Brendon Deere's Spitfire Through The Lens.

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Postby Gavin Conroy » Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:10 pm

Over the last few months many of us have enjoyed watching this wonderful Spitfire flying again following an intensive six year restoration.
Having visited Ohakea to photograph the aircraft Air 2 Air for the first time through to the fly-past at Woodbourne the other day, I thought I would put a thread together on what I have seen so far and it would be great if you guys can add your photos and stories of the aircraft here so we can trace the past, present, and future of this magnificent aircraft.

Perhaps you can make this thread one that sticks so it can be added to?

Arriving at Ohakea with Al Marshall in a Nanchang to photograph the aircraft was quite exciting for both of us.
It was also the first time I had met Brendon although a load of emails had gone backwards and forwards to get to this day.
Was great to finally meet him.

Here is how the aircraft looked following the air 2 air flight, just stunning.



Our Nanchang parked alongside is a very capable aircraft and great as a camera platform.
We can get along at 140 knots which is ideal for an aircraft like the Spitfire.
It was a gloomy flight up to Ohakea and it wasn't looking that great for an Air 2 Air flight but little did we know of the conditions that we would fly in as the day got better and better.



Just had to get this shot of Al Marshall alongside the Spitifre.



Al and I spent a bit of time just admiring the aircraft.
Having Al Deere's initials on the aircraft really adds a personal touch to the aircraft.
Everything about the aircraft is immaculate.

Pilot on this Air 2 Air flight was Keith Skilling.
He had conducted all of the test flying to date.
When flying with a pilot like Keith, you always know that good photos will follow.

Below is a unique photo.
Three generations of Spitifire pilot, Keith Skilling, Austin Hayward, and Sean Perrett have time for a quick pic before we go flying.
Austin flew Spitfire's in North Africa during WW2. He had also been to inspect the aircraft once a month since restoration began so a keen follower indeed.
Keith has flown at least five different Spitfires and Sean would soon fly one for the first time.



Following a brief with Keith we were ready to go flying.
The weather was overcast with sun shining through in places so we were going to attempt to climb above the cloud for the photos and this was possible due to the ATC guys in the tower.
The shot below was taken from the Nanchang as Keith waited for take off clearance.



It wasn't long before we had lost sight of Keith.
He shot up through a hole in the cloud and as we did the same, we were a bit nervous knowing an aircraft was up their somewhere but Keith had positioned well clear of us.
We burst up into the sunlight and Keith raced up alongside.
I dont think I will ever see such a sight again.
The next few minutes were just amazing.
The cloud blanket below provided an ideal backdrop and we could see the mountains towering over the clouds at times.
We were flying at 3500 feet and due to a lot of traffic at Ohakea we had a small area to work in but Al Marshall lead the fighter well.
For me it was hard to not just sit their and marvel at the aircraft and the pilots skill.

I know that if I never took another photo, it wouldnt matter as those few minutes were very special due to Brendons ambitions and hard work to see this aircraft fly.

























Keith is seen below shotly before shut down.



Brendon and Keith are seen together following the flight.
I cannot even begin to imagine how satisfying it would be for Brendon. Such a big dream, now reality.



While Keith and Sean were together knowledge was passed on and Sean started the engine and went through some ground handling drills.







We headed home with a very special set of photos.
I actually put the camera card in a water tight bag incase something went wrong on the way home.

The next time we would see the aircraft would be at Classic Fighters 2009.
John Lanham and Keith shared the flying and John flew the aircraft on the return flight to and from Ohakea.

Here are a few pictures from the weekend.
The aircraft was displayed very well and who will ever forget that display on late friday evening?















Brendon was presented with the Grand Champion Warbird trophy at the Classic Fighters dinner on the Sunday evening.
A fitting end to a great weekend.

I assumed the next time I would see the aircraft would be at the 2010 Wanaka airshow but a Spitfire flypast was to be flown at a parade at Woodbourne on July 1.
The parade would be attended by Prime Minister John Key, and the Queens colours would be presented as well.
Was fortunate enough to fly alongside the aircraft again following the fly past.
Boy it was cold that day but another great experience indeed.
Sean has not flown a lot of time in the Spitfire but he was great to photograph.
He was an RAF pilot who flew over 2000 hours on Harriers and spent three years with the Red Arrows and flew positions 3,5 and 9.
He is now a Squadron leader in the RNZAF, instructs on Kingairs as well as flying the Historic Flights Harvard at airshows.

Below are some photos from that day.





















Below is the most talked about photo of the Spitfire I have taken to date.
Many have described it as similar to the memorable WW2 image that I think was taken by Charles Brown?
This was taken during the flight at Ohakea.



The question I have is how lucky are we to have people like Brendon restoring aircraft like this?
It is great to see.

One last note, the question was asked a while back regarding why this aircraft never carried kill marings and here is the answer from Brendon and a great way to end this post.

One thing I was going to mention to you was the answer as to why the Uncle did not have “killâ€￾ markings on his aircraft – the simple answer was he didn’t think much of the practice.
He saw it as making too much “gloryâ€￾ of what was essentially an unpleasant but necessary task – that is successfully destroying another aircraft/pilot. He had little time for those that followed that practice.
Last edited by Gavin Conroy on Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Ian Warren » Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:22 pm

SPITFIRE ABSOULUTE!
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Postby Naki » Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:26 pm

Fantastic idea for a thread Gavin and very nice pics (Mod for this section sticky this please)..yes I agree the last one does look like a Charles Brown pic (actually that is a thought I had when I first saw it) ...maybe we can add some pics of the Realair Spitfire with Mark's repaint to the thread..unfortunatley I have yet to see this Spitty..hopefully it will come to Tauranga or Auckland one day.
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Postby FlyingKiwi » Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:50 pm

Amazing photos Gavin, and that last one really does look like the original which is in a book I own.
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Postby Anthony » Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:39 pm

Cool pictures Gavin! clapping.gif That last picture is just awesome mate.
Although I'm not personally too familiar with that Spitty it is nice to have it airworthy again. It really is a beuaty... like all Spitfires.
Hopefully some others come out with some more pics and stuff.
Last edited by Anthony on Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Gavin Conroy » Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:52 pm

have just added all of the photos from the Ohakea visit to my website.

Here are a few more:











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Postby Airtrainer » Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:03 pm

Amazing photography! What sort of set up do you have? (as in equipment)
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Postby markll » Tue Jul 07, 2009 12:27 pm

I'm completely lost for words! This has to be THE most incredible set of aircraft photographs I think I've ever seen...

Thanks so much for sharing your work with us all Gavin! gavin.gif

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Postby ardypilot » Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:10 pm

QUOTE
Perhaps you can make this thread one that sticks so it can be added to?[/quote]
Done- the content on this page certainly deserves it's own place at the top of the forum. Amazing photographs, really!
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Postby Njbb1995 » Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:47 pm

Bravo Gavin.
A beautiful set of photos for a beautiful aircraft
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Postby Gavin Conroy » Tue Jul 07, 2009 5:31 pm

Airtrainer wrote:
QUOTE (Airtrainer @ Jul 11 2009, 12:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Amazing photography! What sort of set up do you have? (as in equipment)


I use the following:
2 Canon 50D and 1 Canon 40D
17-40L lens.
24-105 L IS lens
70-300 DO IS lens
100-400 L IS lens.

There is better gear than what I have out there but I couldnt justify the extra money.
$6000 plus for a camera body just doesnt cut it for me.
Tried a couple of 1D models last year but couldnt see the value compared to what I have got and would rather use the extra money for flying.

Key is to learn how to get the best from what you have got and the 40D and 50D cameras have been really good.
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Postby Adamski » Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:05 pm

Gavin Conroy wrote:
QUOTE (Gavin Conroy @ Jul 7 2009, 05:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I use the following:
2 Canon 50D and 1 Canon 40D
17-40L lens.
24-105 L IS lens
70-300 DO IS lens
100-400 L IS lens.

Thanks for that, Gavin - I've often wondered what you used. Not that I can afford that sort of gear - or even use it as well as you winkyy.gif

Absolutely *stunning* set of pics! Thanks for putting them up here.
Last edited by Adamski on Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Bazza » Tue Jul 07, 2009 7:43 pm

Thanks Gavin, as usual the shots are wonderful - we're lucky to have you in this forum sharing them with us.

If I was a marketing man I'd have you signed up for a "coffee table" book - enthusiasts from all over the world would want one.
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Postby Njbb1995 » Tue Jul 07, 2009 7:46 pm

Nice Idea Bazza!
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Postby lowglow » Tue Jul 07, 2009 7:58 pm

Gavin
Awsome photos (as usual) of an Awsome aircraft biggrin.gif
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Postby AlisterC » Tue Jul 07, 2009 8:46 pm

This is your most amazing work yet. Well done. You've captured probably all of the ideal Spitfire angles there. Quite amazing views, of one of the most beautiful machines ever built! Thanks for sharing biggrin.gif
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Postby VIP375 » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:01 pm

Absolute marvellous is all I can say really.

I think the favourite one has to be the one in flight where the aircraft is banking almost at 90 degrees, simply put, stunning.

The other one would be the 3 generations of pilots infront of the aircraft. Show that a great aircraft can still fly even though is may be an older type.

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Postby Gavin Conroy » Sun Jul 12, 2009 12:06 pm

I like the photo of the three pilots as well.
It is getting difficult to get photos like that so it will always be an image to enjoy I think.
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Postby ZKNBA » Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:03 am

Those photos are absolutely amazing. They are a pleasure to view. Thank you so much for shareing them with us.
Last edited by ZKNBA on Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Gavin Conroy » Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:52 pm

Here is a photo taken yesterday.



For more info on the flight, have a look at the following link.

http://www.spitfirepv270.co.nz/
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