In this recent post, I had an RAF Poseidon flying over the house. A little while later, I was at Boeing Field when the same jet came back from a test flight. Here are some shots of it as it rolled out after landing. It wasn’t long after this that the jet was delivered to the RAF and made the trip to its new home in Lossiemouth.
While at Boeing Field on a sunny day, I was pleased to see a Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk flying along the runway. MH-65s are the local Coast Guard helicopters so a Jayhawk is a nice change. Having seen the MH-65s doing a fly through before, I was hoping that we would get the same but they actually pulled up and turned in the the FBO. However, once on the ramp, the kept rotors running so I knew they would be out again soon.
When they did come out, they actually back taxied to the far end of the field. I would have been a lot happier with them making an intersection departure closer to me but that wasn’t to be for some reason. Consequently, they had gained a fair bit of altitude by the time they came level with me. A belly shot was not what I was after but never mind. The underside view gives a good view on the three external tanks that the Jayhawk can carry. That gives some serious range when heading far offshore to rescue someone in need.
Production of 737 Max jets is underway again and that means some flight testing of new jets. I was heading back from Boeing Field but stopped at the approach end to get a shot from the underside. I almost didn’t get there in time so was not exactly where I wanted to be to take the shot but it still worked out reasonably well. I do like a different angle every once in a while and underneath is certainly worth a go every once in a while.
Sunday afternoon at Boeing Field awaiting the arrival of a 777X meant plenty of time to catch some incoming biz jets. Sadly, rarely are they painted interesting colors. XOJet has no colors, NetJets very little and FlexJet shouldn’t have been given access to the color chart given what they chose. David and I were chatting during all of this and completely missed the G650ER that came in that was a nicer scheme but so be it. There was a nice-looking Citation X in the mix, so some color included. Here are a few of the arrivals we got.
My previous unsuccessful trip to Paine Field on the Saturday for the first flight of the fourth 777X was followed up by a more successful Sunday visit. The dull and dreary Saturday weather had been replaced by clear skies (the smoke had finally gone away) and the sun was out. The time for takeoff was not going to be great because the sun would be high to backlit, but this was a first flight so the chances of it going on time were limited.
Sure enough, things got dragged out and the sun moved to a more favorable part of the sky. A 777F from Lufthansa Cargo was doing some test flying to provide some other interest and there was plenty of activity generally to photograph. Eventually the 777X was towed. From its parking spot to the south entrance to the Boeing ramp where it could start up.
It taxied up the Alpha taxiway to the hold point and then pulled into position. Normal Boeing practice is to do an accelerated and rejected takeoff before flying. They sat on the threshold and powered up, but the wingtips had not been lowered. I don’t know whether this was a test of the system that is designed to prevent taking off with the wing tips in the wrong position or not, but it seemed that way. Either way, the jet didn’t move.
They then lowered the wing tips, powered up, accelerated and then braked. Taxi back to the threshold again and a long way for some other traffic before they lined up again. The jet wasn’t heavy, but I was slightly surprised how much flap they had for takeoff compared to the other jets I have seen taking off there. Anyway, power on and off they went.
They were due to be flying for a few hours and then landing at Boeing Field so I figured I would make the trip down there for the arrival. On pulling up at Boeing Field, I bumped into my friend David so we were able to talk rubbish about planes for a while waiting for any arrivals. In due course the 777X showed up on approach by which time the light was a lot nicer than it had been for departure. Things may have taken longer than planned and meant the day was not much good for anything else but it was a fun outing and a successful trip.
Boeing Field always has the possibility of something interesting going on and a P-8 test flight for a US Navy jet was on the cards while I was there a while back. Even better news was that it wasn’t a long flight that they had planned. Consequently, I was going to be there for both departure and return. Since the jet was lightly loaded, takeoff was not labored and they were well up by the time they were close to me. Still, not a big angle on the jet with the light as it was.
I didn’t head to the approach end for the return as I was waiting for something else. It did mean I was closer to the jet as it rolled out on is landing run. The military ramp for Boeing is at that end of the field so the jet rolled to the end and turned off. Heat haze is always a problem at this time of year but things looked surprisingly good considering.
The test program for the Boeing 777X is gradually increasing and a third jet has been added to the fleet. I stopped by Boeing Field because all three jets were scheduled to fly on this day. Having seen the first two, I was hoping for the third since I haven’t got any shots of it and its livery which is different to the first two. Sadly, I was to be disappointed as they scrubbed the flight.
However, the first two jets did fly. They were both already airborne by the time I got there. The arrival times back for both were supposed to be pretty close but you can’t put too much stock in those times as things on test will be what they will be. I headed to the arrival end for the first of them. It wasn’t that late so the light wasn’t ideal but it was still a bit better as we were well passed the solstice and heading to the equinox. Happy to take the shot of course.
I moved to the other end of the field when the second jet came in. I wasn’t interested in repeating the shot I had already taken (plus I had shot this jet in similar circumstances before) so some images at the other end seemed worthwhile. They landed short but had clearance for a high speed run on the runway so that brought them down to where I was. Fortuitously, they took the exit directly in front of me. I missed the transition of the wingtips while changing cameras. The tips were down in one set of shots but were folded as they taxied off the runway. The wide angle view is a nice one to get of something so large.
I haven’t shot at BFI for quite a while now. I do look forward to getting back there before too long. Since BFI is closer to downtown, it gets a lot of biz jet traffic. There are some high net worth individuals and big businesses in the area so some of these jets are at the higher end of the range. Here is a selection of the more recent corporate jets I shot prior to the curtailment of my excursions!
I have been noticeably unsuccessful when shooting JetSuite X aircraft. When we lived in the Bay Area, they were running flights out of Concord. I did see some aircraft on the ramp but they were not convenient to shoot and I never saw them move. I have seen them a few times at Boeing Field but the conditions have always been less them impressive. Finally, I got to see one landing on a nice day!
Their schedules are easy to track so I knew it was going to be coming in. It wasn’t why I was there but you will take any opportunity! The white with red stripe livery is a slightly odd one but, on a sunny day, it looks pretty nice. I have often pondered what they are re like to use but have not found out to date. I don’t know whether they will survive the current crisis so maybe the opportunity is gone?
Omni provides a lot of charter work in the Seattle area, presumably military work for JBLM. The planes usually operate from SeaTac but then will reposition to Boeing Field. There is often an Omni 767 parked up at the south end of the field but I have not ever seemed to have been there when they are moving. More recently, I happened across one coming in to land after a short trip from SeaTac (I could probably have driven it faster given the routing that they had to take). It was nice to see one up and about so it prompted this post with a few Omni 767s.