Photography by Ian L. Sitren

Posts tagged “airplane photographer


Photographed some arrivals at the Palm Springs Airport this morning. This won’t happen on your iPhone.

Up Close

Like nowhere else, you get up close at the Palm Springs Air Museum. That is where you find me with my favorite Hasselblad cameras. The cameras that orbited the Earth and went to the Moon.

This plane coming in from a flight demonstration is the North American Aviation T-28 Trojan… I have been told that it, in many ways, actually outperforms the famed P-51 Mustang of World War II. The T-28… “a basic trainer that was ordered in four advanced versions, the T-28A for the U.S Air Force and T-28B and T-28C, by the U.S. Navy, with the latter version designed for carrier training operations and the AT-28D. It was the first trainer designed to transition pilots to jet aircraft. In its second life, the AT-28D was used in counterinsurgency missions and later as a ground-support fighter in Southeast Asia. It’s a remarkably strong, fast, and capable airplane, and the big Wright radial engine makes that wonderful music that only a round engine can. The Trojan was the first American fixed wing attack aircraft lost in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War.”

Specifications and Performance –
T-28B Engine:
 One, Wright Cyclone R-1820-86 radial piston Engine. Horsepower: 1,425 hp., at sea level with auxiliary supercharger. Dimensions:Wing Span: 40.1. Length: 33 ft., Height: 12.8 ft., Weight Empty: 6,424 lbs. Maximum Speed: 343 mph Service Ceiling: 35,500 ft.”


F-102 Restoration

The restoration crew at the Palm Springs Air Museum are nothing short of magicians. This F-102 “Delta Dagger” sat in a forest for 40 years. This entire rear section has been re-created from jigs and templates that were 3-D printed from a survey of an intact F-102. Standing next to it up close made me think two things… First, now it almost looks like it just rolled off the assembly line. Second, it is a much bigger aircraft than I had realized. Especially having seen it on a truck when it first arrived at the Museum some time back.

The Convair F-102 “Delta Dagger” was the Interceptor that served as the backbone of the United States Air Force. It entered service in 1956 and 1,000 were built, designed to intercept invading Soviet strategic bomber fleets during the Cold War. In various versions, it had a top speed of Mach 1.22 and a service ceiling of 56,000 ft. The F-102 served in Vietnam, flying fighter patrols and serving as bomber escorts, finally retiring from USAF service in 1976. There are no flying F-102s in existence today.

By the way, The first operational service of the F-102A was with the 327th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron at George Air Force Base, near Victorville, right here in Southern California in April 1956. I am looking forward to seeing the completion of this F-102 and it making it’s permanent home not far from it’s beginnings. Very exciting!






Before Photo Courtesy of the Palm Springs Air Museum


Board Your Flight!

Time to board your flight with Gabriella Muttone! It’s all first class with her!

Photo shoot notes… At the Palm Springs Air Museum. Hasselblad camera system and Broncolor Move 1200L pack and beauty dish for lighting.

Gabriella Muttone at the Palm Springs Air Museum

Gabriella Muttone in our photo shoot at the Palm Springs Air Museum.

The Tread Mark On My Hat

Pilot Tom Nightingale almost left a tire tread mark on my hat as he did a low flyover at the Palm Springs Air Museum yesterday. What a great airplane too, wow! A 1943 North American SNJ-4 Texan Navy trainer. Also designated the T-6 Texan it is an airplane often seen in movies portraying the Japanese Zero. Get yourself out to the Palm Springs Air Museum, one of the best in the entire USA!

Texan Flyover

On The Tarmac

There was a big event the other night at the Palm Springs Air Museum. So many of the planes that are usually in the hangars got moved outside. I thought it might be a good time to go by and shoot some photos of these great historic aircraft in the bright sunlight.

Tuskegee Airmen Heroes Of WWII

Off in the distance you see them, a P-40 Warhawk and a P-51 Mustang closing fast. No, not an old photo I found, but this last Saturday in the sky at the Palm Springs Air Museum.


P-40 Warhawk and P-51 Mustang

A celebration of the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II and the 96th birthday of Lt. Col. Bob Friend, the oldest living Tuskegee pilot, having flown 140 combat missions over Europe. This is the Colonel sharing his times with some of the many visitors to the Air Museum. Tom Nightingale, the pilot flying the P-40 and often flying partner with the Colonel says that he remembers names and times and places of almost every photo that people can bring up to him. And that the Colonel can go hours on end, over and over talking to people, doing photographs and signing autographs.

Tuskegee Airman Lt. Col. Bob Friend

Tuskegee Airman Lt. Col. Bob Friend on his 96th birthday

The P-51 here is an airplane that has been restored in commemoration to the Colonel’s P-51, nicknamed “Bunny”, that he flew over Europe during the war. But this Saturday “Bunny” had another very special guest, Tuskegee Airman Rusty Burns! At 90 years old I can personally say this man got in and out of that airplane like a 25 year old. Even after a number of high speed passes down the runway, he was all smiles as he left the airplane off the front of the wing, not the closer to the ground back of the wing. Just like he said he always did!

Tuskegee Airman Rusty Burns

Tuskegee Airman Rusty Burns getting ready to fly in the P-51 “Bunny”

Thunderbolt Tomorrow!

Check out this P-47 Thunderbolt flying tomorrow at the Palm Springs Air Museum! 2300HP, a top speed of 433mph and a service ceiling of 40,000 ft. You have to go see this airplane! Do you think the person in the back seat got photos as detailed as my photo of them taking photos?

P-47 Thunderbolt

P-47 Thunderbolt over the Palm Springs Air Museum

Lots Of Flying

Plenty of excitement at the Palm Springs Air Museum on Saturday. A flight demonstration with the Museum’s 1944 World War II C-47 Skytrain cargo plane. Along with people doing Biplane rides in this U.S. Army Stearman. The C-47 did passes about as low as possible without having to lower the landing gear and driving down the runway. You could get a ride in the C-47 too! What great fun and a living history lesson everyday!

What's Up Doc C-47

1944 United States Army Air Force C-47 Skytrain Cargo Aircraft

U.S. Army Stearman BiPlane

Takeoff in a U.S. Army Biplane out of the Palm Springs Air Museum

C-47 "What's Up Doc?" Flyby Stearman On The Ground

The C-47 “What’s Up Doc?” does a low flyby with a U.S. Army Stearman on the ground out of the Palm Springs Air Museum

Voyage To Vietnam

Imagine laying in your bunk, not much to do, mind wandering, thinking about what is ahead of you, the unknown and the fear. On board your troopship, you just draw on the bottom of the bunk just inches above you. “Marking Time: Voyage To Vietnam” an exhibit at the Palm Springs Air Museum. Just one of the reasons to get over there today. Including the exhibit “Salute To WWII Flying Tigers in China” and a presentation “France 1940: The Invasion That Shook The World” followed by a flight demonstration with the Museum’s C-47. Be there, I will!

Voyage To Vietnam

High Speed Bearcat

A Grumman F8F-2 Bearcat coming down the runway at the Palm Springs Air Museum at somewhere around 275-300 mph. The last Bearcat was delivered in 1949 and is a 2100hp 425 mph beast of an airplane. An interesting fact is the outer 3 ft of wing was designed to break off under high stress saving the aircraft from catastrophic failure. You have to go visit the Palm Springs Air Museum! So very interesting and so very fun!

Grumman F8F-2 Bearcat

Grumman F8F-2 Bearcat

Grumman F8F-2 Bearcat

Photographed with FujiFilm X-Series cameras and lenses.

Operation Santa Claus

Yesterday Santa arrived at the Palm Springs Air Museum and even brought Mrs. Claus along to meet all the kids. Actually “Operation Santa Claus” started during the Berlin Airlift in 1948. The Soviet Union had blocked access to Western Sectors of Berlin cutting off food and supplies to the population. The Western Allies began an airlift of supplies with over 200,000 flights in just one year alone.

Then on December 20, 1948 “Operation Santa Claus” flew Christmas gifts to 10,000 Berlin children. The C-47 aircraft like this one was one of the primary aircraft used to bring supplies to the people of Berlin. The Palm Springs Air Museum is very proud to continue this tradition of bringing Santa Claus to the kids, traveling on an original C-47 aircraft.

Santa Arriving In His C-47 "What's Up Doc?"

Santa waving to the crowd arriving at the Palm Springs Air Museum

Santa Arriving In His C-47 "What's Up Doc?"

Santa arriving at the Palm Springs Air Museum

Santa And Mrs. Claus Arriving In His C-47 "What's Up Doc?"

Santa and Mrs. Claus arriving at the Palm Springs Air Museum

When You Have To Decide What Santa Should Bring You

That moment when you have to decide what Santa should bring you.

It Really Is Snow At The Palm Springs Air Museum

It really is snow at the Palm Springs Air Museum.

Santa In His C-47

Around here Santa really knows how to travel! On his way to the Palm Springs Air Museum. Santa is there today and tomorrow if you want to take your kids there as an excuse to check out the great planes. The kids get goody bags and can play in the snow! You can get a burger in the cafe too!

Santa In His C-47

Pearl Harbor Commemorative Fly By

Attack on Pearl Harbor Commemorative Fly By of a Japanese Zero Fighter and VAL Dive Bomber at the Palm Springs Air Museum 2015. Zero Pilot Robert “Lips” Hertberg and VAL Pilot Tom Nightingale.

Video photographed on FujiFilm X-Series Cameras and Lenses

One of only three World War II Japanese Zero’s still flying in the entire world. This Zero, owned and operated by the Commemorative Air Force, was delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Group #3. It originally had an air cooled rotary engine producing 1,130 hp and a top speed of 388 mph at almost 20,000 feet. In the flight demonstration you could easily see it’s nimble and powerful maneuverability.

The Aichi D3A Dive Bomber, nicknamed “Val”, was the aircraft carrier borne airplane that flew in almost all actions, including Pearl Harbor to the end of World War II. It was responsible for sinking more Allied warships than any other aircraft. This replica flying out of the Palm Springs Air Museum was flown in both the movies “Tora! Tora! Tora!” and “Pearl Harbor”.

Much Goings On

Always so much going on inside and outside the Palm Springs Air Museum. My favorite place to bring my cameras. Check it out!

All Rights Reserved

All Rights Reserved

All Rights Reserved

All Rights Reserved

All Rights Reserved

All Rights Reserved

All Rights Reserved

All Rights Reserved

Photographed with a FujiFilm XT-1 camera and the FujiFilm 50-140 lens. What a great lightweight versatile camera system!

Nobody Does It Like Me!

Nobody shoots photographs like I do in Palm Springs… Nobody! Not even close! Ok it does help that I have the likes of the gorgeous Sherry Goggin in front of my cameras. But you get the idea I am sure!

December is a great month for shooting out here, the weather is great. Although we do have something like 350 days of Sun during the year. So whether it is your magazine features, fashion stories, advertising or maybe your own portfolio. From shoe fashions on beautiful women to fast moving airplanes or even a travel story. Just send me a note to and we can chat about it.

Note that I shoot nothing but the finest of equipment. Hasselblad medium format digital and Broncolor lighting. For more portability and faster action I am now shooting the superb FujiFilm X-Series cameras and lenses.

I also have the finest makeup artists available and all kinds of shoot locations from desert to gyms. Just let me know and we can talk about it. And again, my e-mail is Look forward to hearing from you soon! Thanks!

Sherry Goggin In The Desert

Some Navy Training

Not only yesterday but pretty much everyday you can go take a ride in this PT-17 Stearman Navy trainer at the Palm Springs Air Museum. There were over 10,000 built in the 1930’s and 1940’s. If you learned how to fly in the military this was your classroom.

Navy PT-17 Stearman

Photographed with a FujiFilm XT-1 camera and the FujiFilm 50-140 lens. What a great lightweight versatile camera system!

Fun In The Skies!

Yesterday at the Palm Springs Air Museum as their C-47 “What’s Up Doc” does a fly by. Always fun there, you could watch from the ground or even have grabbed a ride headed down to the Salton Sea and back. Bring your camera too and check out the goings on, pretty much everyday, on their website at

C-47 What's Up Doc

Photographed with a FujiFilm XT-1 camera and the FujiFilm 50-140 lens. What a great lightweight versatile camera system!

A Flight Of Beer On A DC-3

Yesterday you could have gone back in a time machine and flown luxury class on The Flabob Express DC-3 while tasting craft beers at the Props & Hops Craft Beer Festival at the Palm Springs Air Museum. The plane was originally designated as a C-47B and built in 1945. Very Fun!

Flabob Express DC-3 At Props & Hops

Photographed on Hasselblad. Only the best!

Faster Than The Speed Of Sound!

Today, October 14, in 1947 was the day that famed test pilot Chuck Yeager flew this very airplane, the Bell X-1, faster than the speed of sound. He reached 700mph at 43,000 ft. It was a speed that had seemed totally impenetrable until then. Yeager nick-named the plane “Glamorous Glennis” in tribute to his wife. This is the actual airplane as I photographed it at The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC.

Credit goes to my friend Brooks Wachtel who in his daily on Facebook “On This Day” covers the most interesting things in world history. Brooks is an Emmy winning writer who co-created the very respected series “DogFights” for the History Channel among his extensive accomplishments.

Tuskegee Airmen Flies His P-51 Mustang Again!

Lt. Col. Bob Friend, 95 years old, flying in the P-51D Mustang made famous when he flew as a Tuskegee Airmen in World War II. “Bunny” has been fully restored and now flying at the Palm Springs Air Museum. Back on the ground, the Colonel was greeted by Air Museum Director Fred Bell, the man who made the restoration of this great aircraft possible over the last three years. The P-51 pilot for the Colonel and Bunny was Tom Nightingale.

A Palm Springs Photo Festival To-Do

To all my photographer friends; are you coming out here for the Palm Springs Photo Festival starting Sunday? If you are and happen to be coming in on Saturday, here is a very fun photo op for you. The Palm Springs Air Museum will be doing a flight demonstration with their Navy T-28. This is a really astounding aircraft that actually will outperform many of the more famous fighters from World War II. You can expect it to be flying just after 2 PM but there is much more out at the Air Museum for you to keep your camera busy. If you are not coming in on Saturday, you have all week to check out a great collection of vintage aircraft and so much more to see. The Palm Springs Air Museum is very close by to all the Photo Festival venues. Here is one of my photographs of the T-28 and a short video. See you there!

T-28 At The Palm Springs Air Museum

F-86 And MiG-15 Dogfight!

Last night at the Palm Springs Air Museum, the dedication and unveiling of the newly restored F-86 Sabre Jet by Museum Director Fred Bell. The F-86 was introduced during the Korean War and was met head on by the Soviet MiG-15. This MiG-15 will be flying today at the Air Museum following a one hour program at 1:00 PM. Be there! I will and with my camera!



F-86 Dedication

The story of the battle between these two aircraft makes up the very first episode of the extraordinary historical series “Dogfights”. The series first aired on the History Channel and was co-created by my friend on Facebook and Emmy Winner Brooks Wachtel. Here is that episode “MiG Alley”…

Lots Of Photo Fun!

A weekend of photographing some fun flying out of the Palm Springs Air Museum. A Navy SNJ trainer with a likely very happy passenger on board. The SNJ was also known as the T-6 Texan. Over 25 years there were 15,495 made and ultimately flown by 34 countries. It also was used in combat in World War II and Korea.

WWII Navy SNJ Trainer