In this previous post, I mentioned the good light I was hoping would be available for a Dornier 328Jet. While that didn’t work out, I did get a NetJets Latitude arriving at that time. NetJets colors are certainly not very exciting so they are a bland subject normally (and a Latitude is hardly the most exciting looking bizjet either. However, with the right lighting, even this can look pretty dramatic!
Late in the day in the PNW, you can get lucky with good lighting. It is not unusual to have a crappy day end with the sun, low on the horizon, cutting under the clouds and providing some briefly great conditions. With a Dornier 328Jet due in, I was hoping that the conditions might be just what I wanted. However, the plane was delayed from its planned time. At the scheduled arrival time, conditions were, in fact, rather good. I got something arriving then that looked pretty cool and will get its own post.
However, my 328Jet was running late. I kept my eye on the horizon, hoping the sun would make an appearance but the thick cloud layer hanging on the horizon told me that things were not going to work out. Sure enough, when the 328Jet showed up, the sky was decidedly dull. This was all the more annoying given that it had a really nice color scheme. They aren’t exactly rare but they are not common enough to ignore the chance to get one so this still counts as a plus for me.
I talked about a Janet 737 coming in to Paine Field in this recent post. A couple of minutes ahead of it was the arrival of a Falcon 2000. The conditions were very blustery and the Falcon was bouncing around on final approach. It got quite a wing drop at one point and I did get a shot as it recovered but not showing quite how much it had rolled at its peak. As for the Janet, conditions were not great for lighting but it was not too bad.
I was pondering what to do with a day off. I was struggling to come up with a plan and the weather was not ideal for photography but I then saw that not one but two HondaJets were due in to Boeing Field within an hour of each other. I have only shot one flying before and it was very distant so I figured this would be the motivation to get me out.
The sky was very overcast with a grey background that made me hope for planes painted in an interesting color scheme. Unfortunately, both jets were in Honda schemes with grey as the main paint so they were hardly ideal for shooting in such conditions. However, I didn’t have much of a choice so I got both of them on the approach. If only one of them could have been a bit more colorful.
As I was heading off to my next stop, I drove past the Kenmore ramp and saw that one of them was parked up there. A quick diversion in and I added a ground shot of one of the jets. Not sure where the other one was parked but I would assume it was on Modern’s ramp.
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.
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 plenty of photos of Gulfstreams and a few photos of FAA jets – mainly flight checking Learjet 60s. However, the FAA Gulfstreams have not been something I have seen a lot of. I did have a nice chance to shoot one at Washington National many years ago, though. I did see the jets on the ramp at the south end of the field occasionally but I think this was the only time I got one airborne. It was shot from Gravelly Point so I was nice and close to it as it was on final approach. That is a great place to shoot from (or just hang out and watch the planes) and I will have to get back there at some point.
I was driving over to Seattle a while back and, as I crossed the I-90 floating bridge, I saw a Learjet maneuvering at low level around the hill ahead of me. I decided to see what was going on since I suspected this might be an FAA jet flying a variety of approaches. Sure enough, it was one of their Lear 60s. I have seen them on a number of occasions before at different airports. Tracking them on something like FlightRadar24, it is easy to work out what they are since they fly a tone of patterns around an airport normally dealing with simple arrivals and departures.
Boeing Field is not such an airport as it has a lot of training activity but the Lear is a bit faster than the average piston single. I didn’t know how long it had been there so it could have gone before I arrived but they still had a few circuits to do before they were finished. These involved a different sequence of approaches from offset positions from which they could take their measurements and then break off to do it again. It is interesting to see a business jet being thrown around like this in a way that would not keep the average customer happy!
I heard a rumor about a Gulfstream test jet being at Boeing Field. With a Saturday morning free, I decided to head over and investigate. One of the things I had seen suggested it might be the G700. Since that had only recently had its first flight, I was surprised it would be operating out of the west coast rather than Georgia so I decided to try and see it. Of course, it wasn’t the G700. Instead it was a G600 test airframe. Since I had not seen a G600, I was still pleased to catch it. The weather was crummy and it was due to go back to Savannah so I was wondering what sort of shots I would get.
Like any test jet, it didn’t depart when scheduled. It was an hour later than planned when it rolled to the runway and then hung around at the hold point for ages. Then it turned and taxied down towards the end where I was. I couldn’t see it departing in the opposite direction because SeaTac was still flowing to the south and wasn’t showing any sign of changing. It came down past me to the end of the runway and then turned around and taxied back the way it had come. After all of this it departed into the overcast.
Given that I was expected a departure from the far end and a swift climb into the gloom, I hadn’t expected to get many shots I was pleased with. Therefore, this sojourn down to my end and back provided plenty of chances to get a bunch of shots so this turned out to be a lot luckier than expected. I am also a sucker for a jet in primer so thrown in a few instrumented panels for test purposes and I am a happy camper!
The Hansajet was an odd airframe and one of those examples of manufacturers trying innovative things out that didn’t really go anywhere. It had a slightly forward swept wing to improve efficiency but forward swept wings have largely failed to gain any traction. It was operated by the Luftwaffe and this example was an attendee at an Air Fete at Mildenhall, I am going to say in 1991 but that may be wrong. I saw it on approach and then again in the static display. Quite a neat looking jet I think. Anyone know if any still fly?