Anyone Have Any Engines?

Engine supply is a bit of a problem for the big two airliner manufacturers at the moment.  Rolls powered 787s are going through a drawn out program of rework and A320neos are sitting around awaiting both Pratt and CFM engines.  Boeing is also short of CFM Leaps and the result is a lot of parked 737 Max jets at Renton and Boeing Field.  Apparently, they are flying jets to Boeing Field and then trucking the engines back to Renton.  As I flew over Boeing Field earlier in the week, the flightline did look full!

I wanted to see all of these parked jets so took a trip to Renton one weekend to see how things were.  There were certainly plenty of jets around and quite a few had ballast weights attached to the pylons.  Supposedly the backlog will not be sorted out until the fourth quarter (although some think that is a bit optimistic)!

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Spartan Race Setting

My buddy, Jim, was taking part in a Spartan Race.  The event was being held in Snohomish so, while I wasn’t willing to get up quite as early as him, I did go up to see the race and what people were prepared to put themselves through.  The whole thing was being held on land that is usually an equestrian center.  The Beast race was a 13.2 mile trek punctuated with a variety of tests and obstacles that the contestants had to negotiate.  Fail to succeed on any of them and there was an area for you to head to where you would have to do 30 burpees before you could move on!

There was a central area for spectators and those who were waiting to start or who had already finished.  (A sprint course was also available so the whole Beast course was not the only option.)  A number of the obstacles were close to this area while many others were scattered out in the woods and fields.  There wasn’t anything to stop you heading out to the other areas if you wanted to and, as I was there longer, I did go a bit further afield.  Not all the way out though.  I wasn’t testing myself!

This shows the main area and the people that were there to be involved.  Some of the obstacles were worthy of their own post so there will be more to come.

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Hyakuri Pano


Any visit to a base includes time when nothing much is going on.  This can be time to take a break, have a snack, text someone an update on how things are going or even nap.  Or, you can take panoramas.  In the morning the light on the ramp was not ideal.  It improved later in the day.  Even so, you never know how much stuff is going to be out at any one time so shoot while you can.  You can always delete later.  Here is a zoomable and pannable pano from Hyakuri.

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Dahlia Collection

The Rose Garden in Point Defiance Park was a feature but there weren’t only roses.  They also had a dahlia section.  Nancy loves dahlias so we checked this out.  The variety of these blooms was almost as good as it was for the roses!

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Narita Lounge Provides Some New Airlines

It was time to head home, so I checked in for my flight and headed to Delta’s lounge to await boarding.  What I did not realize is that the lounge overlooks the flightline and mirrors the view from the viewing terrace.  It was a crummy day with a typhoon approaching so not ideal for shooting and certainly not ideal for shooting through glass but, despite the occasional reflection, it was actually surprisingly good.  The battery on the camera was on its last legs but why not get whatever you can.

The fun of a different city in a different country is the new airlines.  Airlines I have heard of but not seen and airlines I have never heard of at all.  They kindly would rotate quite close to where we were which was appreciated.  The rainy conditions also meant that, while the lighting was pretty flat, there were vortices, spluff over the wings and inlet fogging to add some interest.

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Level Crossings in the City

The number of train routes in Tokyo is substantial and the lines run through many of the neighborhoods.  Having been there for a long time, the towns have grown up around them.  Roads cross them on back streets and there are footpaths that cross the tracks too.  As I walked up to Shinjuku, I cross the tracks at one of these crossings.

Making the crossing was not a problem but you did need to pay attention.  The track was double and the trains came every couple of minutes.  When the alert sounded, a sign accompanied it with an arrow showing the direction the train was going.  This was very helpful in ensuring you didn’t think the train had gone and you could start to cross only to find a train coming the other way.  I actually had to wait for three trains as, by the time the second train had passed, a third was coming from the original direction.  They really do come that often.  Looking up to the station, I could see a train in the platform with another one slowing as it approached the station.  Trains really are the dominant form of transportation in Tokyo from what I saw.

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Now It Is Raining Avantis – Well, Not Quite

Having made the effort one lunchtime to go and see an Avanti, I was quite surprised to see another one taxi out at Paine Field during Skyfair.  It was a different airframe and it looked rather special.  A bit of the distinctive Avanti whine and it was on its way.

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Tacoma Narrows Bridges

Ask any engineering student about famous bridges and the Tacoma Narrows has a great chance of coming up.  The original bridge failed pretty spectacularly due to aeroelastic issues.  It was replaced and the bridge has stood since without significant issues other than overcrowding.  Consequently, a second Bridge was added a few years ago.  The pair span the narrows and provide a roadway for the busy local traffic.

The hike around Point Defiance Park takes you out onto the overlooks the narrows and, as you move along the trail, you get differing views of the bridges.  The further south you get in the park, the clearer the view is of the whole span.  I grabbed a few shots of the water and the bridges and also shot some closer shots to make a pano when I got home.

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Accidentally Getting Lufthansa’s New Livery

Lufthansa changed their livery recently.  It was not universally appreciated and I can’t say I disagree.  It really is rather dull.  I hadn’t even bothered to keep an eye on whether it was on a jet coming to Seattle.  Instead, while out in Federal Way, I saw a 747 heading my way so decided to take a couple of shots.  Turns out it was the new colors (or lack thereof).  Soon it will be a common sight as they repaint the fleet but this was my first encounter.

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This Thing is Too Big

This wasp was hanging around on one of the towers when I was at Hyakuri.  It was a rather meaty looking wasp and I figured it would not be a good thing to get on the wrong side of.  Wasps have a reputation for being bad tempered things and, whether this is true or not, I was keen to avoid finding out how this one felt.  I gave it a wide berth just to be sure.  Bees may be cute and useful but wasps just seem like they are going to bring trouble.

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