Royal International Air Tattoo 2013 - Major Picture Update!!

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Post by Lancebloke Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:39 pm

Right - I promised some pictures of my trip to a little airshow over the weekend. I managed to cut it down to 89 pictures and I had to go through every single one and resize by 90% otherwise each would have been around 15mp each.

I will do static display with lots of words first, then flying display with probably a lot of words, just less than in this update.

We got to the tattoo at about 8am to give some time to familiarise ourselves with the venue and take a look around the static park. I only have a small selection of the planes you can go and walk around. There were a few hundred in total outside of the flying display itself. Some countries put on a great show by painting their aircraft in special colours.

I will start with a current fast jet of the Royal Air Force.

The first is an operational RAF Tornado GR4 of 617 squadron. As you may be able to see from it's tail design, this was specially painted for the 70th anniversary of the RAF raids on German dams in the Ruhr valley in 1943.

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The raids themselves were conducted by RAF Bomber Command Lancaster bombers using specially designed bouncing bombs which skimmed the surface of the water, allowing the bombers to make low attack runs (which you couldn't with a normal bomb) and have something that would avoid the anti-torpedo nets that were found in the river. The run severely damaged the dams and caused major disruption o the German war effort as most of their manufacturing was in the Ruhr Valley.

A Lancaster bomber.

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Obviously we have a much better relationship with the Germans these days and an example is the effort the always go to with their paint schemes. The first is a German Airforce Tornado GR4

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The second, although not quite so cool, is a German Army Lynx the is clearly celebrating 100 years of something important.

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Staying on the subject of paint jobs (yes Orwell... PAINT jobs.....) are some planes belonging to the Red Bull collection. Also second world war but this time from the American Air Force.

The first is a P-47 Corsair with it's very distinct gull wing shape. These were some of the best piston engine fighters ever built and have a lot of success against both German and Japanese fighters of the time (much better than the P-51 Mustang that seems to be the pin-up fighter of the US Airforce of the time)

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The second, and again much forgotten about American plane is the B-25 Mitchell. For anyone who has seen Pearl Harbour or who knows their history, these were the bombers that took part in the Doolittle raids on Japan. That was the first time the Japanese mainland had been attacked during the war and was a real turning point. The Americans finally believed they could win the war and the Japanese lost their momentum. Of course, the B-25s of the 1940s weren't the same colour as this one.

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The final piston engine plane from the second world war is one operated by both the USAF and RAF. The Consolidated Catalina is flying boat that was key in keeping German U-boats away from allied convoys travelling the Atlantic. It doesn't really look like anyone thought about what it looked like when they built it but it is actually quite graceful in the air.

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Nice bit of artwork on the side.

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Moving back in to the jet age is the first British jet fighter. Much is made of the German 262 which began operating in the late stages of the war, but not many people know the the RAF was also operating its own jet aircraft. The Gloucester Meteor was used to both counter the 262 and to also hunt down the V1 and V2 flying bombs on their way in to the UK.

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For everyone who has ever heard the noise, you will know there isn't anything like the sound of the 4 Rolls Royce engines of a Vulcan bombers at full power. And for anyone that has seen it fly, you will know there isn't much like seeing a delta wing of a heavy bomber as it glides through the sky. This is the only flying Vulcan bombers in the world and will hopefully be flying through to 2015. If you have never seen it fly, I would recommend finding an airshow while you still can.

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Talking of pretty aircraft, unfortunately I didn't see this fly, however it is definitely one of the most unique aircraft. It dominated luxury air travel in the early days but surprisingly there are not many of them left flying. The Lockheed Sper Constellation is affectionately known as the 'Connie'

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Moving back firmly in to the modern era, a nice line of fighters. The first is the second 617 squadron Tornado. That is followed by a string of Eurofighter Typhoons, 1 from each of the 5 operational RAF squadrons and 2 from the Italian Air Force.

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A lot of power comes out of these engines. If you have ever seen, heard and felt one of them take off you will know what I mean.

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A pair of F-16s from Belgium. The one with the artwork is the one you will see in the air in part 2

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And I can't remember if this is the Hungarian of Swedish one... I do know, however that it is a Saab Gripen and is a very good compact 4th generation fighter.

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A bit of near future technology for some European airforces. The Airbus A400M will replace aging transport aircraft with a very modern plane. Most people seem to think jet engines are the way to go, but the big turbo props you can see will give any jet engine for a plane this size a run for its money. I have been inside one and it is like being on the Enterprise inside the cockpit.

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And from the back

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And for super heavy lifting, the C-17. I have also been in the cargo hold of one of these and it is enormous (although still dwarfed by the C5 which our American friends have plenty of).

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Just finishing up with things on the ground. A long line of planes is always nice to see and across the back of the airfield, 2 of the aerobatic teams were parked up. The first and on the left is the Patrouille de France, I'm sure you guessed that this is the French display team. The second, and to the right, is the Frecce Tricolori. I am sure Figgy knows about this lot.

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And last, but by no means least, is the pride and joy of the Royal Air Force, the Red Arrows.

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I hope at least 1 person enjoyed the update. I will try and do the other tonight if I get time.
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Post by Ally Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:48 pm

RAF MUSEUM IN CROYDON BITCHES!

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Post by Mrs Figg Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:15 pm

those are great Lance, given the choice which would you like a go in? I fancy one of the old school ones from the 2WW.
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Post by David H Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:20 pm

Lancebloke wrote:
The first is a P-47 Corsair with it's very distinct gull wing shape. These were some of the best piston engine fighters ever built and have a lot of success against both German and Japanese fighters of the time (much better than the P-51 Mustang that seems to be the pin-up fighter of the US Airforce of the time)

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My dad's older brother was killed bailing out of a P-47 over the Pacific.  Dad always had a love/hate for that plane.  A beautiful machine though. Thanks for the pictures Lance!
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Royal International Air Tattoo 2013 - Major Picture Update!! Empty Part 2 (now of 3 as this is getting long) - The Flying Display

Post by Lancebloke Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:24 pm

So, RIAT 2013 was kicked off the way we like it.... lot's of noise!! Our friends from Belgium (the one with the artwork on the tail) in the F-16.

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One of the favourite moves for any fast jet pilot is the slow pass. The nose points at about 45 degrees to makes sure enough airflow can get over the wings to keep it in the air.

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As you can tell, at this point the cloud was a little low after storms the previous day. The meant the display pilots had to put on their 'low level' programme. Laws in the UK are very strict and pilots that break them can be ordered to land immediately. This meant no big loops which gives both the crowd something different to see and in turn actually makes it much harder for the pilot.

This was no issue for one of the most impressive displays of the whole show. The British Army Lynx pilots are fecking nutcases.

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Yes, the helicopter is upside down. You really have to see the display to believe it. Not many helicopters can do what the Lynx can do and not many pilots would have the balls to do it.

Next came the Hungarian Saab Gripen

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A very capable jet and a good display from the Hungarians given the weather conditions at the time. Nice view of the weapons hardpoints on the bottom. Saab have made lots of good fighters and the Gripen is no exception.

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A pair of skulking Eurofighter Typhoons were waiting for the Gripen to land so that they could get in the air for a fly past later in the program.

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The first was the RAF Typhoon, followed closely by his Italian friend who gave us all a nice wave.

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Next up after the Typhoons had taken of straight in to a vertical climb, disappearing in the clouds within about 5 seconds, were the crazy bastard Breitling wing walkers.

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When they are strapped on, I get it. But when they do this.....

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Mad 

Now, earlier in the day, an Italian Boeing 767 tanker had taken off (which I have pictures of, just not put them here) and we obviously have seen the 2 Typhoons. The point here was for a little demonstration of how air to air refuelling works.

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Clearly they couldnt actually refuel as if something went wrong, lots of people would die and it wouldn't be very much fun for anyone. But still, it was cool, especially the second pass when the Typhoons broke off for landing.

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Safe landing for the 767 too.

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Next up was one of the highlights of the day. The Avro Vulcan took to the sky making everyone's rib cage rumble as it pushed full power and lifted off in to the air.

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Another elegant display (ironically given it was designed to flatten Russian cities should the need arise) before lining up for landing.

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And holding the nose almost the entire length of the runway with the odd looking airbrakes poking out of the top of the wings.

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Nice display from an Italian chopper of some sort (I cant remember what it was Neutral ), the highlights being the man that kept appearing form various doors.

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As you may have seen, I have decided that this needs to be 3 updates, so to start bringing part two to a close, the Patrouille de France. Again, limited by the cloud case being low earlier in the day, they went for a low display.

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Everything was going okay, some nice shapes and stuff, but nothing too exciting (which is really down to the low level display being needed, the team are very good).

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However, about 3/4s of the way through, the number 2 plane had some engine problems and the display had to be cut short. He was led in by the number 3 plane and managed to get back on the runway with no major issues.

We started the display with our friends from Belgium and we will end part two with them as they had to leave early for a second display they were putting on back home later in the day. They gave a good goodbye with lots of noise!!

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To be continued.
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Royal International Air Tattoo 2013 - Major Picture Update!! Empty Part Three (or part two of the flying)

Post by Lancebloke Thu Jul 25, 2013 10:21 pm

A nice vintage section of the tattoo came next.

Red bulls B-25 Mitchell and P-47 Corsair (sorry to hear about your uncle David) providing air cover for the Consolidated Catalina

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The cloud had begun to thin and some streaks of sun complemented the chrome and white paint schemes of the B-25 and Catalina

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I should have put sun cream on at this point. Lesson learned.

Moving in to the RAF vintage aircraft with the Battle of Britain flight. The Lancaster stalking the runway for its chance to get airborne.

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And joined in the formation that any UK airshow goer will recognise with a Spitfire and Hurricane flanking each wing. On this occasion, you may notice that the Spitfire is a clipped wing variant giving it an odd shape where the curve of the wing does not end in usual point.

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The fighters departed for the second of three set piece flypasts. This time commemorating the 617 dam busters raid 70th anniversary. The Lancaster was joined by one of the current 617 Tornadoes.

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With news announced that 617 will be getting the F-35 in a few years, I am sure we will see more of these flypasts in the future.

Interesting display next from an Italian Airforce C29J Spartan

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Doesnt look like anything special until it does this:

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Feel sorry for any troops that my be in the back.

Nice link with the old and the new as the next display was from the French Airforce's newest acquisition, the Rafale.

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The good thing about hot weather is it makes for some great effects when jets pull high g-force moves.

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Unfortunately for the French, they were having a bad day and the aircraft had some issues with it's nose wheel when it had landed. Another broken plane that needed to be towed off the runway and fixed up.

The Rafale was followed by the RAFs current generation air superiority fighter, the Typhoon.

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With the sky now clear of cloud and the sun shining, the RAF pilot gave us the Typhoons signature power take off in to a tight loop. The whole display was very aggressive and full of afterburner, which is what we like.

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We like the Typhoon!!

A brief display from the Swiss PC-7 display team signalled time to get a drink. While they are good for those that haven't seen them perform before, I have and it is a bit of a come down after two fast jet displays.

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Next came the A400M... the future of European medium lift capability. The French have their first one and the RAF will get theirs before the year is out. Surprisingly maneuverable for a plane that size too.

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As the A400 disappeared to parts unknown, the Red Arrows get themselves ready for their display.

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Although it wasn't next in the list. The 9 jets plus Red 11 (the photo plane) sped off to have a jolly before they came back later with their display.

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Instead, we got treated to a display for the Army Air Corps Apache.... no, it wasn't Captain Wales in the driving seat.

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Didn't get too many photos of that there is another later on which I am sure you will agree is much more interesting to look at. However, the display wasn't far off the Lynx from earlier. The Apache is a beast.

So the A400M was on it's way back in.... but hold on, what is that with it?

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Ahh, that is where the Reds went.

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The third and final fly past of the day. The A400 headed a few miles north to RAF Brize Norton or the day leaving the Reds to do what they do best.

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Every year I think 'Oh, here we go again,' and every year I walk out convinced that they are the best display team in the world. But then I haven't seen them all so not qualified to give that advice. They are bloody great though.

The Red Arrows were followed by a plane I have wanted to see fly for a long time (I have a list in my head). The MiG 29. The Polish airforce were kind enough to grant my wish by bringing one over. Old and Russian built can be demonstrated here:

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No, it is not about to explode, it is just a very dirty plane.

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It was great to see it fly as Russian aircraft designer have a very different approach to the West. Even the profile of the jet is quite obviously different.

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This compared to the jet that lined up next from the Dutch airforce.

<a href="https://smg.photobucket.com/user/lancebloke/media/IMG_3895_zps27747edb.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v430/lancebloke/IMG_3895_zps27747edb.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_3895_zps27747edb.jpg"/></a>

This sat on the runway for quite a long time as it is part of a duet with a Dutch Army Apache which has an equally great paint scheme.

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Once the Apache has finished its routine, the F-16 roars in to the sky to join it.

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Again, the F-16 displaying its signature move, but this time it is to stay slow enough for a flyby with the chopper that is going flat out.

A nice clean display for the F-16 brings the tattoo to its last few aircraft.

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A British Army Chinook next which I see flying around London quite a lot.

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Although they dont do this. The Army clearly employs a lot of crazy pilots.

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You can see on the left of this picture another jet. This time the Swedish Gripen. We are just packing up now to beat the queues and start the 3.5 hour journey home after a long day (and being very pink). Since I already had some pictures of the Hungarian version in part two, I wont put any more of this. Only would like to say it was probably the mst aggressive display of the day and I hope the pilot wins the award as such.

One final picture of an Estonian airforce L-39 trainer (much like the Hawk that the Red Arrows fly).

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Nice paint job and solid display for a debut for his country. Hope to see them back at some point in the future.

At this point, we were already out of the grounds before the L-39 had taxied off the runway. The French display team had to get out (with their fixed number 2 plane) for a flyover back home (I believe for the Tour de France) which meant the Frecce Tricolori display team were delayed in closing the show.

Although I have seen them many times, the highlight of their 25 minute (yes, 25 minutes) display is the team commentator. We put on RIAT radio in the car and got the full breakdown of everything that was going on in the sky behind the trees and hills and the most enthusiastic manner you could imagine. So thank you to him for that and giving us some entertainment as we navigated the numerous diversions before hitting the motorway.

So, big goodbye to RIAT 2013. Sadly, no American participation this year due to budgetary things going on the have grounded all of their displays even back in the US. Hopefully they will be back with a vengeance for 2014.

Hope you have all enjoyed the pics. Let me know if you want any more of any specific aircraft or a higher resolution version (if you are in to that kinda thing).


Last edited by Lancebloke on Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:36 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Thu Jul 25, 2013 10:38 pm

Fantastic pics Lance.
That helicopter pilot is nuts! Not to mention skilled.
Loved the classic planes too- such icons.
Shame about the shitty weather hindering the display though, especially after such a long period of good clear weather- typically British that. Mad 

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Post by azriel Thu Jul 25, 2013 10:59 pm

Stunning pics Lance ! Im impressed ! We have "Airbourne" here, & all you see mainly is planes in the sky, & each one takes quite a while between each appearance! It gets pretty packed with tourists & "inmates" alike. Most peoples favs are the Red Devils & the beautiful Lancaster Bomber. Its not a bad show here but not on the same level as yours ! Very Happy 

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Post by Ringdrotten Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:31 pm

This looks great, Lance - I'll save this thread for a lengthy breakfast with a big cup of coffee Smile

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Post by Lancebloke Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:39 am

Just did a bit of editing as noticed some duplication of pics and a couple I had missed.

Glad some of you liked it. Costs £30 to go but it is normally a great show.

Petty - yeah, weather was bad in the morning but to be honest gave some variation as they had to do low level and when the sun came out the later displays were very different.
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Post by David H Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:50 am

I really enjoyed the first bit but it's a lot of pictures and it takes forever to download. I'm looking forward to the whole thing when I have more time....
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Post by Lancebloke Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:19 am

Sorry... I resized all the pics to make them more manageable and stuck a warning up in the title.

Hope you enjoy the rest.
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Post by Eldorion Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:39 am

Some amazing pictures, Lance.  Thanks for posting them!  The Red Arrows looked amazing even in still photos, but the upside-down helicopter made me do a double take.  The C-29J was great too, I would never have guessed that such a big plane could pull off a move like that. Shocked

I'm also really impressed by the clarity of your pictures, especially the in-flight ones. Thumbs Up I need to sleep but I'll definitely come back and read through the whole thread more carefully sometime soon.
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Post by chris63 Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:29 am

Some great shots there Lance. You wouldn't want to fall out of that helicopter while upside down. Very Happy 

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Post by Lancebloke Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:07 pm

Not sure how many I took Eldo, but was bound to get some good ones in there somewhere. Also invested in a good camera a while ago... it makes a huge difference.
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Post by Eldorion Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:09 pm

Yeah, I've been tempted to get a good digital camera but I don't take many pictures so it's never on my mind until it's too late. A phone camera is probably good enough for the frequency (and lack of skill) with which I take pictures, though. Razz
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Post by Lancebloke Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:11 pm

Mrs Figg wrote:those are great Lance, given the choice which would you like a go in? I fancy one of the old school ones from the 2WW.

Missed your question up there Figgs. I don't know which I would go for. Probably the MiG 29. You can do it for £12000 too.
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Post by Lancebloke Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:15 pm

Think we used to have a photo thread which is now in the Forumshire ether. You can see some of the shots I have taken on there. Pics of fast moving aircraft are much harder than scenic stuff.
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Post by Mrs Figg Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:46 pm

my camera is tiny its the size of the palm of my hand but it means I can keep it in my bag, it also takes ok pics. you never know when you will find something interesting so its best to be prepared, theres been a couple of times I have regretted not having my camera with me.
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:00 pm

I find the trick is just to take loads of pictures of a subject, never take just one, take a few from slightly different angles and find out which are the decent ones later.

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