RIAT is known for putting together formations of different types to celebrate certain events. The fiftieth anniversary of the first flight of Concorde resulted in two display teams getting together. Concorde was an Anglo-French collaboration and so was the celebration in this case. The Red Arrows and the Patrouille de France both fly formations to represent Concorde so, for this joint effort, both teams got airborne and flew their two Concorde formations in line astern. They made passes in each direction with the national anthems of each country playing – one on the first pass and the other on the second. It was a simple demonstration but an impressive one all the same.
The Britten Norman Islander recently celebrated its 50th anniversary of the first flight. A group, based in Bembridge on the Isle of Wight – the home of the Islander – were involved in celebrating this event. BNAPS is the group and they have been restoring the first production aircraft. My mum is a part of this group so this one is close to home.
I had an early flight out of Seattle on my way back to the Bay Area. It was a nice morning and the planes were departing to the south. The terminal that Southwest operates from is towards the southern end of the airport so you get the aircraft passing you as they get airborne. I had given myself some margin for getting to the airport, checking in the rental car and getting the shuttle to the terminal and everything had gone smoothly so I actually had a bit of time on my hands. Also, on the shuttle I had seen an Alaska 737 in 75th anniversary markings on a gate so I thought I might have a chance to get a shot of it if it wasn’t going straight out.
There is a kink in the pier as you head to Southwest’s gates that gives you a good view across the field and is not obstructed by jet bridges. Moreover, it isn’t a busy part of the terminal so waiting there and getting some shots is practical. Of course, you are shooting through some thick glazing but, even so, I was pleasantly surprised that the shots were not too badly compromised. The only problem was that the Q400s that Horizon operates from the central part of the terminal throw of some exhaust distortion which ruins what could be some good angles.
I had to make sure I didn’t forget my own flight but I did get some nice shots. The Alaska anniversary jet did time its departure well for me and I was even more pleasantly surprised when one of their 737s came by sporting the new scimitar winglets from APB. That was the first time I had seen some for real. A nice bonus before heading home.
The other day I was thinking about a few things related to this blog when it occurred to me that I must be getting close the the first anniversary of the blog starting. I had been posting about things that I had done the previous year and hadn’t been blogged about before so knew it was still in the first year but figured it must be getting close.
A quick look back through the complete listing of posts showed me that the first posting went up on March 14th 2011 – a year ago today! So, happy birthday to the blog. (Sad to say, I haven’t bought it a present…)
So, what has the first year taught me? Well, I have been able to consistently put new information up on the blog. I seriously wondered how well I would do at finding new things all of the time and not having gaping holes in the timeline. A little figuring out of things in advance along with keeping some of the more complex topics in manageable chunks has certainly helped. It has been easy enough to drop time sensitive stuff in when necessary but it isn’t a problem to space out postings when required. Anyone who was there might wonder about the timing but I doubt many other people notice.
It has also helped me to think about the way I write stuff. The work I have been doing for other outlets always helps but the format of the blog has tempted me to think about other writing outlets. Nothing to report on that at the moment but, as things develop, you know where the first information will become available!
Thanks for reading. I know how many people visit the blog and I am glad that it has an interest for some people out there. It certainly does for me and I am glad that some want to share in that too. Cheers!