I missed out on the first flight of the first Max 10 version of the Boeing 737 family. I got to Boeing Field as it was landing on its initial flight which I watched from the freeway as I got close to the airfield. However, a flight test airframe is going to get a lot of use so I knew I would have more opportunities. The Max 10 rolled out a long time ago so the start of flight test was heavily delayed, presumably as a result of the overall Max grounding and the more intense scrutiny being given to Boeing as a result.
I have now seen it flying a few times. It is still flying around with a trailing static cone so they either haven’t completed calibration of the air data system or just haven’t got around to removing the cone yet. It is in Boeing house colors with the large 10 on the fin being the main giveaway. It is longer than the Max 9 but not noticeably so. I’ll need to put them side by side to see where to identify the differences.
I was digging through images for something else and came across some aerial shots I took while flying around the Isle of Wight with my relative and fellow aviation nut, Pete. We had been flying up to Cowes from the west end of the Island and then turned to go around East Cowes and off towards Ryde. I grabbed a bunch of shots of Osborne House. Now managed by English Heritage, it was one of the homes of Queen Victoria. Not that this is a recommendation for holidaying on the Isle of Wight, but it is where she died.
I think I have shared some photos of it before but these don’t show up in my list of previously posted shots so I thought I would throw these on to the blog to provide some geographical variety and also to cover for the fact that I don’t have a huge amount to post at the moment!
On our previous trip to Orcas, we took in Cascades Falls as part of a hike. We repeated the hike this time but, since we started a little earlier in the day and the days were longer, we didn’t have quite the same pressure to make sure we got back before things got dark. Consequently, when we got to Cascade Falls, I was able to spend a bit more time taking the diversion down to the river to see the falls from lower angles and get some images and video that I hadn’t had a go at on the previous visit. While everything was a lot warmer than last time, there had been a fair bit of rain recently which meant the falls still had a good flow coming over them. As is the way with waterfalls, they look more impressive when you are at the bottom than when you are above them.
Quite a while back, now, I was down on the shore at Mukilteo when this research ship transited passed the lighthouse. It was clearly a vessel designed for studying something marine related (unless it was a spy ship) so I decided to check it out. There is a small fleet of these vessels operated by the Office of Naval Research. They put operation of the ships out to tender and this one was won by the University of Washington.
The ship is named after the guy that founded UW’s Oceanographic lab in the 30s. it spends over 300 days a year at sea, so I guess they get plenty of use out of it. Originally, she would have been scheduled out of service by this year but a big refit was carried out in a local Seattle shipyard, Vigor, a few years back so she should be good until the late 2030s.
Some previous rail photos from Steilacoom where the result of seeing trains while I was visiting for another purpose. More recently (well, not that recent, but I am catching up on some stuff), I made a trip specifically to get a train shot. I didn’t go all the way just for this but I was already down in Tacoma so a short extra leg was easy to do. I actually planned on getting this shot so that we might use it for a future proposal.
I was going to head back to the same place I had been before but I came upon a parking lot for the beach which had a nice curve to the track and a crossing. The view from above the crossing looked better so I went with that. Fortunately, a freight service came through before the Talgo set I was after so I had a chance to get an idea of the angles and sighting time. That meant I was better prepared when the train came in to view. A couple of shots for those of your train fans that read this blog.
International flights are starting to increase in frequency and, it seems, capacity. Lufthansa has been making the run to Seattle with the A330s for a while now. Recently, they changed from the 300 to the A350. One quiet Saturday, I figured I would head down to grab a shot. Sadly, the old livery example of the previous day was replaced with one in the new livery. I do prefer the old livery but that wasn’t the reason for my disappointment. It will go away before too long so there will be plenty of chances to get the new livery over the years. It was hot and sunny and arrival is noon so about the worst time you could think of for photographing. A polarizer to take out some glare and to deepen the colors was the best I could manage.
Tacoma is one of the largest container ports on the west coast. It gets a lot of big container ship traffic and, at some point, I intend to explore the port a little more to see if there are any interesting photo opportunities. While waiting around at Ruston, I saw a large ship heading down the sound towards the harbor. It seemed to be making good speed considering how close it was to its destination. They say it takes a long time to stop big ships but I guess they still had a decent distance to go and plenty of time to slow down. As it headed towards me, I was taken by the wake it was creating as it plowed forward. It turned to enter the harbor so I got a last look at it as it disappeared behind the marina wall.
With Max flight activity pretty much back to normal at BFI, there is no shortage of opportunities to shoot the jets on the approach. However, since it is now mid summer, the lighting is going to be pretty harsh most of the time. A little later in the day, though, and the light can be improved. I have also taken to using the polarizer to cut down on the harsher glare which is boosting the vibrancy of the shots. I got two of the jets during one visit.
One of them was a Ryanair Max 8-200. This is a special configuration that Ryanair has ordered that has an extra reader fuselage exit added to the -8 fuselage to allow the seat count to be increased. This jet turned out to be the first one to be delivered to the airline shortly after this was taken. The other was an Oman Air jet. Nice colors for the livery of this airline which were enhanced with the lower light angle and the polarizer. Sure, 737s are incredibly common but sometimes it can still be nice to shoot them.
I walked out on to the jetty at Olga to look back at the shoreline. A short distance around the shore was an inlet which had about a dozen herons fishing within it. They were constantly stalking through the shallows and grabbing at fish as they passed by. With so many of them there, it must be a productive place to hunt. A heron drive through (or should that be fly through?).