photographs of either their F7F Tigercat or their P-51B Mustang. The Tigercat flight takes place over the Puget Sound to mimic the South Pacific theater, and the Mustang flight over the Cascades to replicate the European Alps.  had registered for the P-51 flight as I thought there would be more dynamics to shooting the Mustang with mountains behind.

In the weeks before my flight, I was getting increasingly nervous about the entire event. Approaching this as a once-in-a-lifetime event, I was taking every precaution I could think of to ensure the best possible results from my 15-30 minutes of shooting in the air. I was actually losing sleep over it, having strange equipment failure anxiety dreams!


LCF Low Pass video


Air 2 Air Photography Class

This Friday and Saturday I took part in the Historic Flight Foundations first 'Air 2 Air' photography class. The Air 2 Air class is designed to give aviation enthusiasts a chance to learn about techniques, equipment and skills needed to take part in air-to-air photography for fun and possibly profit. The course included instruction from air-to-air photographers as well as trade magazines. I had a blast in the class, but the high point of the experience takes place on June 4, when I get to fly in the HFF's B-25 bomber and shoot air-to-air photographs of their P-51 and Spitfire, or their Tigercat and Bearcat. I'm very excited, but I am also a bit apprehensive. The techniques involved are challenging, and I really have only one shot at this (it's not every day one gets to fly in a B-25 and photograph war birds in formation). 



CEO Summit, Boeing Field


Every year, dozens upon dozens of bizjets descend on Boeing Field for Bill Gates' annual CEO Summit, and this year was no exception. I completely forgot about it until I checked the flight trackers, which I do almost religiously each morning, to see what flights were heading for KBFI in the next few hours in case something interesting was enroute. On Wednesday, KBFI's tracker looked like an airport for a major city with a huge number of inbound flights. I thought I was looking at the wrong city:


New lens, great day for testing it


For almost 5 years, my standard lens for aviation shooting has been my Canon 70-200mm F/4 L, which has been a trusty lens, very sharp, and a good length on the APS-C sensor on my 30D (112mm x 320mm equiv). However, switching to the 5D mark II has reduced the range. For a while now I've been contemplating the Canon 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6 IS L lens, which is very popular among planespotters for its range and sharpness. 


New Stealth Helicopter used by SEALs to infiltrate Osama bin Laden's compound?


During the heroic, night-time raid on Osama's compound, some sort of malfunction or incident forced the infiltration team to scuttle one of the helicopters used on the mission. The tail section apparently fell outside the compound on the other side of the 12 foot walls and was left behind, relatively intact. The initial photos are intriguing and will no doubt lead to much speculation on the type of helicopter it was; a new type or a heavily modified H-60 type. 

No doubt foreign intelligence agencies (I'm looking in your direction, China) are en route to the Abbottabad area to attempt to secure those fragments like they did to downed F-117's in former Yugoslavia.

I don't think this is a modified H-60, as the tail rotor is on th eopposite side of the tail, which would be a considerable engineering rework. What I can't tell is if the tail elevator is canted to the front or back of the tail.

More pictures will be added as I find them.

More information at Aviation Week and DefenseTech.org.


[update] Probably an MH-60 varient: armytimes.com

This also looks pretty compelling:





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