Just before 777X WH003 returned to Boeing Field, I got a nice bonus. Royal Air Freight has a small fleet of Falcon 20s that it uses for moving freight around the country and one was coming in to collect and maybe drop of some material. I do like the Falcon 20. It is definitely an older looking design at this point but it still looks pretty good. Shortly before it lined up on approach, a Falcon 7X taxied for departure from the north end of the runway and right by me.
It then sat at the hold point while the Falcon 20 made its approach. Having one of the newer Dassault jets sitting and waiting while one of the older Dassault creations flew in was a nice symmetry. Once the 20 had vacated the runway, the 7X made its departure. I assume it was going a long way since, despite using the full length, it took a while to get airborne. The 20 taxied to the ramp opposite me where they proceeded to load it up.
My encounters with Lineages have been few and far between. From memory, one at McCarran is the only one that I immediately can recall. There may have been another but it would have been parked somewhere probably. Seeing one taxi out at Boeing Field was, therefore, a pleasant surprise. Since it would only be taking off past me, it wasn’t going to be a great shot but still better than nothing. Then they thwarted me. Instead of crossing over to taxi to the full length, they took the intersection departure. 7,500’ is obviously plenty but still very annoying.
While spending a little time at Boeing Field waiting to see what would be on the move, a Falcon 900 powered up over at the FBO. Most bizjets can taxi from that ramp down to the threshold but there is a limit on the size of aircraft than can use that taxiway to the end. Larger jets have to cross over to our side of the runway and use the taxiway that is close to the parking lot. I hoped that the Falcon 900 was in the class of jets that needed to do that and that they wouldn’t just do an intersection departure instead.
I got lucky and they came my way. I prefer the look of the cockpits on the newer generation Falcons with the multi window configuration dating back to the Falcon 20 looking a little outdated but, putting that aside, the Falcon 900 is a nice looking plane.
Anyone who has been reading the blog for a long time will know that I like the Piaggio Avanti. I think it is a massively underrated airframe which should be more popular with bizjet owners than some of the tiny and slower jets that sell well. Oh well, that ship has sailed. They show up occasionally and it is a good day if I get to see one.
This example was at Boeing Field. It was heading out so I saw it taxi out and take off. They usually have quite a long take off run so it was a fair distance away when it got airborne. Another example has been around recently but I have not been able to see it. Maybe the chance will present itself again before too long so I can get something a bit more exciting that just taxiing nearby.
When photographing bizjets, you can tend to get the same sort of shot all the time so it is nice to get something a little different. Getting close to the underside of the jet when it is on short final provides a different angle on things and can also bring in some of the scenery around the location. I did that for a Gulfstream G650 just to play around.
Dassault’s Falcon family has been getting larger both in the number of types and physically. Now there are long range and wide bodied corporate jets available in their catalog. Before the jets got wider, their first effort at a longer range version was the Falcon 50. It introduced the three engine configuration which made it well suited to longer range missions in the days before twin operations over long distances were widespread.
The 50 is now rather long in the tooth so you don’t see them around so often. That makes it all the better when one shows up. I was heading home one evening from an event south of the city and the lovely evening light made me stop off at Boeing Field to see if I could get any shots. Sadly, a cloud bank rolled in just before this Falcon 50 showed up. Still, it was great to see one in action. I was back the next day having taken a day off work and it happened to depart while I was there. Certainly more light but a bit harsh in the middle of the day.
I’ve seen the JetStar prototype a few times in various visits to the Museum of Flight restoration facility up at Paine Field. The JetStar is a favorite of mine as might be determined by several of my posts over the years. The prototype is a bit different, though. It was built with two engines – Bristol Orpheus turbojets. After the first two aircraft, the rest were four engined. After it finished testing, it was used by Lockheed for transport duties. It ended up in Vancouver before coming into the museum’s collection. These shots are of it in the restoration shop.
The SAAB 2000 was not a best seller when it was in production and they are definitely not too common in the North American market these days. That makes it a nice surprise to get one. The 340 was a reasonable looking plane anyway and stretching it and adding bigger engines resulted in a more elegant look in my mind. This one is apparently used for charter operations and was a nice thing to get when taking some time off recently.
I was surprised to discover that Korean Air, while being a major airline, is an operator of corporate jets. I’m not sure how an airline ends up in the bizjet market but they have. They have Globals, G650s and BBJs. One of the G650s was in SEA recently but I didn’t have an opportunity to see it. However, I did get the BBJ on one of its visits to BFI. It was stopping at BFI before making a direct run back to Korea. It is quite a nicely painted jet. Lots of the windows are blanked out on the front fuselage. A check on their website shows this is where some sleeping seats are installed. Plenty of smaller accommodation at the back for your lackeys to use while you rest up front if you like.
The Global 7500 has been around for a while now but I have only shot one in flight. I did see one on a ramp but I was keen to see another in motion. Fortunately, one evening, an example was coming in to Seattle before heading off across the Pacific. Since these jets have incredible range, I assume it was picking someone up or dropping them off since it could easily have made the trip in one step.
This one was slightly better than average because the owner had decided to paint it in a scheme other than plain white. It had a couple of brown swoops along the side. Makes for something a little more interesting. I went with a relatively low shutter speed but, since I was keen to get the shot, I wasn’t quite as brave as I had been with less interesting jets. I kind of wish I had taken it a bit lower. Maybe next time.