Fifteen Fabulous Photos… Corey Beitler
Collings Foundation’s American Heritage Museum, 2021, Stow, MA. Curtiss P-40B Warhawk. It was amazing to see an aircraft that is airworthy and also a Pearl Harbor survivor in person. The incredible staff at the Collings Foundation allowed me a great up close and personal look at this historic plane. Of course, I wanted my photo taken with the airplane but the staff disappeared to work on other projects. Traveling alone and not having anyone to take the photo for me, I grabbed a chair nearby, set the camera on the chair, set the timer and quickly went to kneel next to the airplane. Worked just fine and I got the photo I wanted next to this very historic aircraft.
Here are fifteen photos of aircraft, aviators, or anything aviation oriented, by Corey Beitler. Twice each month, one of our aviation photographers will present a self-chosen set of fifteen photos for your viewing pleasure. It might be from a favorite event or a special photographic composition or even just a colorful memory from our past. Each photo has the subject, location, and a few words about each particular image. Keep coming back to this digital aviation magazine for more photos and articles chronicling aviation past and present!
Lehigh Valley International Airport, 2017 Allentown, PA. Allegiant Air McDonnell Douglas MD-83. Lehigh Valley International Airport is my home airport and the airport staff has always been very friendly to my spotting activities. At the time this photo was taken, the airport was going through a pretty rough time of airlines withdrawing service. Allegiant Air stepped up offering more flights and the now retired MD-80 series jets were a regular sight at the airport. Allegiant still has a significant presence at the airport flying to destinations in Florida, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The airline bases two aircraft at the airport also operates a crew base at the facility.
Mid-Atlantic Air Museum World War II Weekend, 2021, Reading, PA. Commemorative Air Force B-29 Superfortress “Fifi”. This is a show I have attended for many years and in 2021 for the first time, I was able to get approval to be credentialed media. The media credentials opened the way up to many different photo opportunities throughout the event including this one. This photo, taken in the early morning, features several reenactors dressed like aircrew looking over mission maps with “Fifi” as the backdrop. This photo, part of a special media access opportunity, is one of my favorites and promotes the living history mission many warbird operators want to share with the public.
New Garden Airshow, 2019, Toughkenamon, PA. America’s Sweethearts Girl Group & Ellenville LLC’s Corsair. I’ve done a lot of work photographing the America’s Sweethearts Girl Group, who appear at a lot of World War II-themed airshows and aviation events to sing period music. Over the years, they have been extremely gracious in posing for many photographs for me. At this particular event, they agreed to a photoshoot next to the Corsair in their navy-themed outfits. It was an incredibly hot morning with terrible heat indexes and the ladies makeup nearly melted off their faces during the shoot. On this really warm day when they could have been resting in air conditioning awaiting their next musical set, it was extremely generous of them to give 15 minutes of their time to pose for pictures next to the Corsair.
Atlantic City Airshow, 2019, Atlantic City, NJ. Royal Air Force Red Arrows. I had seen the Red Arrows when the visited the United States in 2008, and never thought I would get to see them again in North America until the North American Tour was announced for 2019 by the team. I was fortunate to see them and get credentialed media for two events where the team was scheduled to perform. Seeing the team and their “different” performance was an incredible experience. I was impressed by everyone on the team’s professionalism and friendliness. I love this photo of the team charging into show center at Atlantic City to begin their demonstration, with the colored smoke trailing behind them.
Philadelphia International Airport, 2016, Philadelphia, PA. Boeing 747-400 British Airways. I was delighted when near the end of their careers, British Airways decided to operate the 747-400 on their London to Philadelphia route. It afforded me a nice opportunity to see the “Queen of the Skies” fairly close to home on a daily basis. The late afternoon arrival also had amazing light in the winter months. My love of the 747and its iconic place in history helped encourage my first article for Photorecon in 2020.
National Air and Space Museum National Mall Building. 2015, Washington D.C.. Albatros D.Va World War I fighter. My grandfather loved taking me to the National Air and Space Museum as a child and we spent many hours there exploring galleries of aircraft and aviation artifacts on display. My grandfather always ended up admiring the Albatros D.Va on display as it was one of his favorite aircraft. When I visited the museum in 2015 and took a photo of the Albatros, I carefully changed the background of museum lights, walls and ceiling tiles to a solid black to bring out this aircraft’s beautiful colors, especially on the wings. I feel this photograph shows how much my aviation photography and photo editing skills have improved over the years.
Lehigh Valley Airshow, 2013, Lehigh Valley International Airport, Allentown PA. Aero L-39 Albatros, Black Diamond Jet Team. In 2013 and 2014, my home airport, the Lehigh Valley International Airport held an airshow. It was the first time in several years an airshow had been held in the immediate Lehigh Valley area. Unfortunately, the airshow only lasted two years before the airport shelved it, due to upcoming construction projects and not getting enough of a financial return from hosting it. This picture of the Black Diamond Jet Team, the featured performers, was published in a local Lehigh Valley magazine and was one of the first aviation photographs of mine to be published.
Lehigh Valley International Airport, 2012, Allentown, PA. USCG HC-130J Super Hercules. During Black Friday, I got bored holiday shopping with my family at the Lehigh Valley Mall and instead took my camera to the nearby Lehigh Valley International Airport to see if any interesting airplanes were around. I got a really nice surprise when this HC-130J from USCG Air Station Elizabeth City showed up to do some pattern work. USCG aircraft at the airport are rare, and this is one of my best military catches while spotting there.
Mid-Atlantic Air Museum World War II Weekend. 2021. Reading, PA. Commemorative Air Force Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless. The Mid-Atlantic Air Museum’s World War II Weekend has been a home event for me for years. My grandfather loved it, and we spent the entire weekend at the event each year rain or shine. The SBD-5 was always our favorite, as my grandfather’s brother was an aircraft mechanic during World War II and worked on the SBD’s. Because of this unique family history and the pivotal role it played in World War II, the SBD has always been one of my favorite aircraft.
Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, 2015, Rhinebeck, NY. New Standard D-25. My grandfather and I made usually two trips to Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome every year, one in the early summer and then another in the fall. He loved their collection of replica pioneer and World War I aircraft. We took the ride in their New Standard D-25, a number of times. I continue to enjoy visiting Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome and visiting there and seeing their aircraft fly reminds me of the great times I had with my grandfather and how he inspired my passion for aviation photography.
Mid-Atlantic Air Museum World War II Weekend, 2014, Reading, PA. Yankee Air Museum Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress “Yankee Lady”. The B-17 is also one of my favorite aircraft. Each year, “Yankee Lady” makes the trip from Michigan to Pennsylvania to participate in World War II Weekend. The aircraft can be seen several times in the air each day as ride experience flights are given in addition to the crew flying an airshow performance. Here, in one of my favorite photos of “Yankee Lady”, she makes a beautiful banking turn showing off her polished bare metal finish in fantastic light.
Atlantic City Airshow, 2019, Atlantic City, NJ. Lockheed Martin F-16C/D Fighting Falcon, USAF Thunderbirds. The Atlantic City Airshow is always a great way to close out the summer, as it is usually held at the end of August. It is a nice couple days at the beach and the show has been generally blessed by good weather over the years. The USAF Thunderbirds usually headline this airshow. The best day to catch the show is the rehearsal, where its less of a crowd and the Thunderbirds will sometimes buzz the beach several times. That’s what is happening in this photo, the Thunderbirds have come around for a second echelon pass over the beach nice and close.
Atlantic Trident 2017, 2017, Langley Air Force Base, VA. Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet E, French Air Force Patrouille de France. One of my first media opportunities, I had the privilege of attending the 2017 Atlantic Trident at Langley Air Force Base. Special guests to the event that year were the Patrouille de France Aerobatic Team from the French Air Force. They flew a special airshow display for the participants of the event and international special guests. This was a special opportunity as I never thought I would get to see the Patrouille de France perform in the United States. I made many great professional connections with airshow colleagues at this event, I’m so glad I made the effort and had the ability to attend. It was an experience of a lifetime.
National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, 2021, Chantilly, VA. Space Shuttle Discovery. The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is a place I always enjoy going because of its amazing collection of aircraft and space vehicles. My grandfather and I attended opening day in 2003 and we were back many times before he passed away. I still try to get to the museum at least twice a year. The Space Shuttle Discovery in the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar is an impressive sight. The large size of the spacecraft fills the hangar. This photo, with no museum visitors around, was possible through a special media visit to the museum and some early access before the museum opened to the public that day. A cool experience to be with one of NASA’s most historic spacecraft.