Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Marble Falls Drag Boats 2011

It's that time of year again, when Alan and I head north to Marble Falls, about an hour and a half's drive away, for the Lucas Oil Drag Boat Racing Series. They're fast! They're loud! They're cool!

Drag boats come in several classes, from Personal Watercraft (jetskis etc) through River Racer, Top Eliminator, Top Alcohol and Top Fuel Hydro, as well as some others. Top Fuel Hydro are the big boys, with heavily sponsored and well equipped teams, and boats that will run a quarter mile in well under four seconds.

This guy just popped in for a look, and to practise some water landings further upriver.

I think these four are all Pro Mod class.

I didn't take as many pictures as I have done in the past, this year. I wanted to try something different... so I concentrated more on video this time round, in order to try and capture the action. The results of this can be seen in the video below... watch it in HD for best viewing (you might need to click here, then click the resolution choice on the YouTube screen)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Breezy Ride at #OSH11

Remember this picture of Marty on the Breezy?

Now you can come flying with us in glorious technicolor!

I would love to get my hands on one of these aircraft... What a way to fly. It's like a magic carpet ride. Everything is so immediate; there's no canopy or perspex to get in the way. Many thanks to the guys who give these rides each year at Oshkosh. You're all stars!

Monday, August 08, 2011

Bell 47 Ride

I took a ride on one of the EAA's three Bell 47 helicopters. These are the bubble-canopied helicopters made famous in the series #MASH, way back in the day. There are three of them that fly constantly over Oshkosh during the week, and it's a great way to see the extent and complexity of the huge showground.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Flying Cars

It's 2011, and where are our flying cars?

At Ardy and Ed's drive-in, of course!

On the Sunday before Oshkosh, a brace of flying cars (or roadable airplanes) descended into the 1950's style diner just south of Wittman Regional Airport. They have waitresses on rollerskates that clip serving trays to your car window and you can eat burgers and drink root beer floats in the comfort of your own vehicle. I guess you get to clean up the mess, too.

The hybrid vehicles arrived by road, with a police escort.

First in was this Aerocar, whose wings and tail are towed behind the car section. They can be left behind at the airport and attached when it's time to fly home.

Next in were three Maverick vehicles. These stow a flexible fabric wing inside the roof. It unfolds to become a giant parafoil and the machine can fly at around 40-50 mph. It is designed for access into remote and difficult terrain.

Here are the cars in front of the drive-in.

And the drive-in itself, on another evening visit. The New Media community paid several visits to this establishment during the week ;-)

One flying car that did not make it down for burgers and floats was the Terrafugia Transition, seen here on the showground. I hope to see this fly soon; perhaps at #OSH12?

Meanwhile, you can see more pictures of the flying cars over on my main website.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

#OSH11 inclusions

I am chuffed and stoked to have been included in two fine publications today!

The EAA rounded up their selection of time lapse videos, which you can see here. They posted both of my #OSH11 offerings.

And Dan Pimentel of Airplanista magazine took a selection of my 787 Dreamliner images for his August issue.

Thanks guys! I am honoured!

MyT Crew makes the front page

Just as I was leaving the campsite on Saturday morning, a copy of the local newspaper was thrust into my hand, with the news that we were all on the front page!

And here we all are - I've highlighted the MyTransponder crew. I'm in orange at the front. Ron is wearing white to the left (my right). I think I can see Martt, David and his daughter, John and Damon and maybe Larry. It's hard to pick everyone out. Still, it's all good fun!

Update: The photo gallery was pointed out to me on the Northwestern paper's web site.

And here is a video they made - their cameraman must have been right by us, you can see Mike and Rod in this film! (apologies for the advertising up front)

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

B-29 'Fifi'

It's always good to see the CAF's big bomber, the B-29.

Here's a few shots of her in the air, with a few showing the EAA's photo chase plane, Photo 1, doing some air-to-air work alongside.

Getting some shots including some Little Friends (P-51 Mustangs).

Getting a nice overhead view of the showground behind the bomber.

Here's a close up of Photo 1, filled with photographers.

Taxiing in on two engines, with the outer pair shut down. I presume this is to save fuel as much as anything.

The Oshkosh Dot effect...

And finally, after a bomb run, into the sun.

Air to Air with a Remos GX

Here is one of the highlights of my #OSH11. Ron Klutts (@Captain_Ron) asked me to take some air to air shots of the Remos he was scheduled to take a media demo flight in. Of course, I was delighted for the opportunity! Air to air? At Oshkosh? Hell yes!

Here's only a couple of shots for now. More will be appearing on AirspeedOnline soon.

Monday, August 01, 2011

A shout out to some fine folks

The first time I attended Oshkosh, in 2008, it was about the aeroplanes. I spent the whole week taking pictures of every single one. The place was (and is) a goldmine; so many wonderful aircraft to see, many of them rarities to be seen nowhere else.

However since then, the focus each year has become more and more about the people. I am lucky enough to make a few more friends each time I go, so by now in my fourth year, there's a real cameraderie going on. It's the same for everyone else too, and the crew gets bigger and bigger...

So here's a shout to some friends of mine. I'm sorry I didn't get everyone's picture. You would think with all these cameras lying around, I would do better...

First up, here's Jay (left) and Larry. Larry is the president of the International Society of Aviation Photography, of which Jay and I are members, along with Jon and Pat and Glenn who I also hung out with at the show. Larry is a star, the reasoning for which has a lot to do with those yellow vests we all seem to be wearing.

Here's Richard, another ISAP member. He has organized some great tours in previous years at ISAP gatherings.

This motley crew is (L-R) Geraint, Andrew and Steve. Andrew and Steve are friends from the UK with whom I go way back. It was very nice to meet Geraint, and great to share some of the fabled UK banter once again...

This is Michelle and Michael Combs. I met Michael in Austin last year, as he was flying around all 50 US states in his Remos aircraft. Always good to catch up with them.

Here's the only sighting I had of the other Andrew (right) all week. This Andrew inhabits the Mustang Air to Air thread along with Jon, Pat, Glenn, Jay and myself, and he is currently working with EAA who obviously kept him busy all week.

This is Ron (@Captain_Ron) aboard the Dreamliner. You're going to see Ron again in a blog post soon.

Here's Mike (@Mike_Miley) who is half of MyTransponder along with Rod Rakic (@RodRakic). Mike is a star; he brought an RV (@HomeSweetRoad) and opened it up to the whole New Media/Podcasting gang, for us all to relax, get coffee, stay dry and charge batteries all week.

These two are David (@DaveFlys)and Damon (@PilotDamon), two more podcasters; also enjoying the 787.

I also need to give a shout out to Martt (@Airpigz) for finding such an awesome campsite and being willing to share it, not to mention cooking us all BACON.

Marty (@pilot2b) is a star for carting me around in his car with camping gear, beer, food etc. Seen here sporting a MyTransponder t-shirt at Podapalooza.

Steve (@StephenForce) deserves a shout for bringing the Jeremiah Weed and keeping the challenge coin industry in business. He is on the right of this picture, with Max Trescott in the middle and Rod Rakic on the left.

The Australians from Plane Crazy Down Under (@PCDU) who brought inflatable kangaroos and plenty of fun to the proceedings.

Larry (@LarryOverstreet), John (@PilotConway), Rose (@WisLadyPilot), Julie (@juliewillfly), Rob (@JetWhine) and David (@DMVanderhoof) - did I miss anyone? - all get shouts for being Fine Folks.

And last but by no means least, it was great to meet Benet Wilson (@avweekbenet) and reconnect with Max Trescott (@maxtrescott), who were both kind enough to promote what I was doing to their own audiences, as well as also being splendid individuals.

My hearty thanks to all these fine people, and anyone I forgot, for making my #OSH11 truly awesome. It quite literally wouldn't be the same without you guys. Bring on #OSH12!