Sunday, August 05, 2007

Seafair 2007 Sunday Airshow

I have too many long telephoto shots at airshows, so I thought I'd try something a little different. These photos were taken from just above the I-90 tunnel on the Seattle side of Lake Washington, using my Sigma SD14 and either the 18-50/2.8 EX DG Macro or 50-150/2.8 EX DG lens. I don't know who the first group is (I think it's a group of private pilots who own ex-European military trainers... update: it's the Patriots Jet Demonstration Team), but the second group are the Blue Angels in their very recognizable F-18s.

This first group was actually very good, but they have (had?) the misfortune of going before the Blue Angels in front of a crowd that is used to the levels of performance that only a world-class top-of-the-line military fighter can give... and that only a government can afford to operate! Very precise flying, and the group was fast, but not quick (very slow to accelerate, rejoin, etc.).

Another great hour filled with sonic booms, turnin' and burnin', etc. Until you viscerally feel the vibration from an F-18 making a high speed subsonic pass maybe 100' overhead, watch them go from sea level to 15,000 feet in under 20 seconds, etc., you can't appreciate how astoundingly fast and agile... and loud these planes are.

The 'smoke' (condensed water vapor) above the inboard leading edges of the wings is a sign that the plane is really pulling some 'G's (the air pressure above the wing is dropping so low that the water vapor condenses). I meant to bring my 70-200/2.8 EX and use the TC with it... but my son was in too much of a hurry this morning so I grabbed the small Lowepro instead. No big deal... all's well that ends well.