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ptrjong
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California Trip

Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:44 am

Hi all,

For next September/October I'm planning a holiday to California, and maybe Nevada and Arizona, and I'd like to devote some time to aviation photography. Airliners, military, warbirds and museums are all good.

I've never been to this part of the USA and since there are loads of aviation museums, could you help me to get my bearings by listing your top five or so in this area? Preferably with photo possibilities in mind.

Bigger airshows already announced in this period and area are Miramar, 3-5 Oct, and San Francisco Fleet Week, 10-13 Oct. Assuming sequestration ends, which bigger airshows are likely to be added, and which ones do you think are the best, again with photography in mind?

Thanks,

Peter 
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vikkyvik
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RE: California Trip

Mon Oct 28, 2013 4:56 am

I can't say I've been to that many airshows or museums out here, unfortunately. But Endeavour at the CA Science Center in LA is a must. And Miramar is probably the best airshow I've ever been to. Unfortunately the light sucks (I swear they plan airshows that way), but still.

Lemoore's airshow was also pretty cool, and the light was actually decent (for an airshow).
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angad84
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RE: California Trip

Mon Oct 28, 2013 6:41 am

Light is piss-poor at Miramar, as Vik said, but SF Fleet Week is worth going for even if you aren't shooting. That was one of the coolest things I ever did when I lived in CA.

I haven't been to Lemoore, but heard good things from a couple of Rhino pilots I chatted with during the Santa Maria air show in 2011. Santa Maria has excellent light, incidentally, but is a small show and is held before your trip begins (August, usually).

Chino has a fair few warbirds, and they fly often enough, so if you see something online, you could plan a trip there.

As far as spotting goes, it's tough to beat LAX 

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scbriml
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RE: California Trip

Mon Oct 28, 2013 7:57 am

Hi Peter, If you're in the area, then Pima Air & Space museum in Tucson is an absolute must-see. Then there'd be the obligatory over-flights of AMARG and Marana Pinal Air Park.

Pima Air & Space:
http://goo.gl/maps/poRO3


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sovietjet
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RE: California Trip

Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:28 pm

Airshows are looking to resume next year but don't expect them to be nearly as big or interesting as they were before. Yes, the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels are again cleared to perform but so far the single demos like the F-22 haven't been cleared. And from what I hear military support for static displays will be minimal at best.

If you want military I suggest Nellis AFB in Las Vegas, NAF El Centro or MCAS Yuma. These three all have lots of military traffic and are easy to photograph from outside. Or you can go to rainbow canyon and try to get some low level shots like this:


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ghajdufi
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RE: California Trip

Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:18 pm

Probably the best site out there to find the museums you want to visit:
http://www.aviationmuseum.eu/World/N...h_America/USA/California/index.htm

We did a 10 day tour in May this year (visiting a good couple of the museums and boneyards), please contact me if you need any info.
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Stackhouse007
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RE: California Trip

Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:10 pm

I have only been out there once but I stayed near PSP. The scenery around PSP was great but there are a lot of fences that may get in your way and I had airport police turn their sirens on and tell me to back away from the fence. I believe there is a small museum on the airport as well but I'm not positive. Wherever you decide to go, get In n Out! Good luck and have a great trip!
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Newark727
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RE: California Trip

Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:06 pm

Quoting stackhouse007 (Reply 6):
I believe there is a small museum on the airport as well but I'm not positive.

That would be the Palm Springs Air Museum. It's not that huge, but it's decent, especially if you find one of the wizened old docents who actually used to fly the WWII-era gear on display. Earlier this year (March) the Commemorative Air Force brought a few planes there, including Fifi (the B-29) but that sort of thing is a temporary deal.

It's been way too long since I last checked out Chino, but I remember really loving it there, so that might be worth a visit as well.
 
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ptrjong
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RE: California Trip

Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:47 pm

Thanks for all the replies, they are much appreciated.

I'm especially into catching 'new' aircraft types, so I'm going to make a list of types and check out pictures here on a.net and work out the most interesting museums and a route from there. Pima certainly looks like the best of them all, Steve, so I guess the trip will end in Arizona.

Quoting sovietjet (Reply 4):

If you want military I suggest Nellis AFB in Las Vegas, NAF El Centro or MCAS Yuma. These three all have lots of military traffic and are easy to photograph from outside.

And what does the police think of that? I'm hearing different stories.

Peter 

[Edited 2013-10-29 16:51:47]

[Edited 2013-10-29 16:52:28]
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sovietjet
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RE: California Trip

Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:17 pm

Quoting ptrjong (Reply 8):
And what does the police think of that? I'm hearing different stories.

They are perfectly OK with it. I am not sure what you have heard but these are probably the three most photographer friendly military bases in the entire USA. There are people taking pics at all of them almost daily with no problems. Especially Nellis. I have done all 3 myself and have never been approached by security. If police ever do come all you have to do is be respectful, they are probably just checking who you are.
 
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ptrjong
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RE: California Trip

Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:49 pm

That's good to hear, thanks Sovietjet.
The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
 
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ptrjong
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RE: California Trip

Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:11 pm

Our holiday will probably start in Las Vegas, so Nellis is cool. I always assumed it to be in the middle of nowhere... I don't suppose Red Flag schedules for this period are already known?

I might extend my trip to end at the CAF airshow at Midland, TX on 11-12 October. In recent years the CAF airshow doesn't seem to have set a.net photographers on fire, though. Can I expect good light there and normally the whole range of CAF warbirds flying - B-29, B-24, C-46, etcetera?

Peter 
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sovietjet
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RE: California Trip

Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:38 pm

Red Flag schedules will usually be out way ahead of September. However I doubt there will be one in that timeframe since they are usually in January/March and then again in July/August. There have been October ones in the past but not for some years now and with the budget problems I don't think they will be back soon. There might be a Green Flag though. And you can always stay and take pics of the local stuff. They have F-35s there now too.
 
NPeterman
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RE: California Trip

Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:57 pm

If you wan't military at Nellis, try to see if an exercise will be going on. That place can be brutally quiet if there isn't one. Similarly, El Centro is only busy during certain times of the year.
 
G-CIVP
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RE: California Trip

Sat Nov 16, 2013 7:03 pm

Out of interest, do the Police stop individuals taking photos at Davis Monthan around the perimeter, say from E Irrington Road? Would this be a big no-no?

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