It wasn’t long ago that I made a trip out to get some shots of the VH-3D helicopters that operate as presidential transports and are known as Marine One when the President is aboard. You can read about that here.
It turns out I was going to get a second chance. As I drove back up to DuPage airport after shooting Fifi on the approach, I noticed a selection of nice looking helicopters parked up between the hangars. A presidential movement was planned and the aircraft were operating from DuPage. With the TFR being published, we knew they would be heading out early in the afternoon.
Sure enough, in due course the helicopters came into view. There were the two VH-3Ds along with three CH-46s in support – two of which were in the glossy green finish and one in standard gray. They taxied out in line and lined up on the taxiway. Then they lifted in unison and departed towards the city. It was very cool to watch.
A while later I was off the field again shooting Fifi taking off when a couple of the CH-46s came back. I was pretty disappointed to miss their arrival but I got the shot I was there for. When I got back to the field, I was walking across the apron when I met one of the HMX-1 crew-members. I told him how disappointed I was to have missed their return. Not to worry. He told me two more would be back in about ten minutes. Sure enough, in they came. What a great break to get them when I had no idea that they would be there.
As part of her tour of the country, Fifi, the B-29 operated by the Commemorative Air Force was coming to the Chicago region. She was scheduled to appear at DuPage Airport, west of Chicago. I had been in contact with the team about covering the visit for GAR. This is something to be published soon so I won’t spoil everything just yet! However, it is safe to say that I did head along and meet up with the team and see Fifi flying.
She was scheduled to fly three times during the day with the first trip being in the morning. The layout of the main part of the airport meant that the light wold be bad in the morning but better later in the day. I found an alternative spot to catch her as she took off and got myself ready. Unfortunately, my brain was not totally in gear and I had one camera on the wrong settings. I did get lucky though and did not end up with frozen props in the shots, even if they are a little less blurry than I would like!
I then headed around to the approach lights to get her heading back in. It was very impressive to have a B-29 coming right over your head. I got the shots but did peak out the side to enjoy the experience – something that is a little lost some times when focusing too much on getting the shots. I was about to head back when I noticed a P-51 on approach too. A nice bonus. Then it was back to the airport to get the interview and some ground shots. A great bunch of people and a very interesting day.
It’s always nice to get out and check out a place that you haven’t been to before. Nancy spotted one of the forest preserves in DuPage County called Waterfall Glen. Despite the name, it isn’t about a waterfall – although there is a small man-made one there. It is actually named after a guy called Waterfall from many moons ago.
The preserve is a sizable area. The middle of it is off limits though. It is the Argonne National Laboratory so I guess they don’t want people wandering in whenever they feel like it. There is a trail that runs all the way around the area and it was part of this that we sampled.
This was a walk and not a photo outing so I only took one camera and one lens with me. There was a fair bit of wildlife around so, if I was prepared to hump the equipment around, I suspect there could be some good shots to be made. We saw a coyote, a deer, many types of bird and a small snake that was right on the path in front of us – good spot Nancy.
However, they were just a benefit on top of the nice walk. The weather was rather warm for this time of year and I was surprised how much color was still in the trees with some still very green. There was also the little waterfall mentioned earlier. A nice spot and one I suspect we will visit again.
Again you are going to receive an abbreviated post that is directing you to another location for the fuller story. In this case, it is a piece I have put together for Global Aviation Resource. The topic is the Zeppelin NT airship operated by Airship Ventures, a company based just outside San Francisco in California.
It seems that lighter than air vehicles have suddenly become a big thing for me. I blogged not long ago about a blimp that was circling my home (not that it was aware that I was there of course – I think it was doing other things). Then I saw the Zeppelin of Airship Ventures floating over the Chicago lakefront while I was watching fireworks on the 4th of July. They were at Oshkosh and got a lot of coverage while there and now have passed back through Chicagoland.
I had the chance to go out and watch the team at work recently and that is the focus of the article that can be found at this link.