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Aviation History And Aircraft Photography

Team America

Airplane Photo

  • Type:   Siai Marchetti F-260 Warrior
  • Venue:   Stead Air Base
  • Location:   Reno, Nevada
  • Date:  
  • Camera:   Minolta 7000i w/150-300mm Zoom
  • Film:   Fuji ASA 100 Color Print Film
  • Full Size Photo (~250kb)

This photo is Team America lead by pilot Chuck Lischer at the annual National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada, held each year at the former CIA Stead Airbase. The formation is their signature move, a 3-ship cross over that makes it look like all three airplanes are going to crash into each other. Like all other magic, there is a trick. The planes are not lined up next to each other. Rather, they are different distances from the crowd line. Our eyes do not have a reference point to measure this, so we see them being the same distance away. At that point, the lead airplane breaks right, while the 2nd plane breaks left, and they cross over at what looks like the same point in space. Add the 3rd ship breaking upwards, and it looks like a sure crash in the making. That is the whole point to precision aerobatics...make it look spectacular, but keep it safe to execute.

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Authored by John A. Weeks III, Copyright © 1996—2016, all rights reserved.
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