Thomas Morse Scout S4c captured by Z 9 / Z70-200f2.8

I was in the hangar making a pot of coffee when Scott came up and asked, “You wanna photograph the Thomas Morse?” I said, “Of course I Do!” Scott said I had about 10-15 minutes before we launch. Right then my phone wrung, Taryn telling me to move it! I was at a invitational flyin, fresh out of my warm sleeping bag and just thinking about what my plan was for the day when this opportunity dropped in my lap. I was incredibly fortunate to have my favorite photo platform and pilot at the event, Ryan and his 185 so that part was easy. We have flown together a lot over the years so I was in good hands there. The gear wasn’t set up nor my harness system, so I gathered that up and boogied over to the 185. I got there in time to have the door off, seat coming out so I could attach my harness. Then I met Connor Madison (I really like him and his photography), a very talented, young aviation photographer who was going up with us. And before long, we were launching and that’s when I asked, “What plane are we photographing?” I had literally no clue!

The event we were all at has only amazing, hold and historically important aircraft. How old, I think 1939 might be the newest I saw during the weekend. Well, as we climbed and I was looking at the clouds surrounding the event, I was told it was a 1918 Thomas Morse Scout and is believed to be the only surviving aircraft from the Howard Hughes movie Hell’s Angels. The TMS had launched before us and as we entered the pattern we saw it before us. We also saw the amazing clouds! I leaned out and shot forward, Connor stepping on me leaned over and was able to shoot without being in the slip stream (Connor can honestly say he walked all over Moose to get the shot! hehehe).

We shot as we over took him. Once the 185 strut got in the way, I tucked back into the cabin to find the front element covered with moisture. We were truly in the clouds and why I use filters! I quickly wiped off the front and went back to shooting. It was truly a magical flight! The Scout uses a rotary engine. That mines the whole engine rotates with the prop, both spinning at the same time! The amazing Andrew King was at the stick of the Scout and man can that guy fly!

After an amazing photo mission we landed and hurried over to the Scout which was parked on the dirt strip to do the statics. And while my feet were on the ground, I don’t think I still have come down from that high! Just show up just seems to always pay off. I was very fortunate Scott was looking out for me, again, Taryn called, Ryan flew and Andrew was amazing. And the plane, lets just say I now know what a Thomas Morse is so there will be no question in my mind next time I’m asked, “wanna photograph the Thomas Morse?”

Thomas Morse Scout S4c captured by Z 9 / Z70-200f2.8

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