Air-to-air Photography – a first attempt

Cessna 152 in flight

Cessna 152 over North Nottinghamshire

Last week I finally managed to achieve some air-to-air photography, something I have been trying to organise for some time.  The aircraft in the photos, and the one I was flying in, is a Cessna 152, a variant of the hugely popular Cessna 150 with a slightly more powerful engine.  Cessna built over 7,500 152s between 1977 and 1985 so the newest example is over 25 years old.  It is a two-seater and most of them are fitted with dual controls for pilot training.

Cessna 152 over North Nottinghamshire

Cessna 152 over North Nottinghamshire

I won’t be so bold as to give advice on air-to-air photography after just one session but I can suggest a fairly slow shutter speed in order to produce some blur on the propeller.  I shot between 1/320 and 1/500 second and about one-third of my shots were reasonably sharp.  For pin sharp images every time (e.g. for air-to-ground aerial photography) a much faster shutter speed would be better.

Cessna 152

A very smart Cessna 152 fitted with wheel spats

For the sake of completeness, the photo above shows a newly painted Cessna 152, this one fitted with wheel spats and seen at Popham airfield in Hampshire.

Cessna 150D at Netherthorpe.

Cessna 150D, fitted with tail wheel, at Netherthorpe airfield.

The last photo shows a Cessna 150, built in 1964 and fitted with a tail wheel.  This early example also has the upright tail, later changed to a swept back design, like the 152.  23,839 Cessna 150s were built altogether, making it one of the most successful light aircraft of all time.

Thanks to Will and Christine at Sheffield Aero Club for making the air-to-air possible.

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