Friday 18 December 2015

LIMA 2015 Part 06 - Airshow - Indoors and Outdoors, and back Home [Updated 31.01.2016]

Day 2 is an awesome brand new day. We were there early that day. Let's start off with a choper parked outside, an AW-139.

Most of the aircraft were still there at the display area, albeit with a change in position, such as the A400. There was now more items around it like AC carts and some tables for merchandise. The area around dome of the jets were already barricaded, which prevented many from going near them. 

Nose of the A400. Look at the In-flight refuelling probe

Was lucky to be with one of the groups touring the A400. Managed to get a shot of the interior of the A400. Fairly spacious.

Large Cargo area of the A400

Sadly though that they restricted the access to the cockpit, so no shots there. Spent quite some time there before adjourning to the indoor display area. Trust me, it was really hot, and since we had seen most of the aircraft at the outdoor display, it was time to get indoors to enjoy the cool air-conditioned environment.

Let me find more indoor pics to fill this area.

There were quite a number of scaled models within the indoor area.

Patrol Boat Replica

Further on the other side of the display were several submarine models. 

And moving around even further (was not really keeping track of which part of the insides we were at) we had this scaled model of a militarized Saab 2000. Looks like an aerial radar platform.

Saab 2000

There is also a mockup of the leading edge of the A400's vertical stabilizer behind the model.

Yea, it is HUGE. See human for size comparison

And luck would have it that we were at the side portion of the indoor display area with windows. A sound was heard and when we looked up, we saw a greyish aircraft flying past. It was thin and long. It was now time to make a decision. Either to take that this was the final fly-by and to remain inside, OR to rush out as fast as we could and hope that there would be a second fly-by.

Being me, of course I dashed out for that golden opportunity to see IT again. It was the B-52 by the way.

B-52 with Gears down

Lighting could not have been worse with heavy backlit clouds (ugh). But a chance with this BUFF as they would call it, overcame the feeling. Snapped away.

And that was the last fly-by for the entire LIMA 2015 show. It head back after this show.

Continuing on...

The displays were similar to that of the first day, with the Sukhoi SU-30MKM, Dassault Rafale, Viper, Al-Fursan, Black Knights, Aerotree and so on.

Here are some shots that I did not quite nail on the first day.

Al-Fursan Aerobatic Team

Breaking formation

Managed to get this solo performer this round at low altitude (better prepared), the Zivko Edge 540. This is then followed by the Krisakti

Pulling a tight turn


After 2 hours, the display was all over, and it was time to roam the grounds again for the last time as this was the last day we were there. Had closeups of a few aircraft before hitting the cool air-conditioned area.

USAF P-8 Poseidon

RMAF EC725AP Cougar [Larger]

And to complete the entire airshow, here is the shot of the Jets from around Asia (and France)

Su-30s, F-16s, Rafales

Well that is it for the Langkawi International Maritime & Aerospace Exhibition 2015. It was a great trip there, with opportunities to see the A-400M (Malaysia's First A400), B-52, China's August 1st Aerobatics Team, the Al-Fursan Team, and others from Neighbouring countries. Apart from that, we managed to spot AirAsia's new liveried aircraft (Connecting Asia), as well as the interior of the Falcon 7x.

Of course, all the parked airplanes and helicopters were easily accessible (for photos) and really up close.

So here are some Key takeaways, based on my experience of the airshow, for photographers looking for information for future LIMA events:

  • I used a 70-300 mm Lens for all zoom shots, on an EOS 600D (1.6x crop) body
  • Solo performers may appear very small (Su-30MKM) should they be up high (even at 300)
  • With such bright sunlight, set for fast shutter speed and small aperture. It is normal to have shutter speeds of 1/1250 at F 8.0
  • Wide shots were done with a 10-18mm lens (set mostly at 10mm on a crop body). Good for indoor display too.
  • Most of the performances will be heavily backlit if viewed from the exhibition area as you are pointing straight up.
  • Could try to head to the opposite side of the runway (not tried yet), though that would necessitate a longer zoom lens
  • Lens hoods are very useful against flares
  • 2 fully charged batteries should be able to take you through the whole day (with minimal video)
  • Have an accessible pack for your lenses should you want to change them (and you would want to change them for group performances. I did between the 70-300 and the 18-135)
  • 18-135 (or similar) would be good for team aerobatic performances to capture formation breaks 
  • An umbrella or a large hat with plenty of sunblock will enhance your experience (umbrella to review your shots on the LCD as with such bright sunlight, and even at maximum brightness of the LCD, you don't see much)
  • Before the airshow starts, look for planes with large horizontal stabilizers as they provide a fair amount of shade
  • Walk to every corner. You might find a hidden gem.
  • 3-4 16GB SD cards would be fine (2-day event). 16GB at 18MP with JPG gives me about 2200 shots
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY, enjoy the airshow. Remember to put away your camera once in a while to truly experience the moment. Take it in with your own eyes and ears. It will provide a better memory than the thousands of images captured.
With that said, have a great time. Here are some shots at both Langkawi and Penang Airport on my Return trip. Yes, I had to go down to Subang and back up to Penang.

Weststar B727-23(Q) (N800AK) [Larger]
YES! a 727 at LGK

Then off I wend on my flight. The next few images are from Penang International Airport. First up was Silkair's first B737-800 (9V-MGA), now back in normal colours.

Silkair B737-8SA (9V-MGA)

Silkair departing

AirAsia's 100th Awesome Plane

My ride from Subang

That's all for the LIMA Posts. Back to Penang Planespotting moments.