The Super Mystère Aircraft Collection

Photographer: Jean-Michel Lefebvre ©
: 22 june 1972
: 135 B&W negatives
: Cazaux Armament & Weaponnery Center
: Cazaux
: France

: Canberra B.6 at Cazaux Base used for armament as so as missile active parts experiments and tests. Left, buildings devoted to management of the Firing Range activities which are continuous all over the year.


They are no extraordinary visible buildings and infrastructures at Cazaux BA 120 Air Base though, here, is installed an annex of the Mont-de-Marsan CEAM (Flight Experimentation Military Center) to evaluate and test on the field the latest armaments and also evaluate the firing abilities of new types of aircraft having to equip French Armée de l'Air. At another place on the base is housed the 8th Fighter Wing with Dassault Mystère IV As ( now Dassault-Dornier Alpha-jets), a conversion wing which is an obliged step for all freshly breveted fighter pilot where, before integration to combat unit, he learns all about his future job: operational sorties, ground attack and air-air combat techniques with, naturally, intensive practice on the firing range surrounding the Cazaux runway where all other French and foreign units come to achieve firing campaigns.
Otherly, each time I went to Cazaux I saw quite interesting aircraft and armaments as so as great "sounds and light " shows when aircraft demonstrated new armaments from cannons to laser guided or anti-runway drag-chuted bombs, passing by demonstration of new rocket launchers or massive incendiary bombing etc.

I am sorry, sharpness of negatives is generally quite good if not perfect but film scanning brings its lot of troubles about final result. I own a Minolta Scan Dimage, a pro material able to scan, thanks to three different holders and various masks all transparent materials from 10x15mm to 6x9cm. It's necessary to let the whole 6 negs completely inside the scanner during several minutes before numerise them. Otherly, normal operations providing immediate high quality pre-scan pictures does that, passing from ambiant temperature to scanner inside temperature, neg ( or slide ) surface is rounding under internal warmth while scanner is doing its focusing task and all will be desesperatly bad...Even with low quality pre-scans, after a five minutes wait and then numerisation including focusing task, things are far from perfection beside results with an enlarger for argentic paper. I repeat this: get an argentic 18x24 cm or 24x30cm picture from your neg and then do a flat scan. So, you may produce very high quality hudge pictures. What I wrote is about 135 neg strips or lot of four slides. For other film sizes, third holder has two Newton glasses and here problem is different: dust has a fantastic love for the deep or light blue of skies!!!

JMJ Lefebvre