Photography by Ian L. Sitren

Posts tagged “Red Tails

Reno Air Races Recap

Again I am honored to be part of the Palm Springs Air Museum. Here as photographer, content creator, social media manager and even in flight operations at the 55th National Championship Air Races in Reno for 2018. Thanks!

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The Palm Springs Air Museum again became the standout at the 55th National Championship Air Races in Reno this September. The most prestigious race in the fastest motorsport in the world saw our Red Tail P-51 Mustang “Bunny” and our P-63 Kingcobra “Pretty Polly” fly around the pylons in front of crowds estimated to be 150,000+. “Bunny” flown by pilot Mark Moodie took a Third Place “on the podium” win in the Silver Unlimited Race with a speed of 333.562, less than one mile per hour away from first place! “Pretty Polly” flown by pilot Jim “JD” Dale made for a crowd favorite in 7th Place in the Silver Unlimited Race with a speed of 307.781. We finished with both aircraft “in the money”!

We were most honored for the second year in a row to be joined by a man who is indeed a very special friend to the Air Museum, 98 year old Tuskegee Airman, Lt. Col. Bob Friend. With us everyday at the Races to meet people and sign autographs, we were most proud to have him start our airplanes and watch as they taxi’d out for the Finals. The honor even extended further as the Colonel joined us on stage for the Awards Dinner to accept our trophies as he was given an extended standing ovation by a hangar filled with 1,000 racers and crew and family and friends. A moment in time that brought many to tears as cameras and cellphones saved the moment for history.

Certainly “Bunny” stole the show in so very many ways. A Red Tail dedicated to the famed Tuskegee Airmen of World War II and specifically to the aircraft flown by Lt. Col. Bob Friend, many would say she is the most beautiful of all P-51 Mustangs. But we had another very special girl with us, “Pretty Polly”. One of perhaps only four P-63 Kingcobras still flying, it has been forty years since a Kingcobra raced at Reno. Race fans, aviation fans, aviation photographers all greeted the news of “Pretty Polly” at Reno and her arrival and racing with huge enthusiasm and appreciation. Our Race Pit was continually visited by Kingcobra fans who specifically came to see her. Even a fan from Japan came by wearing one of our Air Museum ‘Pretty Polly” shirts! Pilot Jim “JD” Dale was on hand to talk with so very many and they were in luck because “JD” is a tremendously knowledgeable Kingcobra historian and of course one of the very few Kingcobra pilots.

The National Championship Air Races Reno gives the Palm Springs Air Museum the opportunity to bring our message of living history to expanding audiences around the world. Millions of people online will share in our adventure being there. We have endless numbers of people to Thank in getting us to Reno. Mechanics, pilots, the people who loaded the trailers, and so very many volunteers. And of course the individuals and sponsors who donated to funding our being able to make it happen. Everyone has their own reasons for being part of Reno with us. But to a person, it is unselfish and giving, whether through their money or labor. To everyone a huge and heartfelt Thank You! And an excited; see you in Reno for 2019!


Sigma 150-600mm Lens

I have been trying out the the Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | S lens. On my Canon 1DMkIV. And a no fail serious camera strap from Vulture Equipment Works.

Just worked with it for the 2nd time. Yes it is sharp and the color fidelity is beautiful! You might look at the lettering on the prop and say it is blurry. Actually that is exactly how it is on the prop. This was at 150mm. The aircraft is at the Palm Springs Air Museum; a Red Tail P-51 Mustang “Bunny” dedicated to the famed Tuskegee Airmen of World War II.

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Meet The Heroes

Not just the machines but the men too! On Memorial Day come meet Tuskegee Airmen Lt. Col. Bob Friend and Captain Rusty Burns. Two of the airmen of the iconic “Red Tails” of World War II. Watch our own P-51 Mustang “Bunny” take to the skies, the “Red Tail” dedicated to the Mustang that now 98 year old Col. Friend himself flew during the War.

Also with us will be B-17 Flying Fortress Gunner, US Army Air Force Tech Sgt. Mike Kovich. Now 102 years old, Mike was shot down in March of 1944 over Germany and was a POW until April 1945.

And meet 106 year old US Navy Radioman 2nd Class Marvin Cohn. Served in World War II from 1943-1945 aboard the USS Purdy. The Destroyer was attacked off the coast of Okinawa by Japanese aircraft suffering extensive damage and 73 casualties.

So please visit the Palm Springs Air Museum on Memorial Day. It is a day to meet the heroes of history. Thanks!

I am very proud to have photographed this Red Tail P-51 for this very special poster.

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Back Seat Mustang

This was me in the back seat and it could be you in the Palm Springs Air Museum P-51 Mustang “Bunny” this coming Memorial Day weekend, Saturday through Monday!

A flight experience in one of the most iconic aircraft of all time. The fighter that changed the course of the air campaign in World War II. Hear the roar of that distinctive Merlin engine as it pulls you into the skies!

Dedicated to the famed “Red Tails” Tuskegee Airmen, on Monday you can personally meet 98 year old Lt. Col Bob Friend, the man who flew this aircraft dedicated to the one he flew over Europe during the War. Also meet Tuskegee Airmen Captain Rusty Burns!

Call 760-778-6262 to reserve your time. Your flight experience of history $1895.00. A flight you will not forget!. Thanks!


National Military Appreciation Month

May is National Military Appreciation Month and May 19th was National Armed Forces Day. buzzbox premium cocktails joined with the Palm Springs Air Museum to honor the so very many by celebrating the famed Tuskegee Airmen of World War II. Watch and listen as Air Museum Volunteer and United States Air Force Veteran Al Crossley tells his story and takes a flight in the “Red Tail” P-51 Mustang “Bunny”.  Thanks!


A Reno Air Race Thank You!

A full page Thank You in the Desert Sun newspaper today to all of our Palm Springs Air Museum Sponsors who made our “Red Tails Race Team” so very successful at the National Championship Air Races Reno 2017! Also a Thank You to the many of you who so graciously donated but wished to remain anonymous. Every one of you made it possible for all of us to participate and to honor the heroic and brave Tuskegee Airmen at this prestigious event! Thank You! Thank You!

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You Have A Race!

This is how the Race starts! The planes join up and fly to the course. As you are watching, you will see the T-33 pace plane climb away and it is on! Six P-51 Mustangs including our Palm Springs Air Museum “Bunny” dive for the first pylons! The Silver Race of the Unlimited Class this past Sunday at the National Championship Air Races in Reno! This was shot on my GoPro mounted along the canopy rail. You can also watch this in HD on my Vimeo Channel at https://vimeo.com/235180990

We had a great successful ten days at Reno and we were honored to have the entire event join us in celebrating the brave Tuskegee Airmen heroes of World War II! You can join us in that too, through this one last weekend and be a part of our “Red Tails Race Team”! You can even get our actual Team T-Shirt and the Official Poster and more. Please check it out and we Thank You so very much for your help… https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/red-tails-race-team