Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Photo shoots

Yesterday afternoon we did a photo shoot for an upcoming feature. One of the variables that makes an air-to-air shoot interesting (by which I mean a pain in the backside) is any performance differences between the photo ship and the subject aeroplane. At the slow end of the scale we've photographed flexwing microlights, at the fast end a Cessna 421 and even an Eclipse Jet.

There are things that can be done to help minimise the differences. If the subject aeroplane (or helicopter) is much slower, then putting it on the inside of a turn helps. If it is much faster, then a wide descending turn gets the speeds closer together - there's nothing worse than a picture of a jet with gear and flaps down and at a high angle-of-attack, or a speck in a blue sky that's actually a microlight lagging a mile or so behind.

Yesterday's subject, a BN Islander, was ideal - the Islander will fly at stupidly slow speeds or will fly at up to 130kt (which is also stupidly slow when you consider that it takes 600hp and the associated fuel burn to do that). It was also being flown by someone who teaches formation flying, which made things even easier.

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