Dreams Take Flight

Boeing has marked up a 787-9 is a special color scheme to reflect their internal charity organization.  It is a jet that was supposed to go to Hainan Airlines but the financial issues with the airline means that they have not taken delivery of a number of jets.  This is not a paint scheme but is a giant vinyl wrap.  It looks very impressive.  The jet has been used for flyovers at events Boeing has sponsored and it is also going to Dubai for the air show (which will be in the past by the time this post goes live).

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Trafalgar Anchor

If you are used to a modern shape of an anchor, particularly one for a large ship, the old style of anchors in the days of the early 1800s will be rather strange looking.  They look like a giant version of the sort of anchor you would see on a small boat.  This example sits on the seafront in Southsea and comes from a ship that fought in the battle of Trafalgar.  It seems in pretty good shape.  I wonder whether that is a feature of the materials used or the result of lots of bits of it being replaced over the years.

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Finding a New Place for the Outer Arrivals

SeaTac is not the easiest place to get shots of the arrivals in the afternoon if the flow is from the north.  The inner runway is okay but the outer is not so easy without bugging the more experienced locals.  I was heading to the airport for a meeting but, with easy traffic, I got there a little early and decided to do a quick trip around the airport.  I came across a gravel parking area that gives a view of short final.  The planes appear quickly and are soon below the sight lines for the runway but there is a window in which you can shoot.  On this day the weather was crummy with rain constantly coming down – sometimes very heavily.  This was just a recce but I did get an A220 and some other types in the few minutes I was there before heading to my meeting.

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Hydroplane Pits

The hydroplane races at Oak Harbor had a variety of classes of contenders.  Many of the boats appeared on course from a marina across the harbor but the most exotic of the boats were operated from alongside the spectator area.  A pit area was set up on the shore.  Here the crews were busy preparing the boats to race – occasionally carrying out engine runs.  There was no slip so the way boats were put in the water involved a crane lifting them up and depositing them alongside a jetty close by.  The initial lifts seemed to be a bit slow and inaccurate but a little practice and they were soon moving them across and back after the races with ease.

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Odd F-16 Vortices

With a sharp LERX, the F-16 regularly pulls a nice vortex on each side as it maneuvers hard.  Getting a shot of that is not a surprise.  However, I have recently been slowly making my way through shots from RIAT (months after the event) and I was working through some shots of the Belgian F-16 display.  I came across a shot of the jet pulling and rolling, taken from astern of the aircraft.  I noticed a second, smaller vortex trailing from the tail plane.  It appears that, with differential tail for the roll, there is a vortex coming from the tail plane – possibly at the route.  This pleases the old aero guy within!

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Cruising Out Under Lion’s Gate Bridge

Cruise ships are a regular feature of Vancouver Harbour.  Pacific Place has a terminal where two ships can be berthed at any one time.  One evening, as I was hanging out on Stanley Park, one of the ships set sail – presumably for a trip up to Alaska.  I watched it pass close by where I was and took a look at what I could see happening on the decks facing the shore (including one chap in a bathrobe on a rear balcony who probably didn’t think he was visible.  Then the ship headed out under the Lions Gate bridge as the sun was beginning to go down.

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Hamilton H-47 Metalplane

This is not a great shot but it is a rare airplane.  I was out and about when I heard what sounded like a vintage aircraft engine rumbling nearby.  I took some long shots and only checked them out when I got home.  It turns out it is a Hamilton H-47 Metalplane.  This aircraft used to operate on floats – that would have been good to see – but it now is on wheels.  Apparently it lives someone in the area so I am going to try and track it down at some point.

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The Original Doctor Yellow

The Tokaido Shinkansen service requires regular inspection of the track to ensure it is up to the high standards required of high speed service.  JRC operates an inspection train called Doctor Yellow.  It is a highly instrumented version of the current trains.  I have seen the current Doctor Yellow when I was at one of JRC’s maintenance facilities.  However, the original Doctor Yellow was based on the Series 0 trains.  It is now preserved in the SC Maglev museum in Nagoya along with many of the other Shinkansen designs.

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Apache Wall of Fire

The British Army display of the WAH-64D Apache is one I have seen plenty of pictures of but I haven’t had much of a chance to shoot it myself.  The majority of the display is pretty standard stuff with them maneuvering tightly in front of the crowd, much like the US army’s display of the similar type.  They do use a little bit of pyro during the display but the finale is a wall of fire.  I was a bit concerned about my position compared to theirs as they positioned for the big moment as the background looked like it might not be all fire.  However, things turned out well enough and I got the sort of shot I was hoping for.

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Caterpillar Convention

If you don’t like bugs, this post isn’t for you.  While up in the Cascades, we saw this web full of caterpillars.  I don’t know the purpose of them being together in these numbers.  Perhaps they are all recently hatched (is that the right term for a caterpillar) and have yet to go on their way or maybe there is another reason.  Either way, there were a lot of them in one place.  If you are a caterpillar predator, I wonder why this was not seen as a buffet?

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