Tag Archives: airplane

P-8 Tries to Trick Me

The afternoon lighting was looking good and, when I saw a P-8 was up, I was tempted to get some shots.  When I saw the Dornier was also coming in, it helped make up my mind.  Even better, it spared me from a fruitless trip.  The P-8 was out of Boeing Field and was scheduled to make approaches at Everett before returning to base.  I would have been tempted to shoot it up there but, with the 328Jet in the mix, I figured Boeing Field was it.

As it turned out, the flight plan for Everett was a distraction.  I watched the jet heading back up from Oregon and it looked like it was coming direct to Boeing Field.  That was indeed the case.  No approach to Everett.  If I had been up there, I would have been pretty annoyed.  As it was, I got the arrival, even if the conditions were nowhere near as nice as they had been when I first headed out.  This one was a US Navy example.

Red Flag Night Launches

Adobe periodically updates the processing algorithms that are used by Lightroom and Photoshop. Each update provides some improvements in how raw files are processed and it can be good to go back to older shots and to see how the newer process versions handle the images.  I find this particularly useful for images shot in low light and with high ISO.

I have some standard process settings I use but have also experimented with modified settings for use with high ISOs and the higher noise levels that come with them.  I got to some night launch shots from an old Red Flag exercise and had a play with the images.  The E-3 launch was actually as the light was going down but it still had some illumination so it didn’t need much work.

The KC-135 and B-1B shots were a different story and were at high ISOs and with very little light.  I was able to update the process version and apply some new settings I had worked out since the original processing and it resulted in some pretty reasonable outputs considering how little light there was to work with.

Widgeons at the Splash In

I found myself looking through some old photos (as I have done a lot in the last ten months) and came to the Clear Lake Splash In that takes place in California.  I only made one trip up to this event and, while I was told that it was a quieter year than previous events, it was still a pretty cool thing to experience.  Three Grumman Widgeons showed up at the event.  The classic Grumman amphibian look was cool to see in action.

They landed on the lake and then dropped the undercarriage to allow them to power up the steel plate ramp that had been laid to provide access to the parking field.  The three of them were parked together over near the trees.  One went out to do some flying during the course of the day and then they all headed home when things wrapped up.

Watching something of this size transition from the water to the land was most impressive.  Similarly, the trip back down the ramp and in to the water was cool to witness.  The Widgeon sits pretty low in the water when it is not at speed but, once it is up on the step, it is a very different beast.  Since they were operating parallel to the shore, it was possible for them to be quite close while they were at speed which was great.

MC-130 on Exercise

In this previous post about the hangars at Moffett Field, I mentioned that I was there to cover an exercise.  The MC-130s were a big part of the exercise.  They were loading up and launching down to remote landing strips on the California coast.  The holds were full of equipment including off road vehicles.  Loading these up was a tight fit.  While the crews spent time getting everything ready to go, I was reasonably free to wander around the airframe and get some shots.

Here are some that I got that day.  These were some of the oldest Combat Shadow (and maybe Hercules) airframes around at the time and I suspect that they have been replaced by now, I think by Combat King J models.

NetJets Gets the Good Conditions

In this previous post, I mentioned the good light I was hoping would be available for a Dornier 328Jet.  While that didn’t work out, I did get a NetJets Latitude arriving at that time.  NetJets colors are certainly not very exciting so they are a bland subject normally (and a Latitude is hardly the most exciting looking bizjet either.  However, with the right lighting, even this can look pretty dramatic!

First JASDF KC-46 Pegasus

The Japanese (JASDF) were a customer for the tanker version of the Boeing 767 when Boeing was offering it in the early days.  Japan and Italy were the only customers that I am aware of for that aircraft.  Therefore, it was not a massive surprise that Japan ordered the KC-46 when Boeing developed it for the USAF.  The first aircraft is now being completed and has been parked on the ramp up at Everett recently.  Here it is undergoing some testing.  Hopefully we shall get to see it flying soon.

Turbine Beaver

There is no shortage of DHC Beavers in the PNW, even of the turbine variety.  Plenty of them are on floats, too, so even that doesn’t make it particularly special.  However, when you haven’t been able to shoot much aviation for a long time, one is a welcome sight.  Even better when it switches to the closer runway when on approach.

F-15E Strike Eagle

A recent anniversary of the first flight of the F-15E Strike Eagle was commemorated on a Facebook group and it got me looking through a variety of old shots I have of the jet.  Having found a bunch of them that I liked, I figured I might share a few of them on the blog too.  Here are a few of my favorites from over the years.

The Max 737s Are On the Move

Boeing has been building and testing 737 Max jets throughout the grounding so having them flying is not a great surprise.  However, with the grounding order lifted by the FAA, things are moving into a higher gear.  United took delivery of a jet and American Airlines has indicated it will start service before the end of the year.  Two jets were up on the same day which leads me to think that they have already undergone the mod programs and are being tested prior to delivery to the airline.

Please Give Me Good Light for a 328Jet

Late in the day in the PNW, you can get lucky with good lighting.  It is not unusual to have a crappy day end with the sun, low on the horizon, cutting under the clouds and providing some briefly great conditions.  With a Dornier 328Jet due in, I was hoping that the conditions might be just what I wanted.  However, the plane was delayed from its planned time.  At the scheduled arrival time, conditions were, in fact, rather good.  I got something arriving then that looked pretty cool and will get its own post.

However, my 328Jet was running late.  I kept my eye on the horizon, hoping the sun would make an appearance but the thick cloud layer hanging on the horizon told me that things were not going to work out.  Sure enough, when the 328Jet showed up, the sky was decidedly dull.  This was all the more annoying given that it had a really nice color scheme.  They aren’t exactly rare but they are not common enough to ignore the chance to get one so this still counts as a plus for me.