Aviation

Little Friends Coming In

Ah the little friends, the fighter planes that held off enemy fighters when flying escort missions with the B17’s and B24’s. The guys in the bombers would refer to them as Little Friends, their protection their friends, the guys flying the fighters referred to the bombers as Big Friends. They definitely proved to be our little friends that afternoon. Casey and Bob were flying the two mustangs, Casey in Stang and Bob in Cripes O Mighty. Both are just beautiful planes both with interesting histories.

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After the break off with the B17 we had a nice 30mins with the pair. Stang kept the lead most of the time but they did come in in singles. P51’s are not only easier to photograph but they are easier for pilots to handle when keeping up with a photo platform. The B17 with four engines and a lot of drag requires some serious muscle to hold steady with a photo ship. P51’s are small, maneuverable, and fast.

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One of the things i like most about the P51’s is there ability to stack up. Since these planes were made for speed and have always been portrayed as such, it is important to achieve that look in the photographs. Getting the planes low to the ground helps, as does clouds, and of course anything in the background to give some more depth. Of course just having two stacked just looks cool. It’s the classic formation fighters look that is seen in old movies.

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Of course we had to end the flight the same way we did with the B17 and has such been a trademark for the Air2Air workshop. Dragging the P51’s along the runway with the skyvan pulling up creates that speed that we are always looking for. Best of all it makes the planes seem “down to earth” with a location on which they took off and landed on. Great planes, great fun and it was only the first day.

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Images captured with Nikon D3, 70-300 Vr, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

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