I was walking along the trail that goes through the park next to the airport at Renton taking a look at the stored jets. There is a bridge across the river that is used by Boeing to move jets from the production areas to the flightline and, as I got close to the bridge, I could see the tractor hooking up to a China Southern 737-800 that had yet to be painted. They looked like they might bring it across the bridge. I figured I might linger and see what was up.
Sure enough, they started to pull the jet out and towards the bridge. I stayed out of the way but the wings of a 737 hang over the trail when they are moving it. This was not a problem so they were happy for me to stand there as the jet was moved out. I figured a little iPhone video was in order.
They pulled the jet onto a taxiway and left it there so I figured it might be heading out on a test flight. With the light now slightly to the other side, I chose to go back to the car and move to the overlook on the west side of the field. The jet was starting up but they clearly had a few things to run through so I had time.
They taxied to the south threshold which initially disappointed me. The wind had flight operations in the other direction which would have meant a takeoff towards us and into the light. Going the other way meant they would be airborne a long way away and heading over the lake. What I hadn’t figured on was, just like at Everett, they would do a run with an abort first prior to flying. They carried this out and were then at the north end of the field.
A turnaround at the far end of the field and they were soon lined up. A floatplane was flying about in the background as they got ready to take off. Then it was power on and rolling. There was a lot of crap in the foreground and this was a bit of an obstruction at the point of rotation but I was able to get some good shots as they got airborne and climbed out past us. The green primer/protective film was glinting in the sun. The flight will have ended at Boeing Field where I hope everything was trouble free.