Honoring a great man, Tuskegee Airman Lt. Col. Robert “Bob” J. Friend. And I am very honored as well to have stood next to him when I shot this photograph of him saluting during the National Anthem at the Reno Air Races 2017.
This graphic was displayed on the 18x10ft high definition screen over the Memorial Services for the Colonel at the Palm Springs Air Museum. The beautiful painting of the Red Tail P-51 Mustang by aviation artist Stan Stokes.
Some behind the scenes info… I was going to be right next to the Colonel while he was introduced to the huge crowd in the grandstands at the beginning of the race finals. I wanted to be inconspicuous so I had put my Fujifilm X-T1 camera on my shoulder with the Fujifilm 16-55 f2.8 lens. It also made for a smaller and lighter package than the other cameras I had brought along for the races.
The National Anthem started playing and the Colonel raised his hand in salute. Only a couple of feet away from him, I brought the camera up, looked through the viewfinder and fired maybe two or three frames and brought the camera down. I saw the photo through the viewfinder and knew I had shot, for me anyway, a photo of a lifetime. For the Memorial Service, his daughter Karen specifically asked for that photo to be displayed. Afterwards she said “This is how I want to remember him”.
Splash House 2017 After Parties
One of the biggest Summer events right here in Palm Springs, Splash House! A rockin’ hard three days of pool parties at three great hotels and two after parties at the Palm Springs Air Museum. And who is the photographer for the Palm Springs Air Museum… ME! And who was at both Splash House After Parties this weekend with a few thousand good looking people having great fun… ME! Outstanding!
A very busy day at the Palm Springs Air Museum on Memorial Day 2017. Lots of historic aircraft for flight demonstrations and the very important “Flower Drop” to honor the true meaning of Memorial Day. How much fun did I have! It’s good to be the Air Museum photographer!
Extra benefit of being the photographer for the Palm Springs Air Museum is flying! Yesterday in a World War II Mitchell B-25 bomber. The United States Marine Corps version PBJ, the only one still flying in the world. My duty station for the Memorial Day weekend, the Palm Springs Air Museum. Come on out!
Always something fun going on at the Palm Springs Air Museum. Yesterday the B-25 bomber crew arrived to fly their plane for the Doolittle Raid On Tokyo flight demonstration. And they arrived in style in this vintage 1952 “Twin Beech”.
This is that 1952 Beechcraft D18S “Twin Beech” starting up and departing. Continuously produced from 1937 to 1969 (over 32 years, a world record at the time), over 9,000 were produced, making it one of the world’s most widely used light aircraft. These aircraft saw military use as light transport, light bomber (for China), trainer (for bombing, navigation and gunnery), photo-reconnaisance, and “mother ship” for target drones. In World War II, over 90% of USAAF bombardiers and navigators trained in these aircraft.
From Saturday at the Palm Springs Air Museum. Watch this plane takeoff in barely the length of a couple of regular home driveways. Owner and builder Steven Lund doing a flight demonstration in his replica World War II Fieseler Fi 156 “Storch”.
Great fun yesterday at the Palm Springs Air Museum photographing Steven Lund fly his replica Fieseler Fi 156 Storch World War II airplane! Will be posting some really cool video tomorrow.
The Storch Has Arrived
You must come see this airplane and watch it fly! At the Palm Springs Air Museum today, Saturday April 15th. It is really interesting in person! Owner and builder Steven Lund will talk about his replica Fieseler Fi 156 Storch World War II airplane at 1:00 PM and then do a flight demonstration after the program at about 2:00 PM. With a stall speed of only 21 mph and a little headwind he could be in the air for a long time! It looks like it would be like flying a greenhouse with a rear machine gun! And yes indeed, Steven Lund built it! Come see the Storch for sure!
Not The Usual
When we think of historic wartime aircraft we think of planes like the P-51 Mustang and the B-17 Flying Fortress. But there are so many other interesting and unusual aircraft that have flown in air combat services. And tomorrow Saturday, April 15, 2017 you can see two of them at the Palm Springs Air Museum.
The Grumman Tigercat F7F was the first twin engine fighter to be used by the United States Navy. It missed combat in World War II but flew in the Korean War as a night fighter and attack aircraft for the Navy and Marine Corps. Too big for smaller carrier service, it required the Midway class of aircraft carriers. Actually a very rare plane, there were only 354 of them built and now there are perhaps only 12 still around!
From 10:30 – 12:30 you can sit in the cockpit of this huge Tigercat that flew at 460 mph and up to 40,000 ft! Think about firing off it’s four 20mm cannons or it’s four .50 caliber Browning machine guns. Get your photo taken too!
Then at 1:00 PM a really unusual military airplane, the German Fieseler Fi 156 Storch. Owner and expert, Steven Lund will talk about how this airplane, first flown in 1936 became pivotal in wartime events. In 1943 a Storch was used to rescue deposed Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and it had a less than glorious role in the last dogfight on the Western Front. Very “prized”, one became the personal aircraft of British Field Marshal ‘Monty’ Montgomery.
Following the presentation at around 2:00 PM, Steven Lund will do a flight demonstration in his Storch replica! Come check it out! Tomorrow Saturday, April 15th at the Palm Springs Air Museum. Not the usual! See you there!
She Takes Off!
As a long time photographer in the bodybuilding and fitness business, the first thing I noticed is that she works out. The World War II Bomber “Pacific Princess” visiting at the Palm Springs Air Museum. You can watch her take off again on this April 18th to commemorate the day of the “Raid On Tokyo” on April 18, 1943.
Great fun yesterday watching this World War II F4U Corsair take to the air and do flybys. Always any aviation enthusiasts favorite airplane. And to see it fly close up is just fantastic. At the Palm Springs Air Museum.
By the way this plane has the distinction of being the oldest air worthy Corsair. It arrived in San Diego and was assigned to Navy Squadron VF84 in 1943. Thanks Planes of Fame for bringing it on out!
B-25 Over Palm Springs
The World War II B-25 bomber, Pacific Princess arriving and flying over Palm Springs for the Palm Springs Air Museum. In commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the famed Doolittle Raid on Tokyo, the Pacific Princess will fly again today Saturday April 1st and also on Sunday April 2 at 8:48 AM to mark the time that the B-25 bombers onboard the carrier USS Hornet left San Francisco on their mission in 1942. My pleasure here to photograph and fly yesterday on another historic aircraft.
Also at the Palm Springs Air Museum on Saturday at 1:00 PM, “Hell’s Angels: True Story of the 303rd Bomb Group during World War II”. Pacific Princess will fly following the program.
“At the outbreak of World War Two, the United States was in no way prepared to wage war. Although the US declared war against Germany in December of 1941, the country lacked the manpower, the equipment, and the experience it needed to fight. Even had an invasion force been ready, a successful assault on Nazi-occupied Europe could not happen until Germany’s industrial and military might were crippled. Because no invasion could happen without air superiority, the first target was the Luftwaffe – the most powerful and battle-hardened air force in the world. To this end, the United States Army Air Forces joined with Great Britain’s already-engaged Royal Air Force to launch a strategic air campaign that ultimately brought the Luftwaffe to its knees. One of the standout units of this campaign was the legendary 303rd Bomb Group – “Hell’s Angels”. Presented by Jay Stout”
Last but not least, on Saturday morning between 10:30 – 12:30 you can take the seat in the cockpit of an AT-6 Texan, single-engined advanced trainer aircraft used to train pilots of the United States Army Air Force. You can have your photo taken too! All fun!
The Pacific Princess has an interesting motion picture career history. She was used in the classic film “Catch 22” and also “1941”. For the movie “Pearl Harbor” she took off from the deck of both the USS Lexington and the USS Constellation. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II she was flown off the carrier USS Carl Vinson.
On photo excursions we keep an eye out for old abandoned signs, unusual times gone past buildings and other oddities of Americana. Heading towards Tucson, the sun setting, we pulled off the freeway in the middle of nowhere to photograph an old restaurant sign and such. Darkness and an unmarked rough road and what is there on the way… The “Lion’s Den Adult Superstore for women, men and couples!”. On the edge of the Picacho Peak State Park with a Civil War battlefield. I guess unique to Arizona perhaps? Note the Saguaro Cactus all over the hillside.
The Bandit Queen
The “Bandit Queen” Pearl Hart… “Used her feminine wiles with both prisoners and guards alike, pardoned after 3 years.” My kind of woman! Poster at the Yuma Territorial Prison on a photo excursion.
“Of All The Gin Joints…”
“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.” Sadly only a photo on the wall and not actually at the counter. On a photo excursion and stopping for food at Lutes Casino in Yuma Arizona.
No Olive Garden
My kind of stop for food on a road trip! This ain’t no Olive Garden LOL! Lutes Casino in Yuma Arizona.
Sand Dunes Mirage
Out on a photo excursion last few days. No I did not bring them with me. They are just a sand dunes mirage.
Mr. Sulu WARP SPEED!
Fred Bell, director of the Palm Springs Air Museum, taking command of the 1928 Ford Tri-Motor. At start up, over the comm, he can be heard saying “Scotty give me everything you got! Mr. Sulu WARP SPEED!”. I know for sure, I heard it myself 🙂
From The Co-Pilot Seat
The takeoff in a 1928 Ford Tri-Motor passenger airplane. Yesterday leaving the Palm Springs Air Museum. This is one of the very first passenger aircraft. Three engines and ten passengers. Cruising speed of 107mph and a range of 570 miles. A must see, it will be available at the Air Museum through this Sunday (March 19th) and available for rides all day each day.
Perfect timing to lift a MiG-15 to it’s display location at the new hangar at the Palm Springs Air Museum. Well maybe not perfect timing because it turned into one of the very few days it rains here in Palm Springs. But neither crane nor rain stood in the way of progress! Certainly not the thing you see everyday. By the way, if you are asking, a MiG-15 without fuel weighs 8,000 pounds.
Do Stripes Make Me Look Fat?
So what do you think he would be saying here…
“Do stripes makes me look fat?”
“Do you always have to be doing that?
“Is this art?”
Last night at the opening of Art Palm Springs 2017 for Modernism Week. Pablo Picasso by Jamie Salmon. The Anthony Brunelli Fine Arts Booth at the Palm Springs Convention Center.
More P-38 Fun
Starting up and rolling out, a P-38 Lightning fighter plane from World War II. One of perhaps fewer than six still flying in the entire world. You can see from my video that the Palm Springs Air Museum visitors get an up close experience like none other. Not as close as I am, but right there to get their hats blown off their heads and get a good whiff of the spray of motor oil. How fun is that!