This is another angle on “Mitch The Witch II” that was featured in an earlier post. As described in the earlier post, “Mitch The Witch II” has had a colorful history and is still flying out of the Palm Springs Air Museum. I’ve started playing with the HDR Pro filter in Photoshop CS6 and used it on this image, I am liking the results I am getting with this, but I have also recently upgraded to HDR Efex Pro 2 and am liking those results also.
Prints of this and other aircraft are available here: http://goo.gl/zZohQ .
Spring Car Show Season
Standing its ground among superior numbers of Corvettes at the Corvettes West/Ronald McDonald House car show, April 1, 2012 in Rancho Cucamonga, California.
If you know what the phrase “Duck and cover” means, and probably practiced it, you know what this object is. Living in the Los Angeles area during the Cold War era I also know what an air raid siren sounds like. The Civil Defense authorities would test all of the sirens at 10:00 A.M. on one Friday a month, and if we were in school we were taught to duck under our school desks, crouch down in and curl our bodies in on themselves, and cover our heads with our hands. We were curled in to almost a fetal position waiting for our doom from the blast and tremendous heat of an exploding atomic bomb over our heads.
We were fortunate that we never had a bomb explode over us, and are fortunate that humanity has moved past the immediate threat of atomic annihilation, but others have not been as fortunate as us, either those who lived through the German V-1 bombing in Great Britain before our generation, or those who have lived through the “Shock And Awe” bombing in contemporary Bagdad. The sound the sirens make is all too real for these people, as is the impact of the devastation created by warring nations.
Please click on the image to view in high resolution.
Mitch the Witch II’s current home is the Palm Springs Air Museum, where it is a part of the collection that is still flown. The B-25 manufactured by North American Aviation was a medium bomber developed in 1940 and deployed in 1941; 9,984 B-25’s were eventually built. The B-25 first gained fame as the bomber used in the 18 April 1942 Doolittle Raid, in which 16 B-25Bs led by the legendary Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle attacked mainland Japan, four months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. On Saturday, 28 July 1945, at 0940 (while flying in thick fog), a USAAF B-25D crashed into the north side of the Empire State Building, hitting between the 79th and 80th floor. 14 people were killed — 11 in the building, along with Colonel William Smith and the other two occupants of the bomber. Betty Lou Oliver, an elevator attendant, survived the impact and a subsequent uncontrolled descent with the elevator. It was partly because of this incident that Towers 1 and 2 of the World Trade Center were designed to withstand the impact of a Boeing 707 aircraft (though the planes that hit the towers on September 11, 2001 had significantly higher masses and were traveling at substantially higher speeds). (Source: Wikipedia.)
North American B-25J Mitchell, N8163H Mitch the Witch II was delivered to the Army Air Corps as 44-86747. It is restored as B-25C 42-87293. Its construction number is 108-47501. After the war, it was converted to a TB-25N trainer. The Air Force retired it in 1958 and stored it at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Alton C. Mosley of Fairbanks, Alaska gave it its current registration on May 4, 1959. In July 1959 it was converted to a fire fighting tanker with a 2,000-gallon retardent tank. Merric Inc of Anchorage, Alaska bought it in April 1961 and sold it to RJD Corporation of Fairbanks in February 1965. Aero Retardant of Fairbanks bought it in April 1967 and operated it as tanker #7. Noel M. Wien of Anchorage, Alaska bought it in February 1977 ands sold it to the Planes of Fame Air Museum of Chino, California in 1978. Robert Pond and Planes Of Fame East of Spring Park, Minnesota bought it in March 1986. It has been part of the collection of the Palm Springs Air Museum since 1997. It flew as the Ruptured Duck in the movie Pearl Harbor. (Source: Air & Space.)
In addition to aircraft in varying states of repair, the Planes of Fame museum collection at the Chino Airport, Chino, California includes various mechanized vehicles of the ground hugging kind. Walter The Warthog appears to be an M3 /M5 (Stuart) Light Tank, on his starboard side is a verified M4 (Sherman) Tank that is still fully functional. The M3 was manufactured in the United States and used two Cadillac radial motors, it’s main gun was a 37mm cannon and it also had five Browning .30-06 machine guns. The Stuart tank was first used by the British in World War II and they nicknamed it “Stuart” after the U.S. Confederate General J.E.B. Stewart. The M3 was the first tank used by United States forces in World War II in tank to tank warfare. 22,743 of these tanks were produced by the United States.
A medium tank, the M4 (Sherman), so nicknamed by the British after Union General William Tecumseh Sherman, was the primary tank deployed by the United States during World War II, and was also distributed by the United States to its allies, the British and Russians. The M4 was equipped with a 75mm cannon as its main gun and the tank crew was able to fire this gun with reasonable accuracy while the tank was moving. 58,000 of these tanks were ultimately deployed.
I got more practice using my exposure correcting, color correcting and tone mapping skills with the Control Points in the Nik tool kit and in the case of this image also tested the effect of using a sharpening tool on the original raw images and then a sharpening tool on the final images prior to .JPG conversion from .TIF. Sharpness is one of my obsessions.
The aircraft in the foreground is a Boeing P26A “Peashooter”, this is a fully functional (and still flying) former military aircraft in the collection of the Planes of Fame (air) Museum located at the Chino Airport, Chino, California. The Peashooter was developed in 1932 and was the first all metal, monoplane pursuit fighter placed in to service by the United States Army Air Corps.
The thin red “line” that seems to be bisecting the fuselage at the mid-point in this image is actually an aircraft warning flag attached to the leading edge of the wing (not an aberration in the image file).
I am not actually happy with the sharpness of this image. I seemed to be having some focus issues while on this shoot, I believe I need to improve my skills with the autofocus function in the camera, insuring that I lock it on the correct focus points.