For the aircraft folks

Aircraft folks, I haven’t forgotten about you!

There’s been trains, and beaches, and water, and scenic shots, and even an aircraft boneyard – but no “live” aircraft for a while.

I took a bit of a break from what I’ve been working on for the site and finished cropping and cleaning of new images from HNL and YVR.  These images were taken with either the D7100 and 18-270 or with my Icon during taxi and takeoff.

This batch includes a couple of new airlines and schemes.

I’ve also completed the rest of Hawaiian Airlines’ fleet – the A330 and B767 have been added to round things out.  The only other type of aircraft they fly is the B717.

The snow-covered mountains in the background at YVR (Vancouver International Airport, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) add something to aircraft photography.  I need to build in a little more time when I am there next if Mrs. Frog will let me.  HNL (Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii) is also quite an interesting place, with many Asian airlines and aircraft not readily seen in the US mainland – it’s just not all that easy to shoot there.

Air Canada E-190 at YVR.

Air Canada E-190 at YVR. Click the image to go to the commercial airplane gallery.

There’s more aircraft to add from these two airports, and they’ll get processed and added at some point in time – or when I need a diversion – whichever comes first!.  More new types of aircraft, and more new airlines.  There’s even a Boeing 727 freighter in the bunch – I didn’t know that there were still 727s in the air!  There are probably some airlines you’ve never heard of in the next batch, and since this is a “fun” gallery, there  may be some less than technically perfect images in there for the sake of sharing a plane type or an obscure airline.

Mentally, it was a good diversion for me to take – and I hope y’all enjoy a little diversion courtesy of the world’s airlines.

 

Does anyone need a used 747?

Does anyone need a used 747?

Does anyone even know what a used 747 costs?  I found some posts that say you can get one for a “couple of million” dollars.  And then you need to fill the tanks with fuel…  But if you can buy the plane, that shouldn’t be a problem, now should it?

I came upon a dozen or so used 747 cargo planes in an aircraft boneyard of sorts at the Mojave (CA) Air & Space Port.

There’s some interesting history and things that I didn’t even know about the Air & Space Port that you can read about on their website by clicking here.

Some of these aircraft will be parted out and ultimately scrapped in place.  Some are in flying condition, and may find a second / third / fourth life.

I don’t know what the history holds for these beasts caught in the shimmering heat waves of Mojave.

Used 747 cargo aircraft in the boneyard at the Mojave (CA) Air & Space Port.

Used 747 cargo aircraft in the boneyard at the Mojave (CA) Air & Space Port.

These images are interesting to look at.  However, unless you’re into pictures that show the distortion caused by the heat waves, they may never make it onto a wall anywhere.  On the other hand, some like the effect.  You can decide for yourself!

From looking at the number of cargo 747s – either the air cargo business isn’t what it used to be, or these winged giants are being replaced by new or newer aircraft with a lower operating cost per pound of cargo.  Size isn’t everything in aircraft – it’s important for sure, but for smaller cargo that doesn’t require a specialty plane, it’s all about operating costs.  That’s part of why we human cargo pieces keep getting squeezed into smaller seats with less leg room – and we seem to be paying more for it, but that’s another story.

Believe it or not, the first flight of a 747 was way back in 1969!  I’ve flown on the 747 three times – once in the cavernous coach section, and twice in Business Class on a business trip to Australia.  By the way – it’s didn’t seem much better in Business Class for 14 and 16 hour flights – that’s just too long on an aircraft, period.

I found three websites about the 747 that you might find interesting – Boeing 747 on Wikipedia, the official Boeing 747 site, and Boeing-747.com.

Here’s a link to the planes gallery on Laughing Frog Images.

Thanks for looking!

 

Symmetry at Sky Harbor

One of the benefits of today’s smartphones is that it’s easy to create an image as you’re walking along almost anywhere, like, for example, an airport.  As proof, I offer you Symmetry at Sky Harbor.

I was changing terminals one morning, and looked to my left and thought “there’s a picture there…”

Out came the Lumia Icon and I snapped a few pictures.

However, things just weren’t quite right in the Lumia’s original 16×9 (16 pixels wide for every 9 pixels high).

I had symmetry, but it wasn’t right.

When I got to my next gate, I opened the image in my Picture Perfect app and began to create the symmetry I wanted.  In this case, symmetry (at least to me) meant that the image needed symmetry as well.  That meant a 1:1 (square) crop.  So, that meant a little finger dragging to position the crop box and a simple tap to finish the image.

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I left the colors as the camera captured them.  The muted pastels of the building and the sky offer a stark contrast to the metallic-like reds and blues on the tails.

(I still prefer the classic “AA” image of American Airlines that dates back to the late 1960’s, but I didn’t get a vote when they changed.)

If you look closely, you’ll also see another element of symmetry – the auxiliary power units that appear just below the tail of every aircraft.

It’s all in the details, which in some case rely upon how long you look at an image to find them.

This may never sell as the cropped image is too small for much more than a coffee cup, and it may never win any awards – but I like this image, and that’s part of what it’s all about.

It may also give you some ideas the next time you see symmetry, or the potential for it, in your travels – airport or otherwise.

You can see this image in the planes gallery on Laughing Frog Images.

Thanks for visiting!

 

Astrojet

There was a time when air travel was civilized.  There was a time when there was a degree of decorum about it.  There was a time it was an event.

And then, there’s now…

American Airline paid homage to those times back in 2000 with the resurrection of the Astrojet livery applied to a Boeing 737 and 757.  It’s not paint – the aluminum is polished and the stripe and lettering are decals.

I’ve never seen the 757, but I’ve seen the 737 three times and flown in it once from LGA (La Guardia, New York City) to ORD (O’Hare, Chicago).  This is the first “good” image I’ve been able to get of the 737 Astrojet.  It’s at Gate D38 at DFW (Dallas – Fort Worth) International Airport.

The Astrojet livery honors the image applied to American’s first jet aircraft, a BAC (British Aircraft Corporation) 1-11.

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Admittedly, the Astrojet didn’t feel any different than any other plane, but it did make me think back to when flying was something special in my life and not a regular occurrence.

It also made me think back to the black and white pictures of early air travel – men and boys in suits, women and girls in dresses.  Dignity and decorum.  I’ve got to guess that the boarding process back then was different as well – orderly lines and civilized entry as opposed today’s cattle call and “What do you mean Group 4 isn’t first?”

Or, maybe the pictures were just figments of the public relations department’s minds?  Maybe it was as crazy as it is today?  Nah.  I have to believe that it was more civil.  I remember it being more civil even just 20 years ago.  Now, it’s rush-rush-rush and that look of “obviously you don’t know that I AM more important than you and I deserve to be in Group 1, not Group 4!”

Perhaps the only fun I find in air travel anymore is to watch people who try to defy physics by trying to shove a bag that simply won’t fit into the overhead bin.  They seem to think that if they push hard enough, or wiggle it, or turn it around, it’s miraculously going to shrink and fit.  And then, they get mad at the Flight Attendant because their bag doesn’t fit.  I see this play out on almost every flight I’m on.

There also should be a rule that if you can’t lift your own bag over your head, you shouldn’t be allowed to carry it on and try to place it in the overhead bin.  Just saying.  And no, for those of you that think this statement only applies to females, you’re wrong.  Been there.  Seen that.  Almost been hit by dropped bags more times than I can count.

This image of the Astrojet can be found in the commercial section of the planes gallery on Laughing Frog Images.

Lumia Icon on Auto setting, jpg image created from the dng (raw) image.

C-17 POTUS Support

What?

OK…. here’s what that means:

McDonnell Douglas / Boeing U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III heavy transport plane on President Of The United States support duty.

There are only so many characters I can use in the title of a post, and sometimes, you just have to work with what you have to work with.

Anyway…

I had my camera at work today (D-5100 and Tamron 18-270mm), and, as luck would have it, it was in my hands when I looked up to see a C-17 on approach to BUR (Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, CA).  It was big.  It was quiet.  And, I managed to get my lens cap off and snap a few before it was too late.  The President was in town, and the C-17 provides logistic support (limousines, etc.) when the President travels.

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This is only the third time I’ve seen a C-17, and the first time that I was able to photograph one.  It’s not something you see every day, that’s for sure.  This one is flown by the Air Mobility Command at Travis AFB in Fairfield, CA.

The first time I saw one was while I was driving south on I-5 from Seattle to Vancouver, WA.  It was on final approach to Joint Base Lewis-McChord which is south of Tacoma, WA.  Final approach means that the plane is low, and let’s just say that a C-17 can cast a shadow over your car and get your attention in a way few things can.  It’s not something you expect if you’re not from that area…

You can learn more about the C-17 from the Air Force website and also our friends at Wikipedia.

As I was surfing the web to learn more about the C-17, I came across an article published last week in the Los Angeles Times about the C-17 plant in Long Beach, CA.  The last C-17’s are being completed now and the plant is closing.  Airplanes can last a long time – the Air Force plans to be flying C-17’s into the 2040’s and beyond, and there just isn’t an everyday market for BIG cargo planes.  Another piece of history is written…

 

 

Fifi in pictures

Fifi is the only operable Boeing B-29 Superfortress Bomber in the world as of March 2015.

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I was privileged, honored, and fortunate to see Fifi at the Van Nuys Ca Airport as part of the CAF AirPower History Tour.  That event went beyond expectations, as I was able to watch (and smell) her start up (video here) and to see her fly.  I wasn’t able to take a tour, so that remains on my Bucket List, but in no way can I complain about the living history I saw that day.

All images were made in color using a Nikon D-90 and Tamron 18-270 lens.

Then, I did something different for this gallery.

Fifi is a product of the black and white era – black and white television, black and white newspapers, and (predominantly) black and white photographic film.

To maintain the spirit of Fifi’s era, I used two different black and white effects in Perfect Photo Suite 9 by on1 Software to create most of the images of Fifi that I’m sharing with you.

The first is a gritty and grainy effect that mimics how these images might have appeared to the readers of a 1940’s newspaper.  The second is a cleaner effect that mimics Kodak’s legendary Tri-X black and white film.

There are a few color images as well, and these are along the lines of a chrome slide film.

I’m curious to hear feedback about the black and white images, particularly which effect you like better and why.

Instead of placing these images in the Military section of the Planes gallery on Laughing Frog Images, I decided that it was more than appropriate for Fifi to have her own gallery – you can check Fifi’s gallery out by clicking here.

The Commemorative Air Force are the folks that keep Fifi going, and made that day and these images possible.  My thanks to all who make Fifi happen.

Fifi Awakens

Wondering just what the title is about?

Well, now that I have your attention…

I recently had the fortune/privilege of seeing the only operable Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber in the world (at least as of March 2015), Fifi.

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It was a strange day in some ways.

On one hand, there was the awe of what was the biggest and baddest bomber of its’ time.

There was the awe of watching her awaken from a slumber and prepare for flight.  The smell of unburnt fuel as the revolutions built, the puffs of sweetly acrid smoke dissipating into the air.  The vibration at my feet.

The realization that not only was I watching a machine, but one made for war.

As I said, it wasn’t just a “let’s go take airplane pictures” kind of day.  It was a day of reflection.

There were World War II Veterans there, including at least one who flew in one of Fifi’s kin, a member of a P-38 Ground Crew, and a P-51 pilot.  There were people of all nations and colors.

Many cheered when Fifi’s fourth engine reached full revs.  I wonder if they were cheering for Fifi as she is or what she represents to each of them.

It made me think of something related, but not.

My mind went to the the smiling boy I remember from across the street went to war as a young man, and didn’t come home.  I was probably reflecting differently than most that day.  I’ll stop there, because we all reflect upon war and loss differently.

But, let’s look at Fifi for what she is – an aircraft of a bygone era.  Technologically, the B-29 was at the leading edge of bomber design at that time.  And, I got to see her fly in 2015.

If you’d like to learn more about the B-29, click here for Wikipedia’s page, and here for Boeing’s page.

If you’d like to see Fifi as she awakens, click here to be taken to the Laughing Frog Images YouTube page or click here to be taken directly to the video.  It’s not the greatest video in the world, as I had to hold my phone above people, and try to keep it steady for about four minutes – so I apologize for the technical quality, but not the content.

I am working on a gallery of Fifi for Laughing Frog Images.  In the interest of being true to Fifi’s era, all of the images will be in Black and White.  There will be two versions of each image – one will mimic Kodak Panatomic X film (“Pan-X”), and one will mimic the grainy reproduction of a newspaper of the era.  It will be interesting to see what the feedback is on the two versions.