Genuine or fake?

Discussion in 'Aircraft Pictures' started by Graeme, Jun 24, 2007.

  1. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

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    Re-discovered this photo in a 30 yr old magazine purporting to be untouched, showing a 'hapless' mechanic wrapped around a Spitfires tail, from 1944. The Avro Tutor in the background is unexplained.

    [​IMG]
    Shot at 2007-06-24
     
  2. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    The picture may no be doctored (but it probably is), but it's certainly staged. The tail on the Spitfire was low enough to the ground that he would have just jumped off. He could have jumped off from anywhere really, and there's no way the pilot couldn't have seen him unless he was on the tail. So yeah, it's gotta be fake or staged.
     
  3. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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  4. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    Or this one...
     

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  5. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    It did happen with some air women the pilot was not informed of the problem but was instructed to land immediatly the thought occured to me as I sat on the tail of the Russell Spit for about !/2 hr as they were practising "hot starts" . The closest I'll ever get to operating Spit:D This pic shows the view and how much the pilot Rick Volker is the pilot can see
     

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  6. Cyrano

    Cyrano Member

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    #6 Cyrano, Jun 24, 2007
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

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    Fake.

    However the story behind it is probably more interesting than the photo. 'State of the art' equipment, including a pair of scissors and air-brushing (for the propeller) were used. Created by Cyril Peckham, FRPS;Hon CRAeS of the Isle of Wright, in March 1940 while editor of the house magazine, General Aircraft Ltd. He described the event in his article, as good luck, while airborne on a photographic sortie coming across the Spitfire completing a circuit with a rigger clinging to the rear fuselage.
    The photo was so believed at the time that the Press offered him 5,000 pounds for the "scoop" photo, for the rights to distribute it world wide.
    At the time he explained that he couldn't accept the offer because of his official position and "censorship"!
    He 'came clean' on the photo in a talkback column in a May 1979 issue of AIR International.
     
  8. Paul Krumrei

    Paul Krumrei New Member

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    Usually when you have a plane taking another picture like that, it is doctored. Like they had time to send up another plane at that altitude just to take a picture?

    FAKE
     
  9. SABURO

    SABURO Member

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    Hi every one,
    As you say pbfoot, it happen once with a WAAF fitter and actually the the spitfire (AB910) still fly (without Margaret !).

    From this site :
    The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

    "On 14 February 1945, whilst at Hibaldstow, AB910 famously flew with an unauthorised passenger. LACW Margaret Horton, a WAAF ground-crew fitter, had been sitting on the tail whilst the aircraft taxied out to the take-off point (as was standard practice) without the pilot, Flt Lt Neil Cox DFC*, realising she was there. The pilot took off with Margaret still on the tail. The combination of her weight on the tail and her grip on the elevator very nearly had disastrous results but fortunately the pilot was able to regain control and one circuit later he landed with a very frightened WAAF still wrapped around the tail! "

    Cheers,

    Olivier
     
  10. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Actually, the shadows give it away as a fake. Take a look at the shadow created by the rigger. The shadow is darker and more pronounced than other shadows in the picture. Then look at the antenna mast behind the cockpit. No shadow from the antenna... Different light sources? I think not.
     
  11. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    I've been using photoshop for over 10 years and it doesn't look fake to me. I think it's a stunt ... the bi plane was probably a camera plane. there probably is film footage of event somewhere.
     
  12. trackend

    trackend Active Member

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    The tail wheel looks like its sitting on the ground and is partly obscured I reckon the whole tail section is an image graft onto a flying front half.
     

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  13. Chriss1958

    Chriss1958 Member

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    I can't verify this picture but I believe it was a post war enactment of a real event. I think it occurred in the 1950's before the advent of the Health and bl**dy Safety Executive destroyed anything fun in the UK (I am SURE you have something like this in the States).

    During the war it was common practise for a mechanic to sit on the tail of the spitfire whilst it taxied out so as to provide 'ballast' to keep the tail on the ground. Often two mechanics, sitting on the 'tail-feathers' would provide enough weight to ensure that whatever the ham-fisted pilot did with his throttle no nose over would occur with and harm no harm come to the prop. Usually before taking off the pilot would wave his arms for the mechanics to jump off. Usually.........

    In the real event that inspired the photo it was a WAAF rather than a mechanic that sat on the tail. The pilot forgot to wave his arms, failed to check his rear-facing mirror and just rammed home the throttle. The WAAF (a wee delicate girlie) was too frightened to jump off, and so in order not to fall off as the plane accelerated managed to turn around and cling to the tail for dear life. I gather the pilot found the plane a trifle tail heavy and had to resort to maximum trim in order to maintain level flight. He landed without realising that he had a 'stow-away'


    BTW: The Avro Tutor in the enactment photo is the preserved Shuttleworth example.
     
  14. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

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    Chris...it's a fake. See the details in post #7, which were supplied by the magazine in a later issue. At the time I thought it would make a 'clever' thread. Hindsight says it wasn't. Needs to be archived.:(
     
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