Monday, September 24, 2007

Mustang Tally

She's A Bit Long In The Tooth Now

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON

The P-51 Mustang was a fighter that dominated the closing stages of World War II and I had the privilege of photographing this one recently. She was cordoned off at a recent air show, so I had to use the 125mm lens to compensate for the distance. I was very restricted in the angles as well, but this shot (above) shows the magnificent sliding cockpit, the distinctive paintwork, the fishtail exhaust and the radio mast behind the canopy.

This shot, the second in the series (above) shows one yellow-tipped blade of the trusty four-blade propeller. Just under the tip of the blade you can glimpse the undercarriage strut and to the left of the frame you can see the three machine-gun ports in the starboard wing.

Then I moved to the port wing to make better use of the light. Immediately, I could see the difference. The rivets on the metal skin were so much clearer from this angle, and I was able to get a much better shot of the shark-tooth paint job. You can still see two of the gun ports in the bottom left-hand corner of the frame and if you look carefully, you'll see the stains behind the last of the exhaust stubs. A great fighter, and a wonderful test of photographic adaptability in difficult conditions. Next up, I'd love to photograph a Spitfire one day ...
PS: I just visited the site Mustangs, Mustangs and realised the timing of this post could not have been better. The world’s greatest gathering of Mustangs and their pilots, including many of the men who flew them into battle, is to be held on September 27-30 at Rickenbacker International Airport (LCK), Columbus Ohio. For bookings and information, go to The Gathering of Mustangs and Legends.


Chertiozhnik said...

Great view of the sharks' teeth.

Odd how the plane, only forty years or so after the Wright's Flyer, looks like a 'thing', an icon, as if such a shape had always existed.

Looking at some snaps of the new F-22 Raptor, I thought, this is an unbelievably complex machine, how many people really understand how it came about, how it works? Still looks like a toy, though.

Mushy said...

Wonderful shots David...the Mustang has always been one of my favorite fighters. Thanks for sending me over.

Ananda Niyogi said...

I am always fascinated by the history of WW II in general and related weaponry/machinery in particular. Great to see these pics - thanks for posting :-)

david mcmahon said...

G'day Chertmeister,

That is really a great point to consider....

You're so right about the Raptor, too!

Keep smiling


david mcmahon said...

Thanks, Mushy,

I knew you'd like it. The Mustang had such clean lines - no wonder her pilots loved the performance.

Keep smiling


david mcmahon said...

Hi Ananda,

Always nice to welcome a new reader. Glad you liked the pictures. Must dig up some more to whet your interest.

Have been doing some great research on the subject for a forthcoming novel ...

Keep smiling


B.T.Bear (esq.) said...

My arnty Chris, now livin in Ostraylia, yewst to be in the R.A.F. She waz an engineer but she is a very good artist. SO! Wen she waz owt in the first Gulf War, her job waz checkin the playnes (Tornaydoes) an fittin new boms on them. But the rest ov the time she wud paynte piktchers on the planes, like in the films, watever the pilots wantid. Mostly this ment naykid laydeez. Jhee jhee jhee!!!!


Lin said...

Great shots considered the usual cordon restrictions. You captured its ferocity, that it might take a nip at any moment (they were probably protecting the observers, not the plane).