I love jets that aren’t painted. I know Boeing uses a film to protect the bare metal and it isn’t primer but it certainly looks like it. A 747-8F was scheduled for a first flight at Paine Field prior to heading to Portland for painting. It taxied out and lined up. I thought I was going to get a first flight for this jet. It did a high speed taxi run and aborted takeoff as is the norm but something wasn’t right. They taxied back to the ramp and shut down. They weren’t flying on this day. I was a bit annoyed!
Founders’ Plaza sits at the northwest corner of DFW. It is just north of the UPS ramp. As the light was getting good just prior to disappearing in the evening, UPS had scheduled a couple of arrivals. The first of the two was a 747-8F. It landed on our side of the field and then taxied back towards us crossing the field at the north end. It then headed to the part of the ramp that lies east-west so was parked tail on to us.
A little time after it arrived, an MD-11 was due in. The later arrival meant the light was getting even better and the white fuselage was turning a nice shade of orange as the sun started to set. It taxied back up on our side of the airfield so was more head on as it came back. This made for a contrasty shot with the warm light on one side and deep shade on the other. They were a good way to round off a nice afternoon of shooting.
A sunny and cold winter day provides nice light and an afternoon arrival of a jet at Paine Field from the paint facility in Portland was enough to tempt me out. UPS is the primary recipient of 747-8F jets these days and it was another of their getting close to delivery. It was approaching from the south so I was at the windsock with a few other locals. They flew a touch and go before making a full stop landing so I was able to try two different positions to get the landing. Conditions were really nice for getting a shot of a shiny new plane.
UPS is buying a bunch of 747 freighters at the moment. I have shot a few of them including examples here and here. The route back to Paine Field takes them across our area when the pattern being flown is a northerly. I grabbed the camera to see this primer example heading over. As the plane flew by, there was a lot more noise than would be normal for a jet on the approach and it had a vibrational element which made me think the RAT might be deployed. Sure enough, when I checked the shots, the RAT could be seen under the wing route. This is a normal flight test requirement so nothing to be concerned about but this was the first time I had heard a jet at speed with the RAT out and I was surprised how loud it was.
Boeing announced the sale of a couple of 747-8F freighters to Qatar Cargo and then immediately delivered one of them. I was confused at the time as I thought it would be a while before the deliveries took place, but it turned out that they had sold a couple of jets that had been previously built but had not been delivered. The second of the jets was recently in flight test. This jet is quite well known as Boeing had painted it up in Seattle Seahawks colors for a Super Bowl appearance and then for a few follow up flights. Now it has been repainted and, when I shot it one weekend afternoon, it was close to being ready for delivery.
Boeing breathed a big, if perhaps temporary, sigh of relief when UPS signed up for a bunch of 747-8F freighters. These jets are now starting to come off the line and, before they get allocated to the long runs across the oceans, I figured I would try and catch one at Everett. Conditions were a little gloomier than I had hoped for but the timing was driven by luck, so I had to make do with what I could get. The 747 may be disappearing from operators around the world but the freighters will continue for a long time and the 8F is the better of the most recent versions in my mind. The extended upper deck of the 8I is a little too long for my tastes. UPS colors are not bad either. Hopefully I shall see more of them in service.
A primer finish on a jet looks a lot more dramatic in sunny conditions. The green finish of the protective film is quite reflective so the sun really makes the plane shine. This 747-8F freighter was carrying out some production test flying from Everett during a visit. I was getting ready to leave when it came in so I got a bunch of shots. As I was driving away, I heard the sound of a jet and it turned out the plane had landed, turned around and taken off in the opposite direction.
I was a bit annoyed as I saw it climb and turn pretty sharply – I assume it was lightly loaded. Then it became apparent it was going to make a teardrop turn and come back in to land again. Since I was now on the road home, I pulled off into a parking lot somewhere close to the line of the approach path and got the camera back out. Into view it came and flew across right ahead of me. I got a few extra shots. Not the dramatic climbing turn but still a nice to have addition.
I saw this Cathay Pacific 747-8F making an approach to the opposite side of the airport at LAX while I was waiting for a friend’s flight to arrive. The freighters tend to use the southerly runways since that is where the freight area is located and it cuts down on taxi requirements. Therefore, I wasn’t surprised that it went that way. Later in the day I was up on Imperial Hill when it made its departure. I was actually having something to eat and not really paying attention. It had rotated before I even realized so grabbed the camera quickly to get some shots. I’m glad the camera was close by or I would have been really annoyed.