I shot this Singapore A350 landing at Haneda in January of 2020. When I was reviewing the shots, I saw something odd on the roof. At first I thought it was markings for rescue areas but it really didn’t look that good. I am wondering whether the original paint job was pretty shoddy and the paint is peeling off. It doesn’t look good to me.
As I was skipping through some images, I saw a few extra shots of the A400M at RIAT. I figured that I hadn’t seen many examples of the transport in service – just the test aircraft performing in displays. However, I have seen both Luftwaffe and Armee de l’Air planes at times so thought I would share a few shots of them plus some test planes for good measure.
Japan Air Lines has been taking delivery of a bunch of Airbus A350s recently. I was interested to see them at Haneda where they seem to be based as opposed to Narita. Interestingly, for a plane with substantial range, they are being used from a lot of short sectors at the moment. On the station platforms, they had some posters about a special A350 that was celebrating the 20th anniversary of a Japanese boyband, Arashi.
Fortunately, this jet was being used on internal flights and it was due back in to Haneda when I was there. With the crummy weather, the JAL terminal roof top viewing deck was fine for photos in the afternoon since, with no sun, there was no backlighting. The A350 came in to view and stopped in a cloud of spray from reverse thrust and then taxied back and parked right under me. Plenty of opportunities to get some shots of it.
I was recently searching for a shot for a project and was having a hard time finding it. I knew roughly when it should have been as it was when shooting at SFO during a visit. I scrolled through to the day and found the shoot and realized that I hadn’t keyworded the photos from that trip. Consequently, the search had failed to run them up. I therefore spent a little while running through everything and adding keywords.
This proved to be way more fun than key wording usually is. I hadn’t looked through these shots after taking them and, while it was a pretty standard sort of collection that a day at SFO would provide, it was all new stuff. I was enjoying looking st stuff I had forgotten I had taken. These shots are just a few from that day out.
Lufthansa A350s are something I seem to struggle to get a good look at. They operate to a number of places where I have been but I either time it wrong or they are on the opposite runway from me so a distant shot is all that results. The closest I have got to them is at Haneda. There an example landed and taxied in to the terminal across from me. The light was at the right angle but the excessive heat meant that haze was a problem and I wasn’t going to get a good shot. It is the closest I have managed so far but I shall continue to wait for the opportunity to get something better. The fleet will grow and the route structure will expand so the time will come at some point.
I once got to shoot the United retro colors on the A320 while I was at SFO up the tower but I had not got a decent shot of it actually flying. When it showed up on approach to SFO, I was pretty pleased. Sadly, the cloud cover was not cooperating terribly well. Only when it had got past me did it pop into better conditions. It was okay when further out on final but neither of these were too helpful. One day!
While I had headed to SeaTac to see the 21Air 767 arrive, I hung around for a couple of other arrivals. Delta operates a variety of long haul types into the airport and this includes A330s of the older and newer generations. First to arrive was an A330-300. A little while later, it was followed by an A330-900, the A330neo version. I thought I would try and get identical shots of both jets to see how much the engine and winglet changes showed up when looking at them in flight. Here are shots to compare the two types for you to make your own comparisons. I think the differences are there but they are not drastic.
During my weekend in Texas, I headed to Founders’ Plaza to shoot some arrivals. I timed my time there to start around the time when the Qantas A380 was due to arrive. I got there with a few minutes to spare and struggled to find a parking spot. The place was packed. I found a space in the overflow area and got the camera out just in time to get a shot of the arriving jet.
As soon as it landed, everyone started to go. A short while later, there was a backup of traffic as the cars filed out of the parking lot and away. Within ten minutes, it wasn’t deserted but it was significantly quieter. The thing is, shooting in the middle of the day was not great from a light perspective and things got progressively better as the afternoon wore on. However, most people were interested in the A380 and after that they were done.
I had heard about Founder’s Plaza at DFW before but I had never been there. I took a couple of trips there during my free weekend in Texas. It is a nice place to watch the planes and had a steady stream of visitors while I was there. Not only are there seats with sunshades, but there is plenty of grass on which to hang out and kids can run around without parents being too worried. You are close to the approach path for the western runways at DFW and there is a lot of traffic to watch.
You also see the planes taxiing out for departure on this side but the shots of those planes are sketchy as heat haze is a bit tricky for most of the day. It does appear that you are able to walk around towards the centerline of the outer runway but I didn’t try heading over there on this occasion. As the evening light settled in, the conditions got better and better. I imagine it gets a bit repetitive if you are a regular but, as a visitor, it was great to try somewhere new. I did end up with a lot of American Airlines jets, of course.
The A350-1000 has started to be delivered in some numbers. However, none of the operators that I get to see regularly has any in their fleet at this point. Some of the early deliveries went to Qatar Airways and they have been flying them to Dallas. Since I had a free weekend in the area on a work trip, I decided to catch my first examples.
Things conspired a little against me, though. On the Saturday, the weather that had just passed through had left some northerly winds which meant the approaches were coming from the south which is not so handy for getting shots. I did find a location but it wasn’t a great spot. Heat haze was still a bit of a problem and the angles were rather limited.
On the Sunday, normal service was resumed with a southerly flow. However, just before the A350 showed up, they decided to do a sweep of the runway. They moved arrivals to the inside runway which meant it the Qatar jet was a bit far away compared to everything that had been arriving on the outer runway a short while before. Still, I got the shots. It also taxied out just before the sun went down. However, they crossed to the other side for departure so not much of a shot opportunity.