This iconic piece of aviation history is about to embark on one last trip back home after years of sitting in a field. This Bristol Freighter is going back to Bristol UK in the coming weeks to be fully restored by the team at the Aerospace Bristol Museum and will remain there for thousands of visitors to enjoy.
This Bristol B170 Freighter ZK-EPG (c/n 13135) has been resting quietly at Ardmore since 31-08-1978. Built in 1954,[allocated the UK civil marks (but not taken up) of G-AMPK], as NZ5911 for the RNZAF with whom it was taken on charge on 05-05-1954.
It had a short burst of civilian life when it was registered as ZK-BJP on 30-03-1955 to the Air Department for loan to S.A.F.E (animal welfare). This was cancelled on 27-06-1956 when it was returned to the RNZAF.
It was withdrawn from use at Whenuapai on 14-12-1977 and sold, along with several others to R S Dwen of Ardmore. It re-joined our civil register on 17-08-1978. It was never converted to civil duties and was cancelled on 18-01-1991.
I had so many plans in my head on how I was going to shoot this plane and with the help of a good friend Anupam from Annupam Photography we arrived very early on site to look around and work out how best to shoot this Big Bird, but we became quickly transfixed in its beauty, started talking about what it must have been like to fly in it and it was a pity it was leaving to go back to the UK,
The plan was to shoot sunset and stay to capture stars and hopefully the milky way. We set up the mobile lighting station and waited, sunset was a let down as there was not a cloud in the sky which meant that as soon as the stars come out it was action time.
We stayed and captured many a shot of the plane with lights without lights until we didn't have anymore angles to shoot. Different lighting was used from the Elinchrom Ranger Quadra Hybrid RX pack to the Yongnuo YN360 light stick.
An awesome experience to shoot something steeped in aviation history it was a pleasure.
Many thanks to Anupam for supplying the great company and lights.
To Ardmore aerodrome for letting us on site to shoot.
Nikon New Zealand for supplying lenses
Photo gear Auckland for supplying tripod s and lighting and the continuos support
Without all the support it would not have been possible.
Safe journey home Biffo!