I’ve seen a few Korean Air 777s on test at Everett since we moved here. This one was heading out on a delivery flight on a Friday evening. The only reason it gets a post is that, from what I can discover, this is the last 777 that Korean Air has on order. They have a bunch of 787s to come in the coming years but this is their last 777-300ER. They haven’t ordered the 777X (which, given how many different widebody types they operate, is quite a surprise!).
A new airliner, fresh from the paint shop, looks splendidly clean. When you have an interesting paint color, things are better still. This Korean Air 777-300ER was making its first flight from Paine Field when I shot it. It looked great in nice light. When delivered to the customer, it will be pristine. Then, regular service will result in it looking a little bit more worn and grubby depending on how much time is available to clean it up. Airbridge dirt marks and others scuffs or leaking fluids will seek to muck it up a bit.
Korean Air 777s are hardly a rarity so would not normally warrant a blog post. However, this one arrived at a time when the light seemed to be particularly appealing and I was pleasantly surprised by the shot. I figured it could have a blog post on what is probably a cold and rainy winter’s day.
While I enjoyed my visit to Haneda earlier this year, I was a little frustrated by one thing. Regular readers will know of my interest in trying to capture the articulated gear feature of the 777-300ER. Haneda provided a great opportunity to photograph this as the departing planes were rotating almost directly in front of me. It is also an airport that gets plenty of 777s. Unfortunately, all of the ones that came my way were 200ERs. There were 300ERs departing too but they all went off the parallel runway on the opposite side of the terminal to me. I could only see them once airborne and backlit. Someone in air traffic must have been trying to thwart me!
Back when we lived in California, I saw the Star Wars 787 from All Nippon come in to San Jose. That is the topic of this blog post. There are a couple of other Star Wars planes that ANA painted up. One is a 767 and it tends to fly around Asia so I doubt I will get a chance to see it any time soon. The other was a 777-330ER painted up like BB-8. I few of my friends have seen it come in to Chicago but I had not seen it up close. They didn’t operate in to where I was. (I had shot it overflying me at high altitude once though.)
Then I caught a break. I didn’t realize this at the time but it was operating to Los Angeles the day I was shooting over the airport. I knew an ANA 777 was on its way in but I had not paid too much attention to which aircraft it was. As I was hanging over the airport, I picked the jet out of the murky skies as it came down the approach and, as it got closer, I realized which jet it was. I have to admit, I was rather surprised and a bit excited when I saw it.
An Emirates 777-300ER is hardly a rarity. They have a huge fleet of them and, since this one is a new build aircraft on test at Boeing, the fleet is going to grow. What made this one fun was the light. Some stormy weather had been in the area and the sun was out on the white fuselage while the background was still looking rather mean. Both on the runway and on the approach, it shone brightly against the background and that is why I am sharing it today.
Getting repetitive here. My never ending quest to capture and demonstrate the unusual gear articulation of the Boeing 777-300ER gets another outing. Similar animation of some stills as before. This time the light was good and the distortion was limited so here we go again. I won’t bother with the technique aspects this time. Instead, here is the animation with the rotation about the rear axle pretty easy to see.
The college football season included a special game at the beginning of the season. The game was scheduled to take place in Sydney Australia rather than the US. Apparently, the NCAA is trying to increase interest in the sport in other countries and hosting a game in Australia was part of the plan. One of the teams was the Cal Bears. To get to Australia and back they chartered a jet for the team and support personnel. Given the number of people involved, it was cheaper than flying commercially.
They chartered a jet from Virgin Australia in each direction. The outbound leg was a jet that had made the LAX flight. Instead of flying the return, it positioned to SFO for the outbound flight. They then repeated the process in reverse after the game. I missed the departure rotation but I was there for the return journey. I may have shot Virgin Australia jets before but this was a bit different since they don’t normally appear at SFO. (Cal also has a sponsorship deal with Oakland so this was out of the way for them too!)
The gradual demise of the 747 is a topic that I have brought up on here before. The plane that has been the replacement on a number of services is the Boeing 777-300ER. I was hanging out at Coyote Point recently and, while the majority of arrivals were short haul jets and regional jets, there were a lot of long haul arrivals mixed in there. I was surprised to see just how many 777-330ERs were in the mix now. The A380s were also making an appearance but it seems the 300ER really is a dominant force in the long haul market. This is going to change soon with the arrival of its in house replacement as well as the A350 but, for now, it seems the 300ER rules the roost.
You don’t see a lot of go-arounds at major airports but they do happen. I was down at LAX awaiting the arrival of a friend when a Cathay Pacific 777 came on to the approach. As I looked back at it, the approach did not appear to be too stable. It seemed to start off a little high, then it got back on glide path but it adopted a rather nose high attitude. At this point I thought something seemed amiss but it then resumed a more normal approach angle and I figured they had got it under control. It was at this time that they powered up and climbed away.
They were tucking up the gear as they came across the top of me. They flew the missed approach procedure and then came around for a second go which went fine this time. I don’t know what the issue was but I did talk to some other pilots that had flown the approach that day and they mentioned that construction work was underway that had meant some of the approach aids were out of service. Maybe this was a factor. Since airlines have strict procedures about going around if they are not stabilized by a certain point, maybe they were just too late getting it back and stable and had to follow the procedure.