Monday, May 30, 2011

Cessna T-128T Caravan

It seems there could be a new military designation for the Cessna Caravan. Flightglobal reported that Cessna has won a USAF counter-insurgency contract for six Cessna T-128T and 26 Cessna 208B Caravans to be delivered the Afghanistan air force.

While the designation may be new, military Caravans certainly are not:

(images courtesy USAF)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mystery Prop

I need help identifying this propeller. It was originally covered in a black rubbery coating. That coating was stripped off, and this is what it looks like now:

Any guesses as to what aircraft type it might have come from?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Waco RPT

Now that the 2011 Nationals test has been revealed, I can share my Waco RPT photo shoot. The RPT competed for a US military contract in the early 1940s and lost. The sole example was originally built with an open cockpit. A later owner added the canopy. The aircraft has only 85 hours total time and has rarely ventured out of a hangar. It is currently offered for sale on for $57,900.

Prior to spring of 2011, only one or two photos of the RPT existed on the web. This was one of them, shot at Oshkosh sometime in the 1970s or 1980s:

After tracking down the owner, I managed to get permission to do a full photo shoot. It can be seen here.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Railroad 737s

Let's face it - airports aren't becoming any friendlier toward photographers. Carry a DSLR up to an airport boundary fence, and you'll be descended upon and discriminated against faster than you can say "civil liberties". But there are still a few places where you can photograph brand-new 737s without being treated like a felon.

Seattle is one of those places.

Take a walk down 20th Avenue West over by Interbay, and you will occasionally run across views like this:

Here's the Google Street View link.

You can also get some decent shots from the other side of the tracks. Just head to Interbay Golf Center on 15th Ave West:

And always travel with your camera. As photographer Dave Lednicer demonstrates HERE, you can find the 737 fuselages enroute between Wichita and Renton.

Monday, May 2, 2011

In Pursuit of Jane

As NIFA Aircraft Rec competitors know, Jane's All the World's Aircraft is the official source for judging.

As NIFA Aircraft Rec competitors also know, those big fabric-bound books can be horrendously expensive.

A few years back, I hit the jackpot. Just before driving through Chicago enroute to family Christmas in Michigan and on a whim, I performed a certain Chicago Craigslist search. Turned out, a small library was interested in selling their huge collection of used Jane's yearbooks for what amounted to about $10 each.

A quick phone call and a few hours later, this was the result:

I consider myself extremely fortunate to have scored a collection that includes half of the 1950s, almost all of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, and some of the 1990s. But it actually wasn't a once-in-a-lifetime deal.

With patience, you can find darn cheap used examples on Amazon. $15-20 is not an uncommon price for editions from the 1960s through the 1980s. But anything newer than 1995 tends to become disgustingly expensive.

Today, I discovered that, for some reason, the 2001/2002 edition is unusually inexpensive:

2000/2001 - $127
2001/2002 - $18
2002/2003 - $130
2003/2004 - $438
2004/2005 - $130
2005/2006 - $629
2006/2007 - $694
2007/2008 - $880
2008/2009 - $915
2009/2010 - $965
2010/2011 - $1972

If you'd like to take advantage of the deal, here's the link.