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.