Behind the Scenes: Shuttleworth Collection of Historic Aircraft

It's dangerous to let me loose with a camera around historic aircraft - I absolutely love to photograph these flying machines! I could spend hours capturing every little detail, especially when the aircraft carry real historic value. 

Every year, the Shuttleworth Collection, which is a private collection of historic aircraft maintained by volunteers, opens the doors to their workshops for visitors to see behind the scenes of what it takes to maintain and keep 100+ year old aircraft airworthy! The collection, which aims to preserve the airworthy nature of these aircraft, many of which are the only remaining flyable ones left in the world, spent almost a half million British pounds ($750,000) to achieve this goal in 2015.

With my Leica SL in hand, I spent several hours photographing the inside of the workshops, which are normally closed to visitors. This provided me with a rare opportunity to see inside these aircraft while they are in maintenance - and it was truly spectacular.

1941 Supermarine Spitfire Inside Struts

Engine and wooden propeller

Aircraft engineer hands

Bristol Scout C cockpit

Inside the wing of a 1941 Spitfire

Parts hanging in the workshop

Britsol Boxkite tail

Shuttleworth Engineer


1938 Westland Lysander engine


Bristol strut



Safety belt

Tools and parts

Machine gun replica on 1917 Bristol F2B

Wooden Propeller

Tail from 1942 North American Harvard

Avro 19 Series 2 in the hangar

Quick Shot: Bike Repair

There is an outdoor market that is run every day in downtown Cambridge, but it is particularly crowded on the weekend with street performers and folks selling their wares. Since it's always a great place to see people doing interesting places, it was high on my list of places to take the new Leica MP 35mm film camera for a spin.

In one of the middle aisles of the market is a shop that specializes in repairing bicycles. As I mentioned previously, bikes are a popular mode of transportation in Cambridge, so he is always busy working on bikes that need repair, adjustment, or a quick lubrication. 

As I walked past his stall, I saw him working on an older bike that was on a stand. He appeared to be working on greasing the chain or shifters and the back wheel was spinning on the stand. I pulled the camera up to eye level and adjusted the shutter speed to be slow enough to catch that slight blur from the back tire as it spun. I really like the end result! What do you think?