Sunday, August 26, 2007

Raptors To Go

This post is all about a Merlin and no, I do not mean the tiny raptors that you see in your back yard on occasion tearing a House Sparrow apart for brunch. The Merlin that I had in mind on this day resides under the cowl of the Lancaster Bomber at the Nanton Lancaster Society Air Museum. Today would be a special day in Nanton with a special event to salute the "Americans in the RCAF."
I made the drive down to Nanton with a stop at the Heritage Inn in High River, where I had coffee with the guys that have a mutual interest as I do in Ham Radio. After swapping a few stories (not necessarily based on truth) it was off to Nanton for the firing up of the engines in the Lancaster bomber, the pride and joy of the NLAM. This fireman in my photo was standing by with several of his team and their fire-truck just as a precaution when the Merlin was run up.

As I wandered around the museum and grounds, I was taken with the enthusiasm of some of the fans in attendance, including this future helicopter pilot that was seated in a Gazelle helicopter that had been flown in by its crew from CFB Suffield near Medicine Hat.

Of course why have a day saluting the military without military personal in attendance. The various men and women of bomber command were much in attendance on this day.

I was glad to see that they had a full air crew that pulled up to the Lancaster Bomber in a restored World War II army jeep, just as the Lancaster Bomber was being prepared to run up it's engines. The pilot in this photo took his place in the left hand seat and prepared to take the Lancaster out on to the runway in preparation for take-off. OK-Maybe I got carried away, as the highway out front of the NLAM may not have been the best place to try and take off in a Lancaster Bomber.

The guys did a terrific job of rebuilding the Merlin engines in this Lancaster and the proof of that is this engine being run-up with a very pleasing roar coming from its exhaust. For those of you who find yourselves in a position to shoot photos of piston powered airplanes with visible propellers, make sure you use a slow enough shutter speed that allows for blur of the propellers. There is nothing that looks worse when shooting photos of airplanes, than propellers giving off the appearance of being stopped. Judging by the crowd in attendance, the running up of the engines in this Lancaster bomber was possibly the highlight of the events happening on this day. Check out the videos at left for Lancaster Bombers in action. Later

Canon EOS 20D with EF 10/22 @ 10mm - f22 - 1/500sec - ISO100

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