I recently put together a slideshow of photos that were captured while in-flight from another plane or helicopter. Capturing these “air-to-air” photos is fun because planes look SO dang cool from another plane. Graphically speaking, the sleek lines of an aviation craft make for great foreground-to-background separation, especially when set against Alaska scenery.
I’m blessed to have a lot of friends who are pilots, both airplane and helicopter. Which makes sense considering we have six times as many pilots per capita and 16 times as many aircraft per capita when compared to the rest of the United States.
This isn’t a recent phenomenon either, checkout the 1940s map of the aviation infrastructure of Alaska at the end of the blog post. It illustrates just how essential air transportation is to navigate Alaska’s six regions.
Alaska and the Super Cub
One of my most favorite types of airplanes to fly in and make aerial photos from is the super cub. I was fortunate to fly in one of these planes for my first 20 or so Iditarod races. We were able to land in some very tight areas and make photos that others could not.
It’s considered to be the workhorse of many. It’s very small (22 feet long with a 35-foot wingspan) with only room for the pilot and one passenger sitting behind the pilot.
With a bit of pretzel bending, one can fit a third person behind the passenger, but it makes for quite a squished ride.
The super cub is great because it’s very light-weight (about 850 pounds.) Which makes it ideal to take off and land in very short distances— like less than 200 feet. They can fly as slow as 40 mph making them great for aerials.
They typically cruise at about 110 mph making them a slow if you want to get somewhere quickly. The cool thing though is that the entire door/window assembly opens up giving a very wide angle to make photos from. If you’re seeking an immersive experience for aerial photography, the Super Cub is an absolute dream.