He who gets inside all grand jets

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Aviation photography is an exciting and rewarding job! You get to hang around with famous, prominent people and hitch on their expensive rides while working. It’s true, ask Nick Gleis.

(click on the image for a larger view)

Photo taken inside a private jet

Pretty cool, eh?

Nick Gleis has been an aviation photographer for over 30 years. He has shot aircraft for the biggest aviation companies and the wealthiest of private clients. He is as likely to receive assignments from presidents, dictators or royalty as he is from Gulfstream, Boeing or Lear.

His striking series has been spreading from blog to blog recently, bringing disbelief to many viewers who would otherwise never get a window into this particular world of excess.

So how does he do it?

“My catch phrase is Capturing Aircraft Ambiance,” says Gleis. “Every photograph taken aboard an aircraft is an attempt to draw the viewer into the world that I am surrounded by when I take the photograph; a communication of the feeling that world gives me.”

a jet or a hotel?

Gleis has photographed over 800 private aircraft – ranging from the Lear 20 series to Boeing 747-400s. To date, he has photographed over 200 Gulfstream aircraft alone. Clients have included heads of state and royalty from Japan, South Korea, Turkey, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, China the United Arab Emirates.

What advice can Gleis give to aspiring aviation photographers?

Gleis urges the photographer to do the leg work before clicking the shutter. “Pre-visualizing the final outcome, then assembling the necessary elements, is the way to create lasting images.”

“Far too many new photographers today rely on digital tricks and software to produce technically good images,” says Gleis, “but images that neither excite nor inform the viewer. I would advise all up-and-coming photographers to slow down and look at the scene very carefully. Is there a better angle? Is the lighting optimal? After all, lighting is everything.”

Gleis also photographs on air-to-air assignments, capturing exterior images of subject aircraft by using chase airplanes such B-25 Bombers, Gulfstream IIIs and IVs and Lear 35s with special optics.

Fly me anywhere, Captain!

Even if  Gleis had the opportunity to reveal all and photograph the owners, he wouldn’t be interested, “I am happiest when I am shooting and it doesn’t really matter what I am shooting … with the exception of people.I would rather work at WalMart than shoot portraits or weddings.”

- wired.com

JAL Cut Routes And Aircraft

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JAL headquarters in Tokyo

According to Japan Airlines Corp (JAL), it will retire two-fifths of its aircraft, abandon one in eight overseas flights and end a quarter of its home routes in a bid to return to profit. To compete against cheaper regional rivals, JAL also said it would look at creating a low-cost carrier. The state-backed turnaround body leading the restructuring said relisting the airline would be possible by 2013.

JAL’s turnaround pledge includes a halt to 10 international flights following earlier closures aimed at stemming losses. It will also stop plying 39 domestic routes.

“JAL’s flop has caused a lot of trouble to shareholders and financial institutions,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Kazuo Inamori at a news conference in Tokyo. “Today is a new start for us,” said Inamori, who was asked by the government to run JAL for three years after it filed for bankruptcy.

Brought down by years of high costs, the former state carrier still faces an uncertain future as it takes on other carriers in a burgeoning and increasingly competitive regional air market.

Inamori’s fleet changes which amount to the elimination of 103 aircraft, was uploaded by aviation analysts.

JAL will offload all its Boeing 747-400 jumbos and every Airbus A300-600 jet it owns by March next year, and will stop operating all its McDonnell Douglas-built MD81 and MD90 aircraft by a later date. When complete, JAL will use four models rather than the seven it flies now.

“This is a massive shutdown in a very short amount of time, and generally only happens when airlines are shut down, not when they restructure,” said Shashank Nigam, head of Singapore-based airline industry consultant SimpliFlying Pte. “We are likely to see a very much smaller and more regional Japan Airlines come out of this,” he said.

JAL's McDonnell-Douglas MD-81



Red Jumbo flies with Jumbo

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Biggin Hill Air Fair, Harris HospisCare and Virgin Atlantic are all 25 years old this year and celebrations to mark the anniversary. The Red arrows were joined in formation by a Virgin plane to celebrate the airlines 25th anniversary. The performance of a nine-ship team flypast in V-formation with a Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747-400.

Other highlights include the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and an aircraft from the Royal Navy Historic flight marking its 100 years of naval aviation.