The Vulcans cometh …

September 13, 2008

Yesterday (Friday 12th September 2008) saw me trying to photograph the flypast of the only airworthy Avro Vulcan bomber.
The aeroplane was making a detour on its way to RAF Leuchars, so it could pass over its ground based sibling at Carlisle Airport.

Now photographing aircraft isn’t that difficult, normally. Just over expose the sky by 2 stops and that’s it for the most part, but I wanted something different! I wanted both Vulcan bombers in shot, to give a sense of what was going on.
So that narrowed the choice of lens down to my wide-angle (Sigma 10-20mm). Next was where to stand? I’d heard different accounts of what the Vulcan was doing on arrival at Carlisle and what direction it was approaching from.

Taking a chance I lined up a good shot of the ground based plane and hoped that the flypast would happen in the right place for me – and since there was no chance to change lenses, I’d either get it or get nothing!

10:40am and the flypast took place, and I was almost in the perfect position!
Only got one shot of both aircraft, but I’m really happy with it, especially the final version after I’d worked on it in Photomatix and Photoshop …

40am Friday 12th September 2008

Two Vulcans at Carlisle Airport, 10:40am Friday 12th September 2008

The ground-based Vulcan XJ823 is probably the star attraction at the Solway Aviation Museum, which is based at Carlisle Airport



  1. I could make this up from stock photos. It isn’t real. And it looks ridiculous.

  2. Hi Nick,
    Thanks for that!
    You are right , it does look unreal, and I’m sure you could recreate this from stock elements … but the image is as it occured and there are some 20+ people who will attest to it too. Should you wish to see the image as a jpeg straight out of the camera, follow this link »

  3. This photograph is beautiful – great tones.

  4. Thanks Sarah, I believe the Solway Aviation Museum are now going to use it for some of their fundraising – so it’s getting put to good use.

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