Vintage business jets are a nice thing to come across and, while the modern generation of Gulfstreams are a common sight around the US, the G-III is now something of a rare beast. Seeing one at Boeing Field parked on the Modern ramp was a nice surprise so I was just hoping for it to depart while I was there. Fortunately, I was in luck. It eventually powered up and taxied for departure. The hush kits on the old Spey engines are a bit of a giveaway but they aren’t that effective. The noise on takeoff was definitely a sign of something from a previous generation.
A Falcon 20 making an arrival on a Saturday morning when the sun is out is not something to be missed if possible. We were heading out that day but I just had time to make the run over to BFI to get the Kalitta Charter Falcon 20 as it arrived. The timing could hardly have been worse with the sun directly down the runway so right on the nose. (I suppose it could have been right on the tail if the winds were the other way around so maybe not the worst situation possible.) I was able to get a couple of previous arrivals to make sure I had a good angle since I rarely shoot from that location. Then it was get the Falcon and back in the car to do what we had planned for the day. Not a bad result.
This post is for Pete. He is a big fan of the Citation X so I might have posted it anyway but it is a special one. Most Citation Xs were built without winglets but a few were retrofitted and I think Cessna even built a few with them from the factory towards the end of the production run. I think they are a pretty nice looking winglet design so, Pete, this one is for you.
Just before 777X WH003 returned to Boeing Field, I got a nice bonus. Royal Air Freight has a small fleet of Falcon 20s that it uses for moving freight around the country and one was coming in to collect and maybe drop of some material. I do like the Falcon 20. It is definitely an older looking design at this point but it still looks pretty good. Shortly before it lined up on approach, a Falcon 7X taxied for departure from the north end of the runway and right by me.
It then sat at the hold point while the Falcon 20 made its approach. Having one of the newer Dassault jets sitting and waiting while one of the older Dassault creations flew in was a nice symmetry. Once the 20 had vacated the runway, the 7X made its departure. I assume it was going a long way since, despite using the full length, it took a while to get airborne. The 20 taxied to the ramp opposite me where they proceeded to load it up.
My encounters with Lineages have been few and far between. From memory, one at McCarran is the only one that I immediately can recall. There may have been another but it would have been parked somewhere probably. Seeing one taxi out at Boeing Field was, therefore, a pleasant surprise. Since it would only be taking off past me, it wasn’t going to be a great shot but still better than nothing. Then they thwarted me. Instead of crossing over to taxi to the full length, they took the intersection departure. 7,500’ is obviously plenty but still very annoying.
While spending a little time at Boeing Field waiting to see what would be on the move, a Falcon 900 powered up over at the FBO. Most bizjets can taxi from that ramp down to the threshold but there is a limit on the size of aircraft than can use that taxiway to the end. Larger jets have to cross over to our side of the runway and use the taxiway that is close to the parking lot. I hoped that the Falcon 900 was in the class of jets that needed to do that and that they wouldn’t just do an intersection departure instead.
I got lucky and they came my way. I prefer the look of the cockpits on the newer generation Falcons with the multi window configuration dating back to the Falcon 20 looking a little outdated but, putting that aside, the Falcon 900 is a nice looking plane.
Anyone who has been reading the blog for a long time will know that I like the Piaggio Avanti. I think it is a massively underrated airframe which should be more popular with bizjet owners than some of the tiny and slower jets that sell well. Oh well, that ship has sailed. They show up occasionally and it is a good day if I get to see one.
This example was at Boeing Field. It was heading out so I saw it taxi out and take off. They usually have quite a long take off run so it was a fair distance away when it got airborne. Another example has been around recently but I have not been able to see it. Maybe the chance will present itself again before too long so I can get something a bit more exciting that just taxiing nearby.
When photographing bizjets, you can tend to get the same sort of shot all the time so it is nice to get something a little different. Getting close to the underside of the jet when it is on short final provides a different angle on things and can also bring in some of the scenery around the location. I did that for a Gulfstream G650 just to play around.
Dassault’s Falcon family has been getting larger both in the number of types and physically. Now there are long range and wide bodied corporate jets available in their catalog. Before the jets got wider, their first effort at a longer range version was the Falcon 50. It introduced the three engine configuration which made it well suited to longer range missions in the days before twin operations over long distances were widespread.
The 50 is now rather long in the tooth so you don’t see them around so often. That makes it all the better when one shows up. I was heading home one evening from an event south of the city and the lovely evening light made me stop off at Boeing Field to see if I could get any shots. Sadly, a cloud bank rolled in just before this Falcon 50 showed up. Still, it was great to see one in action. I was back the next day having taken a day off work and it happened to depart while I was there. Certainly more light but a bit harsh in the middle of the day.
I’ve seen the JetStar prototype a few times in various visits to the Museum of Flight restoration facility up at Paine Field. The JetStar is a favorite of mine as might be determined by several of my posts over the years. The prototype is a bit different, though. It was built with two engines – Bristol Orpheus turbojets. After the first two aircraft, the rest were four engined. After it finished testing, it was used by Lockheed for transport duties. It ended up in Vancouver before coming into the museum’s collection. These shots are of it in the restoration shop.