Nagoya Bridge

When I headed south out of the center of Nagoya to go to the museum, my route took me down to the docks area.  A highway along the water obviously needed to clear the route for the larger ships so a pretty impressive bridge had been constructed.  It is called the Meiko-Chuo Bridge.  I could only get a good view of it from the train but it was in the background when you were at the museum.  I thought it looked pretty spectacular.

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Hansajet Throwback

The Hansajet was an odd airframe and one of those examples of manufacturers trying innovative things out that didn’t really go anywhere.  It had a slightly forward swept wing to improve efficiency but forward swept wings have largely failed to gain any traction.  It was operated by the Luftwaffe and this example was an attendee at an Air Fete at Mildenhall, I am going to say in 1991 but that may be wrong.  I saw it on approach and then again in the static display.  Quite a neat looking jet I think.  Anyone know if any still fly?

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Wild Bites

Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle was holding a fundraising event this summer.  It was called Wild Bites.  Taking place in the evening, it consisted of a bunch of Seattle restauranteurs having food stands throughout the zoo along with some drinks stands.  You could wander around between the enclosures, take a look at the animals, stop for some snacks themed on the part of the zoo they were in and grab a drink too.

It was an enjoyable evening with some really interesting food and a nice atmosphere.  I will have some follow up posts with specific animals from the evening but overall we had a really nice time.  A minor problem was that a lot of the animals seemed to turn in for the evening once normal closing time came around.  We found quite a few were settling down or were already asleep.  Also, the drink stands seemed to run out of stuff later in the evening and, since we had waited to sample some of their stuff, to find it was out seemed a bit off.

Still, it was a nice evening and the zoo was a great place to wander as the light gently faded away.  It was all raising money for the zoo too so a worthwhile cause.  Keep an eye out for something similar if you live in the area.

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Patrouille de France Takeoff Configurations

I was working through some RIAT photos of the Patrouille de France display.  I had some tight shots of the first four jets as they took off and, as I looked closer at them, I was confused as to why two of the jets had a more nose high attitude than the other two.  Since they are taking off on formation, I figured that they should look the same.

A closer look at the images and it seems that the flap settings of the jets vary.  The nose high aircraft seem to have less flap – hence their need for a higher angle of attack – than the other two jets.  I have been trying the think why they would adopt this approach.  With all jets accelerating together and climbing together, I had imagined that they would all be in the same configuration.  I wonder whether there is something to do with the outwash from the nearby jets that requires a different configuration but I haven’t come up with anything conclusive.  I throw it out to the aero engineers that read this to propose your ideas as to why.  If any of you know anyone in the PdF, feel free to ask them instead!

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Videoing the Hummingbirds

Sometimes you just forget what you have tucked in the garage.  I have been trying to get shots of the hummingbirds in our back yard and more recently shot a little video with the DSLR.  Then it occurred to me that they might be wary of people but not of inanimate objects.  Why not stick a camera on a post right next to the feeder.

While it hasn’t had much use recently, I have a GoPro (or two).  I have an adaptor that would sit on top of a lighting stand which is plenty tall enough to get up to the height of the feeder.  Moreover, I can control it all remotely using a phone/tablet including a live video feed.  I sat indoors with the iPad on watching for movement on screen while doing other things.  As soon as one appeared, a press of the button and they were being recorded.  The initial attempts failed until I remembered to switch off the beeps and the LEDs that flash during recording.  After that it was easy.  The results were rather pleasing.

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Ryanair Max Jets in Storage

Ryanair is the launch customer for the Max 200 version of the 737-8 Max.  The Max 200 name is going away I believe since it is a high density version of the -8.  With the grounding of the Max fleet continuing, a number of the Ryanair jets are now parked awaiting deliveries to recommence.  I was walking through the park at Renton on a sunny weekend morning and the Ryanair jets were lined up across the airport from me.  Knowing Michael O’Leary’s enthusiasm for direct communication, I would love to know how his conversations with Boeing over compensation are going.

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Crystal Palace II

This one is for some of the Brits who read this blog.  The pictures are a bit sketchy as they were taken from a moving car (I was not driving)!  I was in Dallas for work and noticed this building from a distance.  I figured I would try and get some pictures as we drove by.  The building is apparently a modern construction but, to my mind, it appears to be a direct reproduction of the original Crystal Palace.  Obviously not a reproduction after it burnt down but it does look just like it.  Anyone from Texas – Gary, I am looking at you – that knows anything about this building?

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Smokewinders Not Smoking

My F-16 shots from RIAT didn’t just throw up vortices (like this post).  They also showed something that seems to be a common occurrence in flying displays.  That is the failure of a Smokewinder to perform.  Smokewinders are a smoke generating pod that fits on a Sidewinder launch rail.  They are controlled from the cockpit and should add a nice effect to a display sequence.  The Belgian Air Force display aircraft was using them for its display.

In the early 90s we used them on the BAe company Hawk demonstrators at shows.  The crews had got to understand the workings of the pods well and knew what could cause them to quit during a display.  At one Farnborough, they actually helped out one of the other companies that was having trouble keeping theirs running smoothly.  I guess the problem hasn’t gone away and the knowledge is not widely shared as the Belgian jet lost one pod during its display.  In the shot above, you can see a small amount of flame emerging rather than the intended smoke and, a short while later, the pod quit for the rest of the display.

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Ferries and Freighters from Above

Our aerial adventure with Kenmore Air included a lot of time over the waters of Puget Sound.  Very little time was spent over land.  The waters were not very busy but there was enough boat traffic to see as we soared overhead.  We weren’t always close, though, so sometimes things were watched from a distance.  We did have a pretty close pass on a freighter though.  It was making good speed heading into the sound.

Ferry traffic is a regular thing to see with the Washington State Ferries heading to and fro across the waters.  As we were closing in on Friday Harbor, we saw one ferry.  It was a smaller one that was running between the islands and it was a bit hard to get a good view of.  The ferries between Edmonds and Kingston are a lot more heavily used and so are a lot bigger.  They were passing each other mid crossing as we ran south so I managed to get a few shots of them from above as we headed overhead.

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Veteran Tribute Extends to the Embraer

Alaska Airlines has a 737 flying in a special scheme as a Salute to Veterans.  I have shot that in the past and it appeared on the blog in this post.  I wasn’t aware until recently that they had painted a second jet in a similar scheme – this time from their regional fleet.  This is an Embraer E175-E1.  Here it is departing SeaTac one morning while I was awaiting my flight out.

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