August 19th is National Aviation Day in celebration of the development of aviation. We celebrated with a “Flight OF Two” on August 19th returning from the Wings Over Camarillo Air Show. Aircraft that were pivotal in the history of aviation. Flying in our own World War II C-47 “What’s Up Doc?” and across from us, the CAF Inland Empire C-53 “D-Day Doll”. Take a minute to watch and listen and enjoy some the experience of flying in these amazing 75 year old Warbirds.
The holiday was established in 1939 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt with the Presidential Proclamation designating the anniversary of Orville Wright’s birthday to be National Aviation Day. Orville Wright, born in 1871, was still alive when the proclamation was first issued.
Just some thoughts on air to air photography. Flying with the Palm Springs Air Museum, we were doing July 4th celebration flyovers. Alongside the T-28 Trojan, I was in the backseat of the Red Tail P-51 Mustang “Bunny”. The Mustang is at best, somewhat short on room in the back. There is also a curvature to the canopy that lends itself to a lot of distortion. My choice of gear here made it all work out easier.
I was shooting the latest Fujifilm mirrorless camera, the X-H1 and the Fujifilm XF50-140 lens. The 5-axis in-body stabilization works in conjunction with the lens stabilization, perfect for this kind of shooting. It is also physically smaller and lighter than a full size DSLR which in tight quarters or pulling a couple of g’s makes a huge difference.
This time out I also especially appreciated my camera strap choice. From Vulture Equipment Works especially made for aviation use. A tougher strap does not exist. It is designed with carabiners connecting the strap to the camera. The ability to easily disconnect them helped in easily getting the strap out of the way of my headset cable. When you are getting in, you are buckling up your parachute, shoulder harness and seat belt, camera and headset, so wanting to change how you set things up from when you got in does happen.
At the same time, I was also running two GoPro’s. Each mounted inside to my left and right, pointed 45 degrees front. Got some great video I will show you later.
Anyway just thought I would share. It was great fun! Thanks!
Truly outstanding… The Fujifilm X-H1! I am really liking this camera the more I shoot it. Image quality is incredible, viewfinder is breathtaking! It does it all. I use it with a very serious camera strap from Vulture Equipment Works. I don’t get the idea of using those pretty straps unless you are shooting babies and weddings. Just not for me. I like my gear tough!
Yesterday I was shooting something simple enough but in not great lighting. Behind the scenes at the Palm Springs Air Museum. Michael Ripley was “Air Cav” and flew AH-1 Cobra helicopters 50 years ago in Vietnam. Here being interviewed by Dominik Radwanska from DIGICOM Learning. DIGICOM teaches teachers and here he was showing elementary and middle school teachers how to make movies with simple equipment. Skills that they then take back to their classrooms in the Fall.
Next I was off to the BMW Performance Center at the Thermal Club. An incredible facility where you learn and drive the “Ultimate Driving Machines”, high performance BMW’s. We drove various models all out on three different tracks and I had the chance to do some quick shots as our instructor Christopher Hill took some students on a very exciting run around a track. As Chris said; “If the tires aren’t squealing you are not going fast enough”. I did make them squeal myself and then some! The X-H1 camera did not squeal and handled it all!
I really enjoy bringing the Palm Springs Air Museum to so very many people around the globe and here more locally. CNN named it as one of the Best Air Museums In The World. So please come visit and also just follow along!
And a secret, don’t tell anyone… I am having a lot of fun! This is me in the backseat of the Air Museum’s P-51 Mustang “Bunny” taking off from March Air Field on Sunday. Our Museum visitors get to fly too! It is Living History whether in the backseat of “Bunny” or in our WWII Paratrooper C-47 “What’s Up Doc?”, watching our weekly flight demonstrations, sitting in the pilot’s seat for “Open Cockpit”, or touring inside our giant four engine B-17 “Flying Fortress”. It is a first hand experience, always exciting. Thanks!
This video was shot on the new Fujifim X-H1 camera body and the Fujifilm XF18-135 lens. Even better, kept on me with a beast of a camera strap made for aviation by Vulture Equipment Works. That is what you don’t leave home without!