More on the looking out of the window of airliners theme today. This time the subject is other airliners. If you don’t stare out of the window much, you might not be aware just how much other traffic is out there. Actually, there is quite a lot. At various times you might see other jets passing in the opposite direction, pacing you at a distance and crossing your path. Sometimes they seem very close. With some of the apps that are available now, if you have wifi on-board, you can even be prepared for some of them showing up.
Here I shall highlight a quality warning. The attached shots are not great. They illustrate a point but nothing more. There have been quite a few occasions when we passed very close to another aircraft. However, those were not times I had a camera handy. even if I had, the chances of getting a good shot are not great. Even when you are close, you are really not that close. It just seems a lot closer than normal – which it is. However, you are still well separated. Therefore, to get a shot, you need a medium length lens at least.
Sadly, aircraft windows are not designed for optical perfection. Moreover, since they are pressurized and scratches are a source of fatigue which you certainly do not want, the manufacturers put a nice perspex sheet between you and the window. They certainly are not optically perfect. Now you are shooting with quite a long lens through two layers of less than perfect material. This is not a good recipe for quality shots. There we go. I have made plenty of excuses.
You are now going to get a small aircraft if you are lucky and a small blur if you are not. If it is pulling a contrail, you might do better since they can make some nice shapes. However, chances are you won’t get much at all.