Two unusual things in one day

So, the first was this:

You can click on the photo and see a larger version (~2x) or you can click HERE and get the full-size panorama photo (five photos stitched together) of this WW II B-17G, the Aluminum Overcast. Only click if you have the bandwidth and fast enough connection to download an 8MB file.  After you have it, you can click on the photo to see it at the 1:1 ratio.

For them not interested in reading, you can go directly to the SmugMug Gallery HERE.  

For a SmugMug slideshow click HERE. When you click the link, it will open in a new window and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the bottom-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos as this will pause the slideshow.

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

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Two articles (HERE, HERE) alerted me of the impending visit. The plane is one of ten planes still flying, five of which offer rides. The pricing is a bit more than I want to spend for 25 minutes in the air, but I admit the experience would have been memorable. The tours are reasonable ($10 for roughly 15 minutes crawling inside the plane’s various passageways) but as I correctly surmised, there would be lines and waiting (about an hour, according to my brother-in-law). 

Instead, I opted to go in the morning, when they were offering flights. There were maybe fifty people there, spaced out enough so as to not encroach into my personal space which is defined by a ten-feet radius with me at the center.  

The plane was out for one of it’s paid flights, but a few minutes later it came rumbling down the taxiway (2:12 minutes video) . . .

The video was shot with my P900. I had the D7500 with me as well but since I’ve not used it for video yet, I stuck with what I knew. 

One of the nice things with the free software from Nikon is that you can extract stills from the movie. They are only 1920×1080 (it shoots 1080p video) but still, a nice feature. 

Here’s the gallery of extracted frames from the above video:

The next two photos are from before and after I shot the video. The first photo was a long way off and the heat rising from the tarmac produced a lot of athmospheric distorsion (one of the negatives of being able to shoot stuff a long way away).

This next shot is right after it switched off its engines.

You can read a bit about the WW II B-17 and its history HERE. You can peruse a list of surviving B-17 Flying Fortresses HERE.

And you can read about the Aluminum Overcast HERE.

These are a few P900 photos I shot right after it got there . . . 

What is it with women and too-small shoes?

Say what you will, the P900 is a decent-enough camera for amateurs like me. 

. . . these are shots from the D7500 . . . 

Now that there are women AF pilots in combat, I wonder if we’ll see different liveries.

Here’s a short video showing the plane (14 seconds) . . . 

These next two shots are right before they started the engines for the next flight.

Note the guy with the fire extinguisher . . . enough said. 

Here’s a video of the engines starting (1:17 minutes) . . . 

Again, I pulled a few stills from the video . . . 

Here’s one of three videos of the plane taxiing toward the runway (35 seconds) . . . 

The way the propellers look is due to the frame rate. If the frame rate would match the propeller speed, it would appear as if the propellers aren’t even moving (for example, THIS).

Two shots pulled from the video . . . 

Here’s the second short video of the plane taxiing (31 seconds) . . . 

. . . and the third video (1:06 min.) . . . 

Here’s a mix of photos pulled from the video and snapped with the cameras . . . 

I often mention I’m not a videographer and here’s the proof (24 seconds) . . . 

That’s pretty bad. The P900 really isn’t suited for capturing fast-moving subjects. I could have done better with the tripod and my video head, but those were safely stored at home (live and learn).  

YouTube used to have a video stabilizing function . . . but like with everything Google does, once something becomes useful, they either mess it up or get rid of it. In this case, that function is no longer available to people who upload videos. “Do no evil” as a motto was quietly replaced by “We don’t give even a tiny crap about our users” sometimes in 2016. 

But, hey, they still do give lots of stuff for free; it’s just that you can’t rely on it. 

Windows Movie Maker (also no longer offered by Microsoft but available if you know where to look) does have a stabilization and anti-wobble option. It works well enough but it’s no substitute for keeping your camera steady. 

Here’s the same video somewhat stabilized . . . 

Yes, it still sucks . . . that’s why I pulled a bunch of stills from the video. Here they are along with a couple of shots taken with the D7500. 

Normally, I would opt for just photos but this is an iconic plane and a big part of its lure is that it’s still flying . . . and video shows that best.

Again, these mostly captures from the video with only the last two shots from the D7500.

Honest, I think I could have done better but, for the amount of effort I put into it, I’m satisfied. 

Here’s the gallery of all the above . . .

” WAIT! What’s the other unusual thing?” you ask.

Oh, yeah . . . well, on the way back home, we spotted a turtle in the middle of the road. It had retreated in its shell and was just sitting there.  I put on my flashers, got out, carefully picked it up, and moved toward where it had been going (I hope).  Here’s the thing . . . I should have read THIS article before doing that, especially this warning: “It’s not uncommon for turtles to empty their bladders when lifted, so be prepared.” I wasn’t.

So, I would have moved it anyway because drivers around here . . . well, that’s a subject for another post. I’d have moved it anyway but more carefully. Suffice it to say I no longer fear I’ll die before a turtle pees on me. 

Here’s the gallery, randomized and without the 8MB panorama:

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


Note: if you are not reading this blog post at, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.


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About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
This entry was posted in Airplanes/Aeroplanes, Animation and Movies, Machines, My YouTube, Photography Stuff, Photos and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Two unusual things in one day

  1. mvschulze says:

    A re-note: With my i-pad, I was able to read the time on the gentleman’s watch in the first hi def image, he being in front of the plane. 11:25 AM Pretty impressive! M :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • disperser says:

      Thanks, mvs.

      Yes, considering I’m using a cheap lens and I’m something like 30 yards away.

      The original is probably a bit sharper than that because I used some noise reduction on the finished panorama. As a reminder, all of the photos in SmugMug have the options to show at the original size. Lot’s of details to be seen in all of them except the ones that are captures from the videos since they are limited to 1080 width.


  2. Wowza! Amazing plane, history, and super impressive photos/vids, Emilio! I love planes, and your plane posts! (I love trains and automobiles, too!)

    You noticed her shoes?! Now, that’s impressive! (wink wink – just teasin’ you!)

    I’ve been peed on by quite a few different species…but never a turtle…not yet anyways. Thanks for the important info! Good to know it’s survivable! At least he didn’t snap at ya’!

    HUGS for you and Melisa! :-)


    • disperser says:

      Well, I noticed her shoes because she either has no toes or she will soon lose them.

      As for being peed on, outside of a few kids, I think this is the first time I’ve experienced a wild animal tagging me. A few dogs and cats (when they are very young) but those we domesticated animals.

      Also, thanks, Carolyn.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice pictures. Feminist activists in UK would protest about that livery!


  4. Eddy Winko says:

    ‘I’m not sure why, but I thought it would be bigger’, as the actress said to the bishop. Still very impressive.
    Maybe I have had a dose of turtle pee in my time, but I have only ever encountered them in the water. I imagine its handy to know about their bladder movements should you be stung by a jelly fish and a turtle just happens to be passing.


    • disperser says:

      Land Jelly Fish are pretty rare . . . Which would make the coincidence of a passing turtle a one in a billion event. Is look for a different passing animal to press pee on you.

      As for bigger, I’m trying to limit my posts to under 113 photos and no more than 2,000 words. Many will be disappointed, I know, but some will rejoice.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. seekraz says:

    Wonderful photos of the old war bird, Emilio….you didn’t snap any phone images of the little pisser….? ;)


    • disperser says:

      Thank you, Scott. It was neat to see and I was pleasantly surprised as to how close we could get.

      As for the pisser . . . it was a two-handed affair so, no photos. Also, it was the middle of a road so no lingering to snap photos either before or after.

      . . . I didn’t want to join the ranks of people who risk lives (and sometimes lose lives) for the sake of a photo.


  6. macquie says:

    So cool! A silly question it must be but would each propeller work for controlling the direction the aircraft turning when taxing?


    • disperser says:

      That particular plane steers (turns) by using the rear-most center wheel. You can see it (and hear it) if you watch the video. That high-pitched noise is probably from the rear wheel or its mechanism.

      Modern planes (airliners) have a wheel in front that steers because they typically don’t have a rear center wheel (I’ve never seen one).

      Basically, the engines provide thrust to push the plane, and the wheels (center front or center rear) move to either point the nose or move the tail.

      On smaller planes without steering mechanisms, the common way is to apply brakes to the wheel on the side you want to turn. Imagine if you are walking and you left leg moved slower than your right leg; you would then be making a left turn (or going in a counter-clockwise circle).

      Those types of steering systems only work at slow speeds. Past a certain speed, you don’t want to turn the wheels or apply the brakes. In those cases, the pilot steers by turning the rudder (the movable vertical part of the tail). The rudder offers resistance to the air going past and “pushes” the tail in the opposite direction from where it points.

      That’s not to say you couldn’t steer using opposite engines but I think that would be more complicated and difficult to control because of inertia and the response time of the engines. Don’t quote me on that last part because I ain’t a pilot nor a plane guy. Heck, I barely know how my toaster works (I think you press the lever down and then magic happens and a toast comes out).

      Liked by 1 person

      • macquie says:

        Hahaha, i like your last part of the comment about toaster.
        And thank you very much for the detailed information about the mechanism. I misunderstood that front propellers took control when turning because a couple of front ones spin, probably they did by taking some breeze. 🙂
        I am on far side on mechanical things but for some reason, i like watching airplane, ships, and cars (not so much most modern types). They are all masterpieces i feel ☺️


      • disperser says:

        Just to clarify, the propellers rotating push air back and that is what moves the plane forward. If the propellers are not rotating, there’s nothing to move the plane forward.

        You need to be careful when looking at rotating things because the rate at which they rotate can affect how you perceive them. That’s true in person but doubly so in videos.
        Depending on the frame rate and the speed of the propellers, they can appear to be rotating slowly or even backward. If the frame rate of the video matches the rotation of the propellers, they will appear to be standing still as in this example of a helicopter:

        So, it’s not that the propellers are moved by air; they move air by pushing it backward and in reaction, the plane moves forward.


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