Category Archives: corporate

Falcon 50 With Winglets

If a Falcon 50 is coming and I have the time to be there, there is a good chance I will.  What could make a Falcon 50 even more appealing?  Having winglets fitted.  I didn’t know that when I went to catch it, but you can guess that I was rather pleased when that turned out to be the case.  It feels as if there have been lots of Falcon 50s in the area in recent months.  Maybe I am just noticing them more or maybe they have been more common.  Either way, I’ll take it.  Add some more with winglets and that will be even better please!

Retirement for a Falcon 900EX Pilot

I was chatting with one of the Sheriff’s team at Boeing Field one weekend and he asked me if I was there to get the retirement flight.  I told him I didn’t know about it, and he said a Falcon 900EX pilot was coming in shortly on his final flight.  They were planning a water cannon salute for him.  The location of the hangar meant it wasn’t ideal to get shots of so I decided to go and get the touchdown of the flight and then do the best I could for the salute.

While I was waiting for the Falcon to return, I could see the fire trucks positioning themselves for the salute.  They were a good distance off so I knew that I wouldn’t get really compelling shots.  Nevertheless, I would be able to get something.  They had a couple of quick tests to make sure the water was flowing and then waited.  Soon enough the Falcon touched down.  A helicopter came into land just beforehand and blocked part of my planned shot but there was no time to change so I just adapted to what I had.  They rolled out to the north end of the field and then taxied in for the celebrations.  The fire trucks started spraying their water and the Falcon taxied through the water arch.  Then it was all over from my perspective.  I imagine that they celebrated a little longer.

As an aside, I went to the hangar the following week and asked if they wanted any shots.  They couldn’t have been less friendly if they had tried.  If they didn’t want anything, that’s fine but try not to be so miserable to someone just trying to do something nice.

Falcon 10s Aren’t Too Common These Days

The Dassault bizjets line continues to flourish but it all goes back to an earlier generation.  Interestingly, The Falcon 10 came after the Falcon 20 despite the numbering and is not related in anything other than name to the Falcon 10X which is the latest development from Dassault.  It is still a popular jet but there just aren’t that many of them around anymore.  However, they aren’t extinct and catching one is a nice result.

I have actually caught two of them in recent(ish) times.  The first came into Boeing Field and I have to say the weather was playing ball for a change.  Lovely winter light as it showed up and I was quite happy with the results.  Indeed, I thought this might be my last encounter with one for some time, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that one was coming into Phoenix Sky Harbor the day I flew down there.  Just before sunset it showed up.  It is a small plane so was a bit distant on the northern runway but still a result!

How Long Can a Falcon 50 Remain in Reverse?

The Falcon 50 only has a single thrust reverser, and it is fitted to the centerline engine.  The nacelles on each side are not fitted with reversers.  I was quite a way down the runway from this Falcon when it landed, and I could hear the reverser kick in.  I was not expecting it to stay in reverse for very long, but they kept it in all the way through the roll out and even as they exited to the taxiway.  Is that normal procedure?

A Rapid Turnaround for a G700

I managed to get some shots of one of the Gulfstream G700 test aircraft earlier in the test program.  Certification (at time of writing – not sure when this post goes live) is still not complete but they have built a lot of jets.  One of the test fleet (I think, based on the registration and the Experimental markings) filed to fly in and out of Boeing Field.  It was coming up from Monterey in California and then turning around quickly to go to Portland.  It was a quiet Saturday so I headed out. I had also seen some shots of this jet and it looked like it had a nice livery compared to the average bizjet.

The conditions were not great with a lack of light and some washed out skies, but I still managed to get some okay shots of it landing.  I then headed down the field to be ready for the departure.  Normally, I see a scheduled time and figure it will be a bit later.  Not this time.  By the time I got there, someone was already doing the walk around checks.  It was not long before they fired up and taxied.  Unfortunately, I had chosen a location quite a way down the runway.  The performance of these jets is good, and Portland is a short hop, so the jet was light.  They rotated very early compared to where I was.  I still got okay shots but a little less dramatic than I was hoping for.  Certification can’t be too far off so we might start seeing a lot more of these jets soon.

The Avanti Just Fails to Catch the Light

I was having a really lucky day.  I had caught a few really cool photo subjects and the lighting had been really good.  I was about to pack up and go when my friend reminded me of something I had forgotten.  An Avanti was scheduled in at the end of the afternoon and I had figured I would have been gone so had let it slip to the back of my mind.  Since a couple of other movements had got delayed, I was there later than expected and now the Avanti was on the approach.

The light was looking amazing, but it was still some distance out.  The Avanti is pretty fast, but I was watching the hillside beyond the field start to lose the sun and I knew that it wasn’t going to last long enough for my Avanti.  Sure enough, as it came into sight, the light was gone.  We had a gloomy look to things as it buzzed past.  Not as it could have been just three minutes earlier, but its an Avanti and it rounded out an excellent day nicely.

Comparison of Two Globals

When Bombardier launched the Global 7500, I was quite keen to see them.  My friend was the engineering director on the project and, despite me giving him crap at every opportunity, I think he probably did a good job on this one.  Sadly, I haven’t shot as many 7500s as I would have liked.  Global 6000s, on the other hand, I have shot plenty of.  There have been a few, though, so I decided to see what the obvious visual differences would be.

With some bizjets, counting windows is the way to know.  That rarely helps me out as I can never remember what the appropriate numbers are.  For the 7500, though, I think the windows look very different.  They seem to be a lot larger and squarer.  That is a bit of a giveaway.  Then there is the fin top.  The 7500 has a more angular top to it which actually looks a bit like some of the CRJ versions.  Last, there are the flaps.  The 7500 flap system seems to be more complex than that of the 6000.  I have included images of NetJets and VistaJet examples of both types at similar angles for comparison.  See what other differences you spot.

The Sun Arrives for the Falcon 20

Autumnal weather can make for unpredictable conditions when photographing anything but especially planes.  I was up at Paine Field for the NASA flying but was pleased to see that a Falcon 20 was also due to make a stop.  This was an IFL Group aircraft making a short stop before heading off again.  The clouds had been rolling through, but they parted just before the Falcon showed up.  We had great light on it as it landed.

Conditions didn’t stay great and, by the time it taxied back out to depart, it was not so good.  Not terrible by any standards but certainly not the lovely light we had for the arrival.  It’s rare that I see a Falcon 20 being used for personal transport these days but the fact that they still have a good role for freight usage means we get to see them around still which is welcome.

Other Sunny Sunday Bizjets

One Sunday earlier in the year, I was up at Boeing Field for the arrival of an old Gulfstream.  That proved to be a successful encounter and has been on this blog already.  However, that was not the only bizjet traffic that day.  I ended up with a variety of corporate aircraft movements.

There was a Canadian Challenger as well as some NetJets examples.  A Falcon 7X was on the move which is a cool looking aircraft.  There was also a Falcon 50 parked near the road alongside a Hawker.  An Excel came through which isn’t that special but then we got an Eclipse which certainly is.  It was a fun time to be out photographing with a lot in a short space of time.  Here are some shots of those planes.

Where Have All These Learjet 60s Come From?

A while back, I had a spate of photographing Lear 60s at Boeing Field.  The Lear 60 is not a rare jet but nor is it particularly common so seeing a few in a short space of time, caught my attention back then.  The 60 was Learjet’s effort to stretch as much as they could from what they already had.  They took the existing wing and added a bigger fuselage.  This was possibly the limit of what could be done with that wing.

I think it is a slightly disproportionate looking aircraft.  The fuselage looks a bit chunky, the wing seems small for the fuselage, the undercarriage appears to have been carried over so the wheels look particularly small for the overall size.  It is a bit of an odd one.  Even so, I still like it when they show up. Since they have been out of production for a while, they will start to disappear.  They will be around for a while but will progressively become less common.  I wonder how many times I shall have so many encounters in a short space of time.