RIAT is known for special formations and British Airways has been part of them in the past. Concorde with the Red Arrows and an A380 with the Red Arrows spring to mind. For 2019 and BA’s 100th anniversary, they wanted to do something special. The focal point was to be the BOAC liveried 747-400. I shot this jet at SeaTac and covered it in this post. To see it in formation with the Red Arrows sounded pretty good. They put together two passes.
The first was from the right and involved a gentle turn in the direction of the crowd to give a slightly topside view of things. This was nice but the distance involved did mean there was a bit of heat haze to combat. The second pass in the other direction was a more straight pass along the display axis. The sun was popping in and out during this time so the colors popped sometimes and not others. It made for some tricky shooting but it still looked pretty good and it was nice to just watch when not shooting.
When I was very young, BOAC still existed but it was soon merged in to British Airways. I remember model kits being for BOAC jets and I have seen some preserved aircraft in BOAC colors. As part of British Airways’ 100th year celebrations, they have painted up four airframes in legacy colors. The first to appear was a 747-400 in the BOAC scheme. I saw a bunch of shots of it online and was keen to see it for myself. It appeared on the schedule for an evening arrival at SeaTac so I made sure to be down there.
They were making a southerly flow that day and the evening is not a good time for that approach path as there are few locations to get good shots. However, I was “lucky” in that it was a crummy day for weather. The water tower location would normally have been horribly backlit but, since there was no sun, it might just do. I did get the shots and, by virtue of shooting quite heavily overexposed and then pulling back in post, I was able to get something I was reasonably pleased with.
I did really want the sun though and, not two weeks later, the jet was back on the SeaTac run. Again the evening arrival but this time it was sunny and the flow was northerly. This provides some opportunities for getting the iconic SeaTac arrival shot with Mt Rainier in the background. I was certainly not alone as she came down the approach nicely illuminated by the evening light. Thank goodness for time changes and being done with work by then!