In aeronautical media, amateur photographers who take photos of airplanes are known as "spotters". There are some who are true artists.
One of the best spotters I know is the Polish Sławek Krajniewski, better known as Hesja. His website, www.hesja.pl, is an exhibition of some of the best airplane photos you can see. For my part, I know his work from the magnificent photos he usually takes of Polish Air Force planes.
Last Saturday, Hesja commented on her Facebook page: "On July 7, I had the pleasure and honor to prepare and lead an a2a photo shoot with Spanish Air Force F/A-18 Hornets serving as part of the NATO Baltic Air Policing over Lithuania." Hesja has been grateful to the pilots of Wing 12 for this session, which has left some truly spectacular photos (you can enlarge the images by clicking on them to enjoy the details).
One of the EF-18Ms, the C.15-62 12-20, dropping flares. These fighters are framed in the Vilkas Detachment of the Spanish Air Force, deployed since March at the Šiauliai Air Base, Lithuania.
The EF-18M C.15-62 12-20 during the launch of flares. These flares are part of the aircraft's countermeasures to deal with surface-to-air missiles, specifically those guided by heat.
A photo in which we can see the AN/AAQ-28(V) LITENING target designator on the ventral mount of one of the Spanish EF-18M, specifically the C.15-44 12-02 (it is the dark-colored nacelle seen between the air intakes of the plane). The false cockpit painted on the lower part is also well observed, a trick to mislead rivals in aerial combat. The fighter in the photo carried IRIS-T short-range air-to-air missiles on marginal wing mounts.
The C.15-44 12-02 (bottom) and the C.15-62 12-20 (top) in another great photo by Hesja. Both fighters carry external fuel tanks on their inner wing mounts.
The image of the EF-18M C.15-62 12-20 that heads this entry. A great shot that combines the lighting generated by the flares and the fighter's navigation lights with the condensation trails on the eading edge extensions (LERX).
I add to the series these other two photos of the session that Juan José Calvo Martínez has published, citing Hesja as the author, but they do not appear on the Polish spotter's Facebook page. In the first we see the two Spanish fighters over the Lithuanian fields. In the foreground is the C.15-62 12-20, with the Spanish Flag in front of the HUD, on the front of its cockpit.
In this second photo of Hesja published by Juan José Calvo, the pilot of the C.15-62 12-20 showing the Vilkas 2022 Detachment patch. A fabulous photo. If you want to see more great photos of Hesja, I encourage you to visit his Facebook page by clicking here.
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