Taken during Scotland's National Airshow at the Museum of Flight, East Fortune two days ago, this is part of the display of the "Breitling Wingwalkers".
"Wingwalking" dates back to the days when young flying aces returned from the First World War, addicted to the thrill of flying, purchased cheap surplus aircraft and would then thrill the crowds with aerial antics and sell joy rides to members of the public. To entertain the crowds further, the pilots persuaded their girlfriends and engineers to walk out along the linen clad wings of their biplanes - this was the start of wingwalking and flying circus entertainment!
The Breitling Wingwalkers recreate the fearless glamour of those pioneering years. The force of the wind against the wingwalkers means they experience forces between +4g and -2g.
The aeroplanes are 1940s Boeing Stearman biplanes which fly at between 80 and 150 m.p.h. They have been fitted with extra ailerons and a larger engine - a 450 h.p. Pratt and Witney radial engine - as well as a 10 foot diameter propeller, all of which means they are very powerful and also amazingly manoeuvrable.
Today, however, although these girls have to be very fit and strong to sustain the forces of gravity and airspeed while they perform their acrobatics, they are equipped with safety harnesses!
You can see a larger version of this photograph on "beta" TE here.
Critiques | Translate
jhm (141107) 2014-07-28 4:43
What a nice and spectacular picture not one but two planes of the same firm.
The smoke and the ladies make these picture extraordinarily attractive.
But your picture is very well taken, with a high sharpness and clarity.
Very well done,TFS.
Have a nice day,
PS: I have a nice old car for your, not a car for you, but a picture of the car!
I sends these week to you.
rbassin (18939) 2014-07-28 5:24
Une très belle prise de vue,la netteté et la qualité des couleurs sont superbes.
Tigerlily (3107) 2014-07-28 5:27
Hi again John,
Superb shot. Wonderful clarity and colour. Very interesting information. This might be safer than juggling knives on the ladder, but it's still scary..:-)
SnapRJW (31617) 2014-07-28 6:21
What a fantastic capture John.
I am impressed by the pin-sharp focus, clarity and composition. The details are fabulous; the smoke (vapour trails) have a real 3D quality about them and the light gives form and volume to the aircraft. A master-stroke too that you managed to get the planes aligned thus! Clever you. I'm impressed.
Nicou (124948) 2014-07-28 6:22
le montre Breitling c'est un rêve quelle vue de ces deux anciens avions avec la prouesse du personnage ces traces de fumée cet orange superbe captage.
Bravo et amitié
timecapturer (49288) 2014-07-28 6:26
these amazing performers come down to West Sussex every year to make an appearance at the Shoreham Air Show. But despite my best efforts I have never managed to get a shot like this, it is perfect. I applaud you, the detailing and quality of this image are just superb.
Have a great week - B.
CLODO (30836) 2014-07-28 7:43
Hello my neighbour John!
That's not street photography, but you still have a human presence.
Nicely spotted, pin sharp, with the orange bursting out of the grey sky, and the women dressed in black hooking on their mast. Though the exposure time is 1/2500s, the propeller of the higher plane is blurred, so giving the sense of motion yet given by the white smoke! But where is the plane N°1?
photoray (12761) 2014-07-28 8:30
Attractive stop action view of the Wingwalkers and the Stearman planes, in fine resolution. These ladies are not only talented, but also brave with plenty of stamina. I am always attracted to classical biplanes, and look forward to the Reno Races and Air Show the second weekend after our Labor Day. This is perhaps one of the finest air shows in the U.S.
And Breitling is a sponsor providing the main racing pylon.
Thanks for sharing,
Noel_Byrne (25598) 2014-07-28 10:59
Not a common skill today, but I guess it's hard to do this on a modern Boeing :)
I love that you managed to capture this in so much detail that we can even see the expressions on the walkers faces, any time I am at an air show, all I end up with is hundreds of pictures of tiny little planes off in the distance, and no detail, but yours has amazing clarity and detail. A perfect composition too, that you included the smoke trails which add to the sense of speed and adventure.
Thanks as always
romanaa (7966) 2014-07-28 12:43
wonderful picture of these orange oldies with those two brave (or crazy?) ladies. Perfect focus.
Breitling team comes to our town for the annual air show with different type of planes L39 Albatros and they are always the top attraction http://www.breitling-jet-team.com/en/ . I love them.
emka (81636) 2014-07-28 14:01
Hello John, It is incredible photo. First, your presentation, perfect composition, stunning sharpness, colours. But more important the skill of the pilots and performing girls. How they achieved such alignment. I couldn't stand even on the ground like this :). Do you know how high they were and what was the velocity of the planes. it couldn't be big, they would be swept from wings. But also it can't be too small. Also definitely decisive moments for them.
WArm regrads MAlgo
Ninello52 (7572) 2014-07-28 14:27
Fantastica coppia! Immagine straordinaria! Bellissimi i due velivoli e le due acrobate perfettamente in sincronia! Bravissimo!!
lousat (78993) 2014-07-28 14:54
Waaw John,what a capture,these airplanes seems frozen in the sky,the detail are spectacular! A great pic with very useful exif data,i like it! Have a nice day and thanks,Luciano
jjcordier (77356) 2014-07-28 23:22
Magnifique photo de ces "Breitling Wingwalkers". La lumière est superbe, le cadrage et la netteté impeccables. Bravo pour cette splendide réalisation.
serp2000 (40920) 2014-07-29 1:06
Thumbs up! Just fantastic scene! Great timing shot! Although I don't know the history of this brand, I have thought BREITLING is a watch company only.
I like so attractive and eye-catching photo. Well done.
I am really surpised with you latest visit to my page ;)
ktanska (25096) 2014-07-29 10:12
Those planes look like they are made for such stunts! Impressive action, that I haven't had a chance to see myself. Well framed and sharp shot. They seem to be incredibly close together. I'm sure the wingwalkers don't want to hit that stream of smoke!
williewhistler (14757) 2014-07-29 13:43
two identical planes with one shot, this is impressive being not only pin sharp but also perfectly exposed as well.
Whilst the fast shutter speed has frozen the propeller movement the smoke trails do give a dynamic feel to the shot.
Best regards Les.
rogerl (1544) 2014-07-29 18:25
John, an impressive shot from this airshow. Even at 1/2500, it seems difficult to me to get the sharpness you've achieved here. The saturated oranges are very pretty, and the planes (and women) are like copies of one another except for the numbers on their noses. Very nicely seen. Thanks.
annjackman (20237) 2014-07-29 23:00
Love these, they are so great to photograph. I made an audio-visual of these wing walkers to the music of 'those magnificent men in their flying machines'. Your very fast shutter speed has given a very sharp picture. Love the orange against the sky. The smoke adds well to a super composition. Did one go upside down and touch hands with the other? Every time that I have watched them they didn't quite make it.
Very well done indeed for this excellent picture.
Kind Regards, Ann
p.s. I just checked and I had posted three wing walkers on TE some time ago. They really are a super subject and I find not so challenging as a Eurofigter or Vulcan flying past!
cornejo (33202) 2014-07-30 11:15
Hi John, very good picture of this exciting air show, very well captured in this beautiful and interesting image, with good sharpness, good light, color and quality. Very good and interesting job well done, congratulations my friend. Thanks for sharing this beautiful work.
Good night and happy rest of the week.
Best wishes from southern Spain.
Silvio1953 (125443) 2014-07-31 13:18
Ciao John, lovely composition with fatastic acrobatic action, excellent clarity, wonderful colors and splendid light, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio
macjake (57712) 2014-08-01 17:26
there are MANY reasons to enjoy this photo, but one of the best reasons is that it looks like the lady is specifically posing just for you :)
such a fun photo John, wish I were here with you during this event, we would have had a blast!
I'll be going to our air show next week, hopefully i'll get something half as good as your shot here.
the orange color works in your favour too!
what more could you ask for.
ourania (33399) 2014-08-07 6:01
this picture is amazing, a double double portrait of the planes and the ladies performing on them. I think they are very lucky to have such a lovely and clear recording of their performance, an elegant image with very attractive colours. There's wonderful sense of space and I also like the thrill of the rapidly fleeting moment as in a blink of an eye, the scene would have disappeared from the frame. I found the information cited in your note amusing and touching, that the pioneers of these performances were the engineers and girlfriends of the pilots. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a lovely day,
- Copyright: John Cannon (tyro) (20884)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2014-07-26
- Categories: Festivals, Transportation, Event, Decisive Moment
- Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM, Hoya 77mm Pro1D UV(0)
- Exposure: f/6.3, 1/2500 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Map: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2014-07-28 4:10