The NCAP team were honoured to partner with the Defence School of Photography (DSOP) at the sell-out RAF Cosford Air show on Sunday 10th June 2018, a key highlight in the centenary RAF 100 calendar.
This is not the first celebration of the Royal Air Force during its centenary year that NCAP has played a part in. Earlier in the year, we provided a number of historically significant aerial photographs for the BBC documentary ‘RAF at 100’, presented by actor Ewan McGregor and former RAF pilot Colin, his brother. A selection of the Second World War photographs that featured in the documentary, along with Cold War images from our collection, were on display for the 60,000 people that attended the Air Show. Alongside a selection of air cameras from the DSOP Museum – and a SEPECAT Jaguar and Supermarine Spitfire – the discipline of Photographic Intelligence was introduced to the aviation enthusiasts.
In the Second World War tent, located in the shadow of a Photographic Reconnaissance Mark XI Spitfire, 3D anaglyphs of Tivoli Gardens following the May 1945 liberation of Copenhagen, Colditz Castle, Edinburgh Castle, Möhne Dam and Hong Kong – all created from NCAP aerial imagery - gave an immersive view of places around the world on historically significant dates.
Also on display were aerial photographs of Colditz Castle, Salzburg and Copenhagen that, when viewed through a stereoscope, give a detailed stereo perspective. This use of three-dimensional imagery was vital to the Photographic Interpreters stationed at RAF Medmenham during the Second World War for the gathering of wartime intelligence. Alongside the NCAP imagery were films held by DSOP of the East End of London from the 1940s displayed on an original field light table, which record bomb and fire damage to buildings.
Other items on display in the tent included a range of First and Second World War hand-held and aircraft mounted air cameras from the Museum at the Defence School of Photography. The RAF, Army and Navy Instructors in attendance, from DSOP, shared a wealth of information about the different cameras with the public, bringing the process of creating the NCAP images on display to life.
In the Cold War tent, in front of air cameras and images from NCAP from throughout the Cold War, the team were fortunate to meet a number of veteran service personnel who had used the technology on display in theatre. This tent also housed a stereoscope for viewing stereo aerial photography of John Brown’s Shipyard in Clydebank, The New Town in Edinburgh and the British Army Sennelager Training Area in West Germany, alongside 3D anaglyphs and an exercise in Photographic Interpretation.
The RAF Cosford Airshow also included air displays by the Red Arrows, the RAF Falcons Parachute Display team and the Belgium Airforce. There was also an outstanding static display of aircraft, support equipment and re-enactors from across 100 years of aircraft and RAF history.
Special thanks go to Warrant Officer Andy Malthouse and the rest of the team at DSOP for facilitating the involvement of NCAP in the RAF Cosford Air Show during the RAF centenary year, and for their collaboration, hard work and support in making NCAP’s attendance at their first Air Show a success.
Images and anaglyphs from the Air Show are available to purchase at various resolutions; please contact us directly for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.