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RAF Spadeadam, Gilsland, Cumbria, UK (2017)
As far as photography locations go, the internet often throws up some hidden gems. It was one of those days when I was surfing the net when a photograph of an abandoned aircraft caught my eye. The original poster had also included a write up, which really made me sit up and take notice. The airframe, a Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star, was located on an RAF base in Cumbria, and was accessible to the public on most weekends, when the red danger flags weren't flying. Well this, I had to see!
After more digging on the net, I began to imagine how fantastic the airframe would look at night, under a star filled sky. There was also the prospect of capturing the milky way overhead, which had me purring even more. Fantastic foreground like this just had to be explored, so a daytime recce was organized. I headed over the A69 with my brother, Chris, who also has a log standing interest in military hardware. It was a two hour round trip, so we were determined to make the most of our visit, in preparation for a return trip at night, in the very near future.
We'd done our usual research on the internet and also picked out the aircraft on Google Earth, which was a great help, as all we knew was that the airframe was in the middle of a field on the airbase. Have you seen how many acres this airbase actually covers?
When we arrived I parked up and Chris immediately pointed across the field in the direction we needed to walk. We couldn't see the airframe from the roadside, but we knew we were only a 15 minute walk to our quarry. The approach field was a very boggy affair and at times, a nightmare to negotiate. To say it was a swamp is a gross understatement, but we'd come this far and there was no turning back. You had to laugh!
As the airframe came into sight, we were more determined to reach it...and we did. It was in remarkable condition, even though legend has it that it had been placed there many years ago. It certainly hadn't crashed, as some people claim. I immediately set up my GoPro and started a time lapse sequence. There wasn't a great deal happening in the sky, to be fair, so cloud movement wouldn't play much of a part, but it was interesting to see us explore every part of the plane with our cameras.
An hour later and it was job done. We were out of there and it was an enjoyable visit, to say the least. The groundwork was done and now it was time to plan and look forward to returning at night. It's going to be a corker !!!
May Day Bank Holiday, 2017