The British Army display of the WAH-64D Apache is one I have seen plenty of pictures of but I haven’t had much of a chance to shoot it myself. The majority of the display is pretty standard stuff with them maneuvering tightly in front of the crowd, much like the US army’s display of the similar type. They do use a little bit of pyro during the display but the finale is a wall of fire. I was a bit concerned about my position compared to theirs as they positioned for the big moment as the background looked like it might not be all fire. However, things turned out well enough and I got the sort of shot I was hoping for.
Have you ever been excited to have a lucky break and then felt disappointed by the same thing afterwards? If so, you are like me and you really need help. I was up at Pinal Air Park in the evening after our time on the range at Hawgsmoke. An Apache helicopter was flying around the pattern. I was impressed that it was flying while I was there and grabbed some shots. The Singaporean forces have some Apaches there that they train on. When I looked at the shots, I was hoping that was what I had got. Sadly, it was just a normal US Apache. Why was I so disappointed? No good reason. It was still cool to see one in the nice evening light but you often focus on what might have been. Not healthy!
One display at Dayton that I liked was the US Army Apache display. I have seen a few displays by Apaches over the years but they are not a regular feature of shows. The Apache is an impressive looking machine and given its nature, it can be kept close in front of the crowd to make a display that never loses your interest. Service pilots don’t tend to put the machine through as aggressive a flight demo as a company pilot might when trying to sell it. However, they do still show it off well.
The subdued finish on the Apache makes for a harder time getting shots on overcast days. However, it does take away the problem of harsh shadows on an already dark airframe. The subtlety of the different greens on the airframe are hard to show in some cases but here they do actually become apparent.