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 Shooting aircraft      
Since 2003 I have been involved with the Temora Aviation Museum, making a series of 5 minute programs for the History Channel as well as a 1 hour documentary.

This page shows some of what was involved in putting the audience into the cockpits of such rarities as the Spitfire, Vampire, Meteor, and a host of other wonderful aeroplanes in this unique flying museum.

The Cessna 02A was our principal camera ship. It has openable storm windows and a high wing, making it suitable for all the other museum's aircraft with the exception of the Canberra which was too fast, and the Tiger Moth, which was too slow. We used Steve Death's T28D with a specially modified canopy for the Canberra and Gordon Glynn's 01 Bird Dog for the Tiger.

The 02 is seen here lifting off on a warm Temora day in October 2003. The yellow flowers in the foreground are capeweed.

One of the "extra" features section of the DVD shows Tom Moon in his Extra 300, seen here during one of our filming sorties over a field of Canola.
It was exhilirating watching Tom perform flick rolls and fly inverted alongside us.
Throughout Tom's routine he keeps a deadpan face except when fighting high G forces.
Here I am in the 02 seen from the back seat of the Wirraway. Pic by Roger Clarke.
The program was produced in Dolby surround. Here's how we did it on location. Brian Laurence rigs his 6 microphone setup for true surround sound. Brian is about to record the magnificent sound of the Gloster Mk. VIII Meteor Halestorm on a high speed run directly over us. Here I am with the Digital Betacam mounted on a minijib about to shoot the Spitfire starting up. Whilst this was shot on a regular flying weekend, most of the specialised filming was done on special occasions.
We used lipstick cameras to do the shots on the aircraft. Here, I'm checking the framing on a DV Camera with Chief Engineer, Peter Pring-Shambler. The camera I'm holding was used for recording the images from the small "lipstick" camera mounted under the wing. The DV camera was mounted in the ammunition bay.
Here's the flipside, where we mounted the camera on the top side of the wing. Yours truly checks the cabling done by TAM Engineer Lindsay Jordan. Lindsay was tireless, putting a lot of effort into mounting the cameras and ensuring great shots. We used two different lenses on two seperate flights to create different angles.

The shots from the lipstick camera were often spectacular.

These pictures come to us from the program's writer, Roger Clarke.

The lipstick cameras can be mounted wherever there are a couple of screws in the right place, which is often part of an access panel. In the case of the Spitfire we couldn't run cables through the wing so we had to use gaffer tape to secure them. The engineers called it "hundred-mile-an-hour" tape but quickly revised this to "four hundred mile an hour" tape.

It's good to get the camera off the tripod somtimes, and let the subject roll over you. The Meteor is put to bed after a day in the air. Here we are with the camera mounted on rails in the hangar looking at the Meteor.

The Meteor was equally photogenic in the air.

For the Tiger Moth we used Gordon Glynn's Cessna 01 Bird Dog. This is a genuine Vietnam vet aircraft. Here we're on finals to Temora's grass runway, going down as though we're in a lift.