G650 Passenger Watches Me Watching Them

The G650 was a plane that got off to a good start.  The combination of space and range made it a popular choice amongst those that have $60-70m to drop on a plane.  Recently, things have been a bit quieter as the competition has ramped up but the deliveries this year have perked up.  This one was departing out of Boeing Field and, as I zoomed in to check the sharpness of the shot, I could see the passenger in the cabin who seemed to be looking back at me.  She didn’t have a camera, though, so I am the only one with a shot of the encounter!

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The fastest way to cross the Solent between Cowes and Southampton is the Red Jet.  These catamarans have replaced the hydrofoil service that was the quickest way over when I lived in Cowes.  The hydrofoils were interesting to ride on, particularly when the weather got a bit rough, and they had a single prop that, if they threw it off, left them bobbing out in the water awaiting a tow.  The RedJets are clearly bigger and probably a lot more reliable while still being fast.  I have never ridden on them but my family do frequently.

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Air Canada Max8

Production of the 737s is rapidly transitioning from the NGs to the Max at this point.  Still plenty of NGs being built but the Max is no longer a novelty and soon they will be the vast majority of what is coming out of Renton.  I have seen a few Air Canada Max 8s and another one was heading out on a test flight while I stopped for lunch at BFI.  I like the new Air Canada colors.  As with any livery change, there are plenty that don’t appreciate it but I like the combination of retro and new and the fact it isn’t like everything else is good.  The bandit eyes are a bit more of an acquired taste but they are fine I guess.

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Sounder Locos

Scanning back through some images looking for something else, I came across these shots of some Sounder commuter rail locomotives.  I shot these as part of a shoot that had a previous post.  I hadn’t focused on the locos so much but this train had a loco leading but two locos trailing as well.  The trailing locos were the old and the new with an F59PHI and an MPX together.  No idea why three locos were on a relatively short train but I guess there was a good reason!

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Exodus of Southwest Jets

The failure of an engine on a Southwest 737 that sadly resulted in the death of a passenger caused a major review of the fleet of 737s.  Inspections were identified for the engines in the affected range and everyone was scrambling to find facilities in which to carry out the checks.  ATS at Paine Field is one of Southwest’s suppliers and they took in a number of the jets.  Towards the end of the fly day that Paine Field was having, three Southwest jets emerged from ATS’s facility.  They were towed to the north end of the field.

Here they were started up and they took it in turns to taxi down to where we were and then depart.  One of the jets was an 800 series and may not have bee affected by the inspection but could have been at ATS for other work.  The 700s were quite possibly part of the inspection process.  After a day of light traffic and warbirds, the appearance of three Southwest 737s and their subsequent departures made for a change of pace.

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USS Enterprise

The Museum of Popular Culture (or MOPOP) in Seattle has an exhibit on Star Trek.  The benefactor of the museum is one Paul Allen.  It might not surprise you to know that a tech billionaire has a Sci-Fi interest and, since he has some spare cash, he has been able to acquire a lot of memorabilia.  This includes some cool models of the spaceships involved.  He has a couple of Enterprise models suspended from the ceiling including the Enterprise D, possibly my favorite of the series.

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Lear Fans

Early efforts at composite business aircraft did not go smoothly.  The Beech Starship ended up being a burden on the company and they bought most of the planes back and destroyed them.  Prior to the Starship, there was the Lear Fan.  A project started by Bill Lear and continued after his death, the idea was a composite aircraft with two engines driving a single pusher propeller.  The light airframe and plenty of power was to provide great performance.  Sadly, the early approach to composite design did not go smoothly, nor did the gearbox design to combine the two engines to one propeller.

The project folded after three prototypes had been built.  All three still remain and I have seen two of the three.  One lives in the Museum of Flight here in Seattle while another is in the Frontiers of Flight Museum at Love Field in Dallas.  The third one is in Oklahoma City so I am a bit annoyed I never knew that when I traveled there regularly.  Still, two out of three isn’t bad.  The single prop looks pretty chunky (the idea being that single engine handling was identical to twin engine handling) and I imagine the diameter had to be limited to avoid prop strike issues during rotation.  Overall, it is quite a neat looking design.  A shame it was a bit ahead of the technology curve when it was designed and built.

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An Old Friend on the Shore

When I was a teenager, we lived on the seafront in Cowes.  The road was a short distance in from the waterfront but a side street led down to the sea itself and you could walk along from there in either direction, either along to Egypt Point or in to the town center.  The railings that stopped you falling in to the sea (if standing up was not something you could manage on your own) were mounted between a series of posts and, on one of these posts, there was a sculpture of a lion.  Clearly weathering had taken a toll on this lion but repairs had been carried out over the years.  When I was there last year, we took a walk along this same stretch and it was great to see this familiar old fella still guarding the shoreline.

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2,000 Down – How Many To Go?

Today’s post is the 2,000th post that I have put on the blog.  It is a bit of a cheat that the 2,000th post is a post about being the 2,000th post rather than some genuine content but, as I was looking at the list of posts, I saw that this was coming up and was quite surprised that I had put so many together.  We shall see how long it continues.  While I am grateful to those that read the posts (including those of you that ignore the aviation posts and read the others), it is really something I set myself as a challenge so it is a bit self-indulgent.  However, while I sometimes stress when the prepared post list is getting a bit short, I have enjoyed putting this together.

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Amtrak Approaches Tacoma

I had a period a while back when I ended up getting a few train pictures.  Some of these were intended for work proposals while others were experiments for locations that might be useful in the future.  This spot is one that can ideally have a really good background.  Sadly, the day I was there was a cloudy one so the background is obscured and dull.  It was an Amtrak long distance train rather than one for the potential client but, since it was a test, it didn’t matter this time.  I will try again on a nicer day!

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