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Thread: Flying Leatherneck Museum

  1. #1
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Flying Leatherneck Museum

    The Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum, located aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, San Diego, California, is just one of three aviation dedicated museums in the Greater San Diego Area. The other two museums are USS Midway which is anchored in San Diego Bay and the San Diego Aerospace Museum located in that city's Balboa Park.

    The Flying Leatherneck Museum is the only museum in the world dedicated to the primary purpose of preserving the history of U.S. Marine Corps aviation and boasts a collection of over forty vintage aircraft, a library with extensive research materials, photos, video, valuable memorabilia and artifacts.

    BTW: The term "Leathernecks" pertains to the leather collars which the U.S. Marines wore during the days of sailing ships to deflect the blows of enemy swords and which became one of the many nicknames of the Marines. "Flying Leathernecks" was a 1930's motion picture about Marine Corps aviation.

    1. North American PBJ-1J patrol/attack bomber (Navy and Marine version of the WW-II B-25 Mitchell) showing eight .50 caliber machine guns in the nose.
    Flying Leatherneck Museum

    2. Overall view of the PBj-1J
    Flying Leatherneck Museum

    3. WW-II Chance Vought F4U Corsair in night fighter colors
    Flying Leatherneck Museum

    4. North American SNJ (Navy and Marine Corps version of the WW-II and later vintage AT-6 Texan trainer)
    Flying Leatherneck Museum

    5. Grumman F-9F Cougar Korean War vintage fighter
    Flying Leatherneck Museum

    6. Grumman F9F-8P Photographic Cougar - Korean War until 1960 vintage
    Flying Leatherneck Museum

    7. Chance Vought F8-U Crusader Vietnam vintage fighter
    Flying Leatherneck Museum

    8. F8-U Crusader intake
    Flying Leatherneck Museum

    9. McDonnell-Douglas A4-C Skyhawk Vietnam era light attack aircraft; flown (in different versions) by some other nations including Israel and by Argentina during the Falklands War. (Note I had a previous typo which identified this bird as an F-4C. I assure you that it was a typo rather than a misidentification of aircraft with which I was personally quite familiar over a number of years)
    Flying Leatherneck Museum

    10. Bell UH-1 Huey - Vietnam era and later helicopter. This one wears Iraqi colors and is a "slick" or transport version.
    Flying Leatherneck Museum

    Note: Durng and before WW-II, through the early 1960's, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps used a different designating system from that of the U.S. Army Air Corps and later the U.S Air Force. The first letter was the purpose of the aircraft (F = fighter; A = attack aircraft; and so on). The numeric designator was the sequential number of that type aircraft produced by that specific manufacturer. The letter following the numeric designator stood for the manufacturer (F = Grumman; U = Chance Vought; and so on). Any subsequent numbers/letters stood for the different models of that specific aircraft and different variants.

    How this worked in real life is exemplified by two of the above aircraft:

    F9F Cougar: F = Fighter; 9 = the ninth fighter aircraft from the manufacturer; F = Grumman Aircraft Company

    F9F-8P Photo Cougar: F9F as above, 8 = the 8th model of the basic F9F and P = photographic variant
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 17th June 2010 at 07:58 PM.

  2. #2

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    Re: Flying Leatherneck Museum

    Great series, Richard;

    Not the best time of day, perhaps, but a beautiful sky as a background. Nice shot of the nose of the Crusader, although I might have cloned out the little spots. I love the one of the Corsair: looks like an engine with a cockpit and a couple of wings. It absolutely looks like a fighter.

    Cheers,
    Rick

  3. #3
    bleys's Avatar
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    Re: Flying Leatherneck Museum

    Cool series! One of my fav WWII planes was the Vought Corsair.

    It's too bad that such amazing feats of engineering are created for such a malevolent purpose. War sucks!

  4. #4
    PopsPhotos's Avatar
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    Re: Flying Leatherneck Museum

    When I lived in Mira Mesa, the base was still Navy. I spent some times down in Balboa Park working with the guys in the back room and enjoying the birds.

    Thank you for some marvelous pictures.

    Pops

  5. #5
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Flying Leatherneck Museum

    Time of day: Believe it or not, the mid-day is the only time that you can get all the planes in a somewhat decent (although not great) light. I want to return to the museum both in the morning and in the afternoon and shoot the planes which are decently lit at that time of day (about 50% in the am and the other 50% in the pm). That proposes no problem since the admission is free and the museum is open most (if not all) days. I only have to place a priority on doing that. It is only about 20 miles (about 32 km) from where I live to the museum.

    The problem I had when shooting the museum aircraft is background. There is not enough room to step away from the birds to use an longer focal length lens and knock out the BG focus. I needed to use a wider angle lens which, even at its maximum aperture (f/4 for my UWA lens) doesn't blur the background. Cloning the BG removes the museum concept and the image might as well have come from Jane's Fighting Aircraft book. I have been pondering the use of a tall ladder so I can shoot down on the war-birds and possible avoiding much of the BG. However, I only own a five foot (about 1.5 meter) ladder and really, after both knee replacements and spinal fusion, don't relish climbing a taller ledder, even if I owned one.

    I tried selecting the aircraft and then blurring the BG, but that wasn't too succesful.

    I am open to suggestions. Perhaps there is something which I don't see. Help me out please!

    Another subject:

    I certainly agree with bleys comment above in that, "war sucks". However, if it were not for birds like the American P-51 Mustangs, F-4U Corsairs, and, of course, the great British Spitfires and Hurricanes; all of us might be posting these comments in entirely different languages.
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 17th June 2010 at 08:09 PM.

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