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Spitfires x 3 from Headcorn 2.06.19 Air to Air

Warbirds, Replicas and Nostalgic photos in here please.
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XWP29
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Spitfires x 3 from Headcorn 2.06.19 Air to Air

Post by XWP29 » Wed Jan 01, 2020 2:43 pm

On the 2nd of June I travelled down from Suffolk to Headcorn in Kent for an air to air session with three two seater Spitfires. Our photo ship, the; "Devon Dove', 'went tech’ in the week before the flight. The organisers began the search for a replacement and shortly before the day, confirmed that former USAF C-47 Dakota 42-00882 “Drag-Em-Oot”, as the surprise replacement. In the days before hand I eagerly anticipated the chance to photograph these modernised versions of the Iconic Spitfires. Converted to carry a passenger, just a few days before the main 75th anniversay of D-Day. Even better we were to photograph from the load door, all eight of us secured by harnesses attached to the zip wire. :O

The day started with the chance to capture some of the charter flights in the three Spitfires and general flying activities at the airfield. What a wonderful place Headcorn is, the weather could not be better and eventually after meeting in the brand new WW2 dispersal hut we walked out to Drag-Em-Oot for the briefing and practise. This involved how to join the zip wire from the seating and progress to the load door under the helpful and watchful instruction of the Loadmaster. I had worn slightly inappropriate footwear, sandals to be precise and once this was noticed, rather than sit on the floor to the right hand side of the load door, I was re arranged to standing to the left. From probably the best position in the doorway to the not so good side.
Anyway off we went with Capt Peter Kuypers at the control (Peter is more widely known as one of the B-17 Sally B and a KLM Pilot). The noise in the fuselage is defeating with the two R-1802 Prat and Witneys running at take off and cruise levels. We gained altitude and circled inland from Dover awaiting the fighters. It struck me given my turn to leave the safety of the belted seat, and hook on to the zip wire, how so many did this 75 years ago. It was a moment to remember, it was difficult enough with two cameras strapped to me and the safety harness let alone all the equipment that the 82nd Airborne had to carry from this very Aircraft.

The load master confirmed the Spitfires were just behind us, with Parky of BBMF fame in the lead aircraft. The position in the door way, which I mentioned earlier, caused a few frustrated minutes for me as the Spitfire formation joined us, but being out of my view it seemed an age before all three were in sight. I suspect it wasn’t that long at all, but one of the things with Air to Air photography that I’ve encountered is that you can get, on occasion, limited opportunity to take the pictures desired, so making the most of a clear opportunity is vital. As it turned out we had ample time and opportunity and the chap standing next to me was most helpful in moving so I could get a better angle and vice versa.

We circled just east of Dover over the channel three times taking a pass over the White cliffs each turn. During the contact time with the Spitfires, during one of the passes over the cliffs ,one of my camera’s had majically gone from the selected 1/200th to 1/500th! I suspect this had been caused by the large wheel on the back of the Canon camera being rotated during the time it hung by my side, whilst the other camera was in use. It is after all incredibly cramped with 8 people in the doorway of the Dakota. Fortunately I spotted it after shooting some frames with that setting and reverted back to intended shutter speed.
Having had the opportunity to fill our boots with photograph's we returned to Headcorn.
It was an utterly fantastic flight and one that will long remain in the memory. The opportunity arose from a family celebrating a Special event in the three Spitfires and offered the chance to fly along side them. The chance to go came via a draw of names of the applicants. The Event was organised by COAP and operated by Aero Legends and I’d like to thank them both for their hospitality and the flight.

The day after the flight a friend sent me a link to a photograph on the front page of the Telegraph, was it one of mine, he asked? It could have been, but it wasn’t, it belonged to one of the professional photographer’s utilising the window positions on the port side.

Hope you like the photos and wishing all F.C.’s a very Happy New Year.





ImageSupermarine Spitfire MK IXT NH341 Headcorn 2.6.19 Aero Legends by XWP29, on Flickr


ImageSupermarine Spitfire PV202 MK IXT Headcorn 2.06.19 by XWP29, on Flickr


ImageSupermarine Spitfire MK T.9 SM520 Headcorn 2.6.19 Boultbee by XWP29, on Flickr

ImageDover Harbour 2.06.19 from Drag em oot DC-3 by XWP29, on Flickr

ImageThe Channel Tunnel Rail head at Cheriton by XWP29, on Flickr

ImageInside DC-3 Dakota 42-0082 Drag-em-oot by XWP29, on Flickr





ImageView from the zip wire looking out of the cargo door of Dakota DC-3 42-00882 Drag em oot by XWP29, on Flickr
ImageLinking up with the Fighters over Dover by XWP29, on Flickr

ImageSpitfire formation over the Channel with France in the distance by XWP29, on Flickr

ImageSpitfire stack over the Channel by XWP29, on Flickr

ImageSpitfire formation and a waving Parky in the lead Spitfire by XWP29, on Flickr

ImageWhite Cliffs of DoverSupermarine Spitfire MK IXT's NH341, PV202 and MK T.9 SM520 by XWP29, on Flickr

ImageThe White Cliffs three ship formation by XWP29, on Flickr

ImageWhite Cliffs with the right shutter speed by XWP29, on Flickr

ImageSpitfire formation preparing to break by XWP29, on Flickr

ImageBreak 1 and run for Headcorn by XWP29, on Flickr

ImageBreak 2 and run for Headcorn by XWP29, on Flickr

ImageBreak 3 and wave by XWP29, on Flickr

ImageThe peel off from the door of the Dakota by XWP29, on Flickr

ImageLanding back at Headcorn after the sortie by XWP29, on Flickr

ImageDouglas Dakota DC-3 (C-47) Skytrain 42-00882 Aero Legands Departs Headcorn 2.06.19 by XWP29, on Flickr
Last edited by XWP29 on Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:04 am, edited 2 times in total.
GRIM REAPERS SUPPORTER

AyrForce1
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Re: Spitfires x 3 from Headcorn 2.06.19 Air to Air

Post by AyrForce1 » Wed Jan 01, 2020 3:24 pm

Superb pictures! :thumbs:
(sadly not yet in the mood for reading the blurb :P )

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Nighthawke
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Re: Spitfires x 3 from Headcorn 2.06.19 Air to Air

Post by Nighthawke » Wed Jan 01, 2020 3:58 pm

Wow, what an opportunity and fabulous photographs. I did read your informative post in full so thanks for that too.

1marshn30
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Re: Spitfires x 3 from Headcorn 2.06.19 Air to Air

Post by 1marshn30 » Wed Jan 01, 2020 5:10 pm

Lovley Work mate
Ni

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Petepilot
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Re: Spitfires x 3 from Headcorn 2.06.19 Air to Air

Post by Petepilot » Wed Jan 01, 2020 5:29 pm

Lovely pics of lovely subjects. 'Break 3' is the best for me. Thanks for sharing :clap:

Snoop 95
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Re: Spitfires x 3 from Headcorn 2.06.19 Air to Air

Post by Snoop 95 » Wed Jan 01, 2020 5:44 pm

Stunning!

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paddyboy
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Re: Spitfires x 3 from Headcorn 2.06.19 Air to Air

Post by paddyboy » Thu Jan 02, 2020 5:08 am

Hi Nick :P

These look as awesome now as when I first saw them :thumbs:

Thanks for posting and see you soon :thumb:

Paddy :clap:
XH558, always the first lady in my life
Just remember, please don't tell the wife


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grumpy616
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Re: Spitfires x 3 from Headcorn 2.06.19 Air to Air

Post by grumpy616 » Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:51 am

Absolutely stunning. :thumbs:

Pete
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Seahawk 11
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Re: Spitfires x 3 from Headcorn 2.06.19 Air to Air

Post by Seahawk 11 » Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:25 pm

Wow, what a awesome set of photos there,

Rob

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eLaReF
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Re: Spitfires x 3 from Headcorn 2.06.19 Air to Air

Post by eLaReF » Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:18 pm

Agreeing with the rest - Wow!
I imagine you could burn through a 64Gb chip quite easily on a day like that.
.
.
EDI Spotter since 1958 (When it was RAF Turnhouse)
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If you are impatient, all of my photos are at https://www.flickr.com/photos/elaref/co ... 913377036/

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Bobcode
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Re: Spitfires x 3 from Headcorn 2.06.19 Air to Air

Post by Bobcode » Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:24 pm

Your pictures are superb ! I really enjoyed your account of the day and am very envious of the day you had 😊
A memory that will remain !

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XWP29
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Re: Spitfires x 3 from Headcorn 2.06.19 Air to Air

Post by XWP29 » Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:31 am

Bobcode wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:24 pm
Your pictures are superb ! I really enjoyed your account of the day and am very envious of the day you had
A memory that will remain !
Cheers Bob it was a great day and hope you get to have a similar experience sometime.
eLaReF wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:18 pm
Agreeing with the rest - Wow!
I imagine you could burn through a 64Gb chip quite easily on a day like that.
I did x 2 :blush:
Seahawk 11 wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:25 pm
Wow, what a awesome set of photos there,

Rob
Thanks Rob very lucky to have been able to get them.

grumpy616 wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:51 am
Absolutely stunning.

Pete
High praise, thanks Pete, know you love the Spitfire’s :thumb:
paddyboy wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 5:08 am
Hi Nick

These look as awesome now as when I first saw them

Thanks for posting and see you soon

Paddy

Thanks Paddy, and thank you for letting me post in your section :P
Many of these have not been posted before :@
See you soon :thumbs:

Snoop 95 wrote:
Wed Jan 01, 2020 5:44 pm
Stunning!
Thanks Snoop, what a cool name. :cool:
Petepilot wrote:
Wed Jan 01, 2020 5:29 pm
Lovely pics of lovely subjects. 'Break 3' is the best for me. Thanks for sharing
Thanks Pete I like the preparation to break and 2 and three but can’t pick a favourite from them, glad you like 3. :thumb:
1marshn30 wrote:
Wed Jan 01, 2020 5:10 pm
Lovley Work mate
Ni
Cheers, hope to see you sometime in 2020.
Nighthawke wrote:
Wed Jan 01, 2020 3:58 pm
Wow, what an opportunity and fabulous photographs. I did read your informative post in full so thanks for that too.
Thanks Nighthawke, glad someone read it, my pleasure.
AyrForce1 wrote:
Wed Jan 01, 2020 3:24 pm
Superb pictures! :thumbs:
(sadly not yet in the mood for reading the blurb :P )
Glad you enjoyed the photos. :lol:
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AyrForce1
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Re: Spitfires x 3 from Headcorn 2.06.19 Air to Air

Post by AyrForce1 » Sun Jan 05, 2020 12:17 pm

XWP29 wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:31 am
Glad you enjoyed the photos. :lol:
I did eventually get around to reading it too. Jan 1st just wasn't the best time :P

1marshn30
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Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2014 4:35 pm
Location: Bodicote Oxfordshire

Re: Spitfires x 3 from Headcorn 2.06.19 Air to Air

Post by 1marshn30 » Sun Jan 05, 2020 2:06 pm

Hope so mate might get some time off for good behaviour if I pull my finger out and get the house finished
Have. A good New year and happy snapping
Ni

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