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Olympus UK E-System User Group

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Looking for improvement This is the e-group critique board. If you post a picture here it will be assumed that you are looking for comprehensive technical feedback - both good and bad, but always respectful. Only post pictures here if you can deal with potentially negative constructive criticism. Anyone is qualified to comment and post feedback, and everyone is encouraged to do so. NB: "Looking for Improvement" is the place to post any pictures you would like advice on improving, no matter how bad you might think they are.

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  #1  
Old 18th December 2010
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A tearful ( plus rain,sleet and snow! ) farewell to a retiring aeroplane

I have a long association at BA with the Boeing 757 which, sadly, has come to the end of its career with the airline. The final aircraft that remained in service until recently was G-CPET which was sprayed in its original BA colour scheme prior to its retirement. I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to photograph it on Thursday evening. Originally, a lot of people had put a huge amount of work into organising a photo shoot for aviation and photo enthusiasts for the same evening. I had hoped to invite one or two E-system forum members along. Sadly, this event had to be cancelled due to the terrorist threat level being increased for Heathrow. This was a great shame as in addition to the 757, Concorde, an A320 and a 747 or 777 were going to be positioned for everyone to photograph. It would have been an unique event that would never have been able to be repeated.

Fortunately for me, I was able with two others to get access to the 757 on Thursday evening. What an evening it turned out to be. As we walked out of the hangar the weather did its absolute worst, cue wind, rain, sleet and snow!

I have not got so wet for a long time. My dear E-3 ended up looking as if it had been dunked in a bucket of water and most of shots were destined for the recycle bin due to the spots of water that quickly decorated my 12-60mm lens face.

Anyway, here are 7 shots taken in varying aircraft and exterior lighting conditions.

Steps were used as we had an engineer who remained on board with a radio to switch on various lights for us





Steps away





Landing and logo lights on, note the sleet/snow on the side of the 757. Had to remove lens water drops with the clone tool





Lights off again with the heavy rain having removed the sleet/snow on the side of the 757





Flood lights turned off, just the 757 logo light on





The final 2 shots were taken when all power had been removed from the aircraft and just the ambient light of the nearby hangar remained. I believe everyone else had stopped taking pictures by now but I kept going as I was already soaked to the skin.


I rather like this long exposure as the steps return to the 757




The last shot





Apologies for the number of shots posted but it really was an emotional experience for me to say farewell to an aircraft that I have been so lucky to be involved with.

Just as well it was raining really to hide my tears!

Cheers

Chris
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Old 18th December 2010
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Re: A tearful ( plus rain,sleet and snow! ) farewell to a retiring aeroplane

A fine set of shots. I really like the last two. Well done!
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Old 18th December 2010
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Re: A tearful ( plus rain,sleet and snow! ) farewell to a retiring aeroplane

A very nice collection, I'm sure it will do justice to your memories. Most atmospheric one for me is with the floodlights off, interior and logo lights on. The kit (and photographer of course) coped well with the weather, I hope it (and the photographer of course) has all dried out successfully.

How long were these in service for?

Ciao ... John
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Old 18th December 2010
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Re: A tearful ( plus rain,sleet and snow! ) farewell to a retiring aeroplane

Excellent shots...I particularly like the one with just the interior/logo light...very atmospheric.

You've captured some good memories there.

Janet
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Old 18th December 2010
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Re: A tearful ( plus rain,sleet and snow! ) farewell to a retiring aeroplane

great pics and narration...and a fitting tribute.

jeff
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Old 18th December 2010
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Re: A tearful ( plus rain,sleet and snow! ) farewell to a retiring aeroplane

Not half as sad as the premature retirement of the Harrier.
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Old 18th December 2010
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Re: A tearful ( plus rain,sleet and snow! ) farewell to a retiring aeroplane

Brilliant shots Chris. I've always like the B757 - sleek and elegant. A distinctively styled aircraft in an age of universal design where there is little to distinguish the current airliner types.

Dave
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Old 19th December 2010
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Re: A tearful ( plus rain,sleet and snow! ) farewell to a retiring aeroplane

Excellent images...
...but no newsworthy fuss!
Is it just a BA retirement or are they declining in use worldwide?
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Old 19th December 2010
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Re: A tearful ( plus rain,sleet and snow! ) farewell to a retiring aeroplane

How much did it cost to respray it in its original colours?
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Old 19th December 2010
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Re: A tearful ( plus rain,sleet and snow! ) farewell to a retiring aeroplane

Thanks for all of your comments which as ever are much appreciated. In answer to your comments:

John, the first 757 joined BA in 1982 and was powered by the Rolls Royce RB211-535 C2 engine. BA along with Eastern Airlines were Boeing's launch customers for the 757. These were phased out, but are still flying today for DHL following conversion to freighters. The C2 powered aircraft were replaced at BA when the 757 became available powered by the more powerful RB211-535 E4. For info, G-CPET that I photographed was built in 1998. It is a good question to ask John, as I had forgotten that BA has been flying the 757 for 28 years. That really does make me feel old as it does not seem so long ago that I remember the first 757 arriving.

Janet, I have to admit that your favourite is mine too, a good lesson for me because I nearly stopped taking pictures when the floodlights were switched off.

David, aircraft are such wonderful things, so much more than a lump of metal. The sudden demise of the Harrier is very sad. But I was reading of some enthusiast who bought a Harrier a few years ago and intends to fly it on the display circuit. There is me thinking that cameras are expensive!

Dave, I can only agree about "The queen of the skies", as it is affectionately known at BA and other operators. It just looks right and has the right mix of automation that makes it so popular with pilots. A senior BA pilot I was talking to summed it all up, he said that of all the aircraft he has flown, when you get into the cockpit it just feels like home.

Chris, the 757 will remain in use around the world for a long time. The retiring BA aircraft have been bought by Federal Express for conversion to freighters. Some of the E4 powered BA 757 aircraft were sold previously to DHL and some found a home at BA subsidiary BA Open Skies based in France. There are some much younger 757s flying, BA 757s were the 200 series but a larger 300 series was made by Boeing later in the development of the 757. These are much longer, some of which fly over you every day operated by Icelandair. Strangely, the 757 has become a popular aircraft for transatlantic operations despite being a single aisle cabin, American and Continental being two of the airlines that operate them daily into Heathrow.

Cheers

Chris
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Old 19th December 2010
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Re: A tearful ( plus rain,sleet and snow! ) farewell to a retiring aeroplane

Dear Pepper,

I believe it was in the range of 10-20,000 range. If so, that will represent a pretty good investment with all the press coverage that it has generated. I was really impressed that BA made the effort to celebrate the final operations of the 757. It would have been so easy in these cost driven times not do anything.

Cheers

Chris
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Old 19th December 2010
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Re: A tearful ( plus rain,sleet and snow! ) farewell to a retiring aeroplane

Of course, if you favour aviation photography, it is possible to seek out the 757s that DHL purchased from BA in the 'tasteful' DHL house colours of yelow and red!

Dave
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Old 19th December 2010
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Re: A tearful ( plus rain,sleet and snow! ) farewell to a retiring aeroplane

So many great things being de-commissioned - Ark Royal and of course the wonderful Harrier.

Sad times indeed

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Old 19th December 2010
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Re: A tearful ( plus rain,sleet and snow! ) farewell to a retiring aeroplane

Is it likely to join the other BA aircraft at Cosford?

Duncan
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Old 20th December 2010
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Re: A tearful ( plus rain,sleet and snow! ) farewell to a retiring aeroplane

Dear Duncan,

Sadly not, all have been sold to Fed Ex in America for conversion to freighters.

Cheers

Chris
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