HondaJet

This HondaJet was on an FBO ramp at Paine Field.  I have seen one close up at Oshkosh and a few at a distance while flying but this was the closest I had got to one in the wild.  It is certainly a curious looking jet.  The engine mounts are the focus of a lot of attention but I am also a little put off by the front fuselage shaping around the cockpit windows.  Having only one product doesn’t seem like a sustainable approach but maybe Honda has ideas for more to come.  If they do, we shall see if they continue with this design philosophy or go in a different direction.

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Whose Trains Are These?

Chicago was a stop off on a work trip.  We were on final approach to O’Hare and I was looking out of the window at the industrial areas that surround the airport.  There are rail tracks scattered throughout these areas so seeing trains is not a surprise.  However, I was a little caught out by what appeared to be some old Metra commuter cars parked up in one space.  They have clearly been out of use for a while.  If anyone knows who they belong to, please let me know.

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Drop Tank By the Road

Sometimes you find the oddest things by the road.  Just outside NAS Whidbey Island, there is a drop tank sitting by the road.  I have no idea what it is doing there.  It seems to be on someone’s yard.  The shape was not something that looked like a Navy tank (which you might expect). I thought it looked like something from an F-111.  Fortunately, It had a data plate which showed a serial that seems to suggest a Fort Worth General Dynamics product so I guess F-111 is probably it.  Anyone know the story?

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Garter Snake

Strolling along a trail on Whidbey Island I saw a slight movement off to one side.  I stopped to see what it was and it took a moment to realize it was a snake.  I don’t know much about snake species but a conversation with someone later and a look online told us it was a garter snake.  It froze when I saw it so we had a standoff to see who would move first.  Gradually it moved around a bit until I could get the briefest of views of its head.  Having tried to get a picture of it, I left it in peace to do whatever it was doing.

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Some Nice Flexing

Departures over the Speedway are best when they flex.  The straight out departures are fine but not that exciting and they often get pretty high pretty quickly.  Those jets that flex seem to stay a bit lower and provide a more interesting shot.  The later in the day it is, the better the light on a flexing jet.  If they are doing an evening departure after the Flag participants are back, the conditions can be ideal.

Here is a selection of jets in both good and okay lighting.  If a four ship goes out, you hope for the last jet to be more dramatic since it will be playing catch up with the others and shoot turn in a bit tighter.  The fourth Saudi F-15SA was another story though since he went very early and then straightened up before having another go inside us.  Not sure he had been paying attention at the brief!

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Mustang No. 1

Since The Henry Ford is a museum founded by a Ford, it is no surprise that they have some significant Ford vehicles on display.  This includes the number one Mustang.  It looks quite different from what followed it, an example of which is not far away on the display.  It seems quite light and small compared to what followed and definitely compared to the current incarnation (like the pun?).  It’s is always cool to see something that is historic, irrespective of what the subject may be.  This one definitely led to an iconic brand.

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T-33 Damp Departure

My inability to see a Boeing T-33 jet in nice conditions continues.  I was at Boeing Field when one of the T-33s was taking off in support of a Pegasus test mission.  The weather was crappy with rain and a heavy overcast.  I thought that this was not going to work well but sometimes bad weather provides good opportunities so I gave it a go.  Besides, I don’t see them enough to pass it by.  As it turned out, the flat conditions and the dampness made the jet show up nicely against the background when it was still low on climb out.  Once it was against the sky, things weren’t so great but it turned out a lot better than I expected.

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Log Feeding New Life

I am regularly fascinated by the way in which a fallen tree will be the source of food for new plants.  The decaying wood releases nutrients and provides a great base for the next generation.  Of course, as it decays further, the base may gradually disappear from under them.  In the interim, though, any number of plants will sprout and develop.  I came across one such log in Meerkerk Gardens.  It seemed to be home to any number of new plants (and that ignores the insect species that were, no doubt, hard at work on its surface).

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Evening Aer Lingus

I was out one evening at SeaTac awaiting one of the British Airways special 747 schemes – see this post.  The preceding heavy jet was an Aer Lingus A330.  It was the test for me to make sure I had the exposure set up the way I intended.  The evening light was getting good and the green on the jet looked pretty good.

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UW Campus

The cherry blossoms were the reason for us visiting the campus of the University of Washington as I covered in a previous post.  Since we were there and it was a lovely day, we also figured a bit more of the campus was worth a look.  We strolled around for a while and checked out the different styles of building that make up the university.

There is a wide variety of building types.  The oldest buildings are generally pretty nice looking.  Some of the most recent ones are also architecturally interesting.  There was some Art Deco to see and then there is a bleaker phase.  UW is a bit like other campuses I have seen.  There is a phase of concrete and plain brick.  This style was very much of its time but sadly, I don’t find it has stood the test of time too well.  The concrete particularly is harsh with the style having been to avoid making any effort to finish the surface.  They just poured at different times and the joins are left to see.  It probably seemed like a good idea at the time but I don’t care for it.  I’m sure in architecture classes they still discuss its merits but it’s not for me.

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