With the summer now fading fast the sun is a lot lower in the sky and seemingly stronger. Whilst this opens up another set of options for photography it also makes choosing your location more important than ever. For this trip to the Mach Loop I gambled on a location that I knew would be very challenging in the morning but should improve as the day went on and the sun moves around (15 degrees every hour as it was recently pointed out to me).
The gamble was that the forecast for more cloud that the previous day would provide a bit of a shield from the harsh sunlight. It didn’t pay off and the first few movements of the day were silhouetted. As the day went on conditions improved but it wasn’t what I had hoped for.
The low level traffic was improved on the very quiet last six weeks with a good supply of Hawks (mostly from 208(R) Sqn), two Tornado GR4s from 2 Sqn (one with its wings swept back at 67 degrees, the other high) and an aircraft I always enjoy catching at low level – an Alpha Jet operated by QinetiQ.
RAF Hawk T1A XX187
RAF Hawk T1 XX234
RAF Tornado GR4 ZA412
QinetiQ Alpha Jet ZJ647
RAF Tornado GR4 ZA556