Classic Fighters 2011 — remastered

Published

I thought I’d done the remastering of all of my air show albums on Flickr but was searching for photos of a specific aircraft type recently and stumbled across the fact I had so far not done this one. That oversight is now corrected!

However, there is a fairly large caveat to this album. I’d only had my SMC Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED lens for a couple of years and it was a dull day so I had left the aperture wide open (f/4-5.6), even though the K-5’s sensor was very capable of dealing with low light on its own by means of a higher ISO setting. Anyway, that’s what I did, and as a result the weaknesses of this lens are quite apparent. Most often it involves a “double vision” effect, more pronounced nearer the edges of the frame (some shots are cropped a lot, which helps) but sometimes also there is a “blooming” of bright colours. In later years I left this lens at f/11 where it performed much better.

Unlike previous albums where I have chosen to remove some shots that didn’t stand up to PhotoLab’s clinical sharpness, I have left the set at its original 167 shots. I still feel the overall effect is a major increase in quality, even if it also increases the visibility of the defects.

Without further ado, here is a small sample of some of the better shots.

I’ve still never seen this fly! As far as I am aware it never leaves Omaka, or at least not the South Island. This was the first time it didn’t fly at Omaka as there was some damage to the cooling fins behind the propeller (which was clearly visible!) In 2017 it didn’t fly because it has also been involved in an incident before the show.

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Focke-Wulf Fw-190A-8, ZK-RFR

I’ve seen more than a few Spitfires in my time, but it’s honestly hard to beat a Mk.IX for pure good looks.

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Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX, “PV270” ZK-SPI

While the Focke-Wulf would have been the star of the show for me, had it flown, its place was taken by this fabulous Albatros D.Va, flown by its owner, the world famous collector Kermit Weekes.

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Albatros D.Va, ZK-TBB

There is a period of New Zealand air show history which meant an inevitable appearance by Keith Skilling in a Corsair. Omaka 2011 was in that period. Here he is with his first pass of the day in his usual style — very low and very fast!

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Goodyear FG-1D Corsair, ZK-COR

And my final selection is my winner for most beautiful aircraft of the show, even though it didn’t even move on this occasion (it did in 2017!).

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Bristol B.170 Freighter, ZK-CPT

Check out the full set of 167 photos over on Flickr.

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