Around the world you can find plenty of parked Boeing 787s at the moment. Problems with the Rolls Royce Trent engines for this type mean that airlines have been pulling engines from various airframes in order to keep others flying. ANA uses Rolls engines on their fleet and I saw this aircraft being pulled around a taxiway at Haneda. Both engines were off making it look quite odd. It will certainly be a lot lighter than before but, somehow, I think that isn’t going to make it more efficient!
This 777 pulled onto the gate in front of my while I was at Haneda. The radome seems to have taken a bit of punishment. It looks a bit like some of those shots you see of jets that have gone through a hail storm. I don’t know whether that is the case for this one and it has, no doubt, been checked and found to be airworthy but it certainly looked out of keeping.
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.
The arrival of a new Star Wars movie is not really a secret. There are more promotional efforts associated with the film by businesses of all types than I can remember for any other release. All Nippon got in on the game quite early and announced that a number of their jets would be carrying Star Wars markings. The first to break cover was a 787-9 with markings to represent R2-D2. My friend Hayman and I made it to San Jose a while back to catch it arriving.
The story of finding it made it to a blog post for GAR which is here. Therefore, I won’t repeat the whole story of how I nearly missed the arrival. If you want to see that, click on the link and you can read the whole thing. After the arrival, we hung around and then headed to the departure end of the field to be ready for its return journey to Tokyo. It is a pretty cool scheme that they have implemented. I will now have to keep an eye out for the other two that they are doing.
If you want to get some nice vapor from an aircraft, start with a good, humid day. The hours after a storm are perfect since there is plenty of moisture in the air and the ground is wet meaning it will keep feeding the moisture for a while. Now you just need a big jet to climb out at high power settings. Enter an ANA 777-300ER stage left.
The engines were filling with inlet vapor as the beast hauled itself into the sky and the tip vortices were also doing their bit to pull the water from the air. The fact is was late afternoon so the sun was in a good position too meant that the combination was pretty ideal. We got a few like this for a while but eventually the humidity levels dropped and things returned to normal. Still, it was good for a while and there were other benefits to come.