This was the second special access photography day at Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage centre, home of the Avro Lancaster bomber ‘Just Jane’. This years event at the East Kirby former WWII airfield was organised by photographer Neil Cave who arranged a number of cameo scenes using a cast of period reenactors around the Lancaster, museum buildings and vehicles. First up was a chance to photograph the aircrafts cockpit from a viewing platform placed alongside. Crew were sat in the cockpit and front gunner positions to add to the effect as well as ground crew, tankers and bomb loaders underneath.
Whilst people joined the line to climb the platform other cameo scenes were sit up around “The Camel” (an RAF Bedford MW Water Bowser), control tower and crew bus.
As the queue for the cockpit platform disappeared the sun came out and it was time to wheel away the platform to give some superb wide shots of the Lancaster with further cameo scenes set up with the reenactors around it using the bomb loaders, tractor and munitions as props.
Two platforms were also set up behind the gallery line so arial wide shots could be taken as well.
Finally as the light went, it was time for a forces pin up shot featuring the superb Alice dressed in overalls posing on a tool box.
After a break to set up the lights (and avoid the torrential downpour) it was time for the grand finale, “Just Jane” lit in the dark with a full engine run. First she was lit from the side and then the front with crew in position in the cockpit and on the ground to create the effect of the plane preparing for take off.
Then with the 100 or so photographers ready in an arc in front of her, “Just Jane” was fired up there was an 8-10 min engine run with the cold but clear lincolnshire sky as a stunning back drop. The sound of the 4 Rolls-Royce Merlin engines was extremely impressive (not to mention noisy) and it was hard to focus and hear the self timer (yes i’d forgotten a remote release) as long exposure photos were taken to being out the propellor movement.
Inside the hanger the museum has a Dakota which was lit for further photo opportunities as well as a selection of other period vehicle. Unfortunately one of my favourites for photos, the mobile Canteen/Naafi Wagon wasn’t used this time. But hopefully there will another one next year.
Many thanks to Neil and team, the museum and the fantastic re enactors who really brought the event to life for a superb day.