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P-51D Mustang

P-51D Mustang at Hill AFB Air Show
P-51D Mustang at Hill AFB Air Show

This is a North American Aviation P-51D Mustang, nicknamed "Little Witch", Registration N51LW, serial number 44-74497. The P-51 line of fighter planes was introduced to the European theater of the Second World War in order to escort bombers like the Boeing B-17 on their raids to Germany and back. By the time of the Korean War, jet fighters took over the Mustang's spot as fighters, but they were in use in a ground-support and reconnaissance role until the end of the war in 1953.

On Saturday, June 6, 2009, the Hill Air Force Base south of Ogden, Utah, held an air show for a large crowd of spectators. It is a modified version with a second seat behind the pilot to allow a passenger. A lot of the information I found about taking pictures of air shows taught that a lens should have a focal length of up to 300 mm, but I brought my Canon EF 100-400 ƒ/4.5-5.6L IS USM instead and there were a lot of opportunities to use the range of 300 to 400 mm so I was happy to have it. This is a crop of a landscape format photo, taken with my Canon EOS 40D at a focal length of 310 mm, aperture is ƒ/10 and the shutter speed is 1/1600 second. For most of the show, I got the best results by having my camera set to aperture priority at ƒ/10 set to 400 ISO, letting my camera pick the shutter speed.

All my pictures of the air show at the Hill AFB are available in a photo album.

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