It’s been a while since I posted an airplane, so tonight I bring you the “Hawker Hurricane Mk XIIA”.

This model helped turn the tide of the Battle of Britain, allowing the Allies to continue their fight against Nazi Germany.  The Hurricane made use of construction methods from its biplane predecessors, including a fabric-covered tail.  Because of its simplicity and adaptability, the Hurricane would serve in every major theater of air warfare in World War II.

While the Supermarine Spitfire is more famous, the Hurricane destroyed more German aircraft.  The Hurricanes were often dispatched to fight against lumbering bombers, while the Spitfires often took on the more agile fighters.  Historians still debate which aircraft was more important in the victory.

This Mk.XIIA was manufactured by Canadian Car & Foundry Company at Fort William, Ontario.  It was powered by a U.S. Build Packard Merlin XXIX engine.

This aircraft was was delivered to the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) on January 22, 1942, but never saw combat.  After the fighter was involved in a crash landing, it was discarded by the RCAF.  After it was recovered from a farm in Ontario, Canada, Hawker Restorations Ltd. rebuilt the fighter at Milden, England.  The first flight of the restored aircraft took place on March 15, 2006 at Wattisham, England.

While everyone “loves” the Spitfire (I do too of course) I have a soft spot for the Hurricane.  When I saw this plane I had to capture a shot.

The boys got nice and cozy with a pussy tonight.  Not sure the cat was that impressed thought!

Wow, what a week, today we left Las Vegas and came home, but not before heading out to Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, and spending some time walking round Caesars Palace.  Photoshop World was a total blast, fantastic training with some amazing professional photographers but I guess it had to end eventually.

I have a load of images that I can post from the event and from walking round Las Vegas, but unfortunately tonight my new Macbook Pro laptop stopped working.  I’m pretty worried about this as it has all my images from the week on it.  Yes I know, I should back up regularly and I normally do, but it’s been so busy over the last few days, I didn’t get the chance (or just forgot). So tomorrow I’m of to the Apple Store to find out why my week old new computer no longer works (you will probably here me shouting at them).  My big concern is I don’t lose the images on the hard disk.

So when I got home (thanks Lisa for coming out and picking us up) I had to reinstall some apps on my old (clean) computer and find an image to post from my camera.  By the time I got my old mac all set up I was (quite frankly) too tied to post process a great pic so I selected a shot from the Las Vegas airport.

We got the the terminal pretty early and I got a great seat at the gate while we waited to board.  But as we were there early our plane hadn’t even arrived.  Eventually it arrived and I shot the image below.  I captured this through glass, and the two white lines (very faint) on either side of the plane are glass reflections.

I processed the image relatively quickly, so this is not one of my best, but I needed to post so it made the grade for today’s pic.  Hopefully I’ll get some good news tomorrow and get my new computer back online.

Carter and Master Chief couldn’t resist one last attempt at winning big in Vegas, although I think they may be trying to cheat.

Today I left town and flew out to Las Vegas to go to the Photoshop World conference.   I’ve wanted to go to this for a couple of years and decided this year was the year.  It’s basically a conference for a load of keen Photoshop users who want to learn more about the product and general photography.

About 3000 people attend and there are numerous training courses throughout the day and an expo where you can go and checkout all the latest photography gear and try stuff you want to buy.

Perhaps the best bit is you get to meet all your photography icons (yes there are amazingly talented people out there) and get some guidance and advice on how to improve. (The will even review your work for 20 minutes and tell you why you suck – but I have Lisa for that).

Plus you are surrounded to 3000 other sad photographers who all share the same passion as you.  So this for me is heaven.  I have a photography buddy at home (Chris Pearson) who came with me and as I write this we are sitting in hour hotel room in the Mandalay Bay.

Anyway, today I needed to post a picture and while at the airport in Seattle I captured the picture below of the food court that looks out over the airport’s runways.

As you would expect there is a Starbucks here and LOTs of people walking about (so some are a little blurry).  I HDR’d this image so I could clearly see outside and inside with everything being properly exposed.  In the end it came out pretty good.

Over the next few days expect some shots from Vegas.

Here Master Chief and Carter are sitting in our hotel room enjoying the Vegas view out the window.

While visiting the Flying Heritage Collection museum we got to see LOADS of planes.  But one of the challenges was to capture a plane on its own without others in the way.  The hanger the exhibits were in was full (I say exhibits but they are all working planes that are taken out “for a fly” regularly).  So when we saw this old Messerschmitt I couldn’t resist taking a picture, it was, well so alone!

This model plan was considered the first truly modern fighter plane.  With its all-metal stressed-skin and mono-wing design with enclosed cockpit and retractable landing gear there was nothing like it.  It was also the fastest military plane in the air until it was replaced by the Focke-Wulf Fw 190.

This particular plane was commissioned in 1940 and was shot down over Dover in an air battle.  The pilot managed to get the plane back to France but didn’t survive the landing.  In 1988 somebody walking along the beach in Calais saw a tip of the planes wing sticking out of the sand and the plane was excavated and sent to England for restoration.

Now, living in Everett Washington, the plane looks brand new.  I’d love to see this flying over head, perhaps with a spitfire on it tail, definitely something you don’t see everyday.

This plane reminds me of an old joke, which I probably shouldn’t tell but it’s my blog so here goes.

An old World War II British fighter pilot is being interviewed on the radio and the host of the show asks him what his most terrifying dog fight was like. “Well” say’s the veteran, “I was over Dover and out of the sun came this Focke straight for me, I was so surprised I had to bank quickly to the right, where I found two more Focke’s.  They came at me so fast I was terrified.  We fought in the air over the channel for 10 minutes and it was terrifying.  Fortunately I hit one Focke in the wing, and another Focke in the tail, then the other guy flew off”.  Sounding a little concerned the host of the show reassured his audience by saying “I should point out to all you listeners at home that the Focke-Wulf was a German plane”.  “That’s true”, said the pilot, “but these Focke’s were Messerschmitt’s”

Well I didn’t say it was funny.

You know how sometimes you feel like you’re carrying the world on your shoulders? Well Carter actually is!

So here I am sitting at SeaTac airport waiting to fly out to Maui.  We got here a little early (Lisa never likes to have to rush when we’re here – which is probably a good thing) so I decided to capture a picture at the airport for today.  So while the kids are tucking into some lunch at the food court, I walked off looking for something to shoot.

While wandering down Terminal B I looked out the windows and watched these guys, working on a plane.  A number of passengers who were taking the plane looked on too, all of them I would guess feeling a combination of frustration because they were delayed, and fear as the last thing you want to see is someone working on your plane before you take off!

So I walk up to the window all cocky and take a few shots.  Smile at the delayed passengers and walk off to find Lisa.  All the time I’m thinking, bloody hell glad that’s not me, but it will make an interesting picture.  So I find Lisa and we walk to the gate.  I get 10 minutes to process the image and post it, write something really quick saying “I’m posting now as I’m about to get on my plane – I’ll write more tonight when I land and reach my hotel…” and go to the gate to get on the plane.

Guess what?  Now we are delayed for about an hour.  I mean talk about bad karma!  I shouldn’t have laughed at the other passengers.  At least there’s nobody with wrenches standing on our plane – yet!

So I walked back to my chair and typed this up.  Hopefully we will get away this evening and get to Maui.  If not expect a series of images of the airport, as I’m not leaving.  Just think of me as Tom Hanks in “The Terminal” – I’m moving in…

While waiting for our flight at SeaTac airport the guys couldn’t resist a Wendy’s Baconator!