I obviously have a thing for airplanes, but I think there’s a difference between enjoying flying and really admiring the workmanship and engineering that goes into building aircraft. I love to fly, but I’m amazed at the technology that goes into creating and designing airplanes. Taking a concept from the drawing board, to manufacturing and ultimately to flying has to be an unbelievable process. I not only admire this but love the beautifully crafted results, especially designs that are successful and have stood the test of time through the ages. The distinct and unique sounds of an engine that fit perfectly with a breathtaking frame, conjure up images in my mind of days past when these beauties were abundant and filled the skies with their presence.
I have discovered over the past few months of experiencing a few air shows, that unusual and rare aircraft have caught my eye in a very special way. I love the way each sounds, the history behind them, the work that has gone into preserving each one and the lucky pilots that get to show off these beauties for the crowds. I love the curve of the wings, the breadth of a propellor, a rich and colorful paint job that speaks of a historic past.
I found the Military Aviation Museum through a post on one of my pilot share pages on Facebook. They are located in Virginia Beach, just north of me. How convenient it would be for me to be able to travel and check them out. They have several events throughout the year and Warbirds over the Beach was the next big event and only a few weeks out. It not only included a WWII air show but a dinner and hanger dance to follow. A hanger dance! I’ve never been to a hanger dance. How much fun would that be? I ordered my tickets right away.
An opportunity to photograph some amazing World War II planes was an exciting prospect for me. Not knowing what to expect since I’ve never been to Virginia Beach before also made it an exciting adventure to look forward to seeing.
There were several amazing planes that took to the skies for this air show. I hope you enjoy some of the pictures I was fortunate to capture of them.
It was a wonderful surprise to see the de Havilland DH-98 Mosquito flying. So unique and beautiful to see this in person. It took the museum eight years to restore it. AVspecs in New Zealand performed the restoration and it saw it’s first flight afterwards on September 2012. It’s the only air worthy Mosquito in the world.
Tinker Belle is hangered near where I live, but I’ve never had the opportunity to see her fly. She has been a static display at the air shows I’ve been to, so it was wonderful to see her performing here in person.
I was very excited to see a Spitfire for the first time. Rumor had it that the engine failed on arrival but that the pilot got her down safely. She didn’t get to perform, but it was still a pleasure to put eyes on her.
I managed to get a nice shot of the Skyraider using it’s air brake as it passed overhead.
I was able to capture a couple of nice photos of the Douglass SBD Dauntless. One showing off it’s distinctive perforated split flaps, or “dive brakes”.
One of the fun things about this air show was the numerous people that came dressed in period costumes. They were walking around everywhere and I felt like I had been transported back in time, especially by the time the hanger dance was in full swing that evening.
You don’t get much more authentic looking than this, so I turned it into a black and white to match the mood.
There were so many amazing planes that flew. I will probably have to put up another gallery just to get them all in one spot. Many I had never seen before and some of my favorites delighted the crowds all day long.
One thing I loved about this air show more than the others I’ve been too was the amazing access to the planes and the pilots. The volunteers have worked this event for years and are full of information about the planes. It was so much fun to talk to them and and glean some of their vast knowledge. They were excited to tell me which events to make sure I come back for and when.
The grass runway was fun too since I had never been on one before today. I had a great spot right near the runway where the planes were taking off and landing which enabled me to capture some great shots. I used the Tamron 150 – 600mm lens again on my Canon. I was so close that it was almost too much for this venue, but I was glad I had it when the planes took to the air.
It was a long, wonderful day of watching these amazing planes take to the skies. The music for the hanger dance started, but I couldn’t stop taking pictures. I finally had a chance to photograph some planes with the sun setting in the back ground. I’ve been longing to get a chance to give it a try, below is the result of that waiting.
If you get a chance, visit the Military Aviation Museum. It’s worth the trip. www.militaryaviationmuseum.org