Visual Approach

Perfect day

March 1, 2013

In 2005, author Barry Schiff and photographer Mike Fizer found themselves at Meadowmist Airpark outside of Bellingham, Washington, with a typical Northwest heavy overcast. They were there to fly and photograph Paul Cullman’s 1931 Curtiss-Wright CW–1 Junior, a beautiful example of early sportsman aircraft produced for the then-blossoming aircraft industry. “Lucky for me, the airpark was a rather idyllic landscape with lots of rolling green hills, giving me a great background alternative to the moody weather,” says Fizer. “There is a silver lining to heavy cloud coverage--it’s perfect for aircraft interiors and bare metal. Mr. Cullman had polished the dual oil and fuel tank of the pusher-prop to a near-mirror finish, which reflected the broad flat light--making the aluminum look like, well, aluminum. In addition, with very few shadows, every detail of the 1929 Salmson AD-9 radial engine was there for the taking. The weather broke for the afternoon aerial mission, sunshine with scattered clouds. A perfect day.”

Subject: Curtiss-Wright CW-1 Junior
Where: Bellingham, Washington
Photographer: Mike Fizer