I had been talking with some friends at Boeing Field about the Kalitta 727s that we had seen recently and we got on to the subject of winglets on the 727 and that the jets we had seen didn’t have them. Little would I know that I would address this a short while later. Kalitta Charters II was bringing another 727 in to Paine Field on a weekend evening and it was a different airframe to the ones I had photographed to that point.
It was also fitted with winglets! I am not sure how good the winglet design is on the 727. It looks like a pretty basic design and doesn’t seem to be very well integrated in the way that later winglet designs are. However, it must provide some benefit because they have sold a fair few of them. I clearly made the trip up to Everett to catch its arrival and I wasn’t alone. One more 727 in a time when they are not very abundant and a different configuration to boot.
The end of production of Boeing 787s at Everett meant that there was no longer a need for the Dreamlifter operations to support Dreamliner production. However, while the Dreamlifter base has closed, there are still some production activities at Everett on the 767/KC-46 line that require large structures to be delivered and the Dreamlifters are used for this sometimes. I understand at least one of them is currently stored, but the others are active.
I only rarely find myself at Everett when the Dreamlifter is there, but it has happened a few times over the last few months. Here are a few of the shots I have got since these things became a little bit rarer up this way.
My buddy Chris was visiting Seattle but was stuck in the arrivals line at the airport. I was waiting to pick him up but, since it was taking longer than expected, I was checking out some other movements. An Everts MD-83 was scheduled out of Boeing Field. The weather was not great, and I didn’t know when Chris would finally get through immigration, but I figured I would give it a go. Sadly for Chris, the MD-83 got moving faster than him. It was on its way long before he finally got out. I had plenty of time to get back to SEA to pick him up.
The arrival just before sunset of a Kalitta 727 was the subject of a recent post. It departed later that evening, but it was very dark by then and I didn’t hang around. It wasn’t long before the jet was back again and this time it arrived a little earlier in the day. That meant that there was a chance that they would depart before sunset. That was something I was willing to take a chance on. In the later evening, it is a quick jaunt to Paine Field from home. Sure enough, they obliged by being prompt. I had barely got there when the jet taxied. The light was very nice, and they were flowing to the north so I was able to get a few shots, hop in the car and be home so fast that Nancy thought I must have blown off the idea altogether!
Once Russia went to war with Ukraine, the ability of Russian cargo operators to continue their US business went away. Volga Dnepr had been providing a bunch of service for Boeing operations at Everett bringing in outsize airframe parts. With them out of the picture, Boeing had to find an alternative. Antonov Design Bureau designed the AN-124 originally and it has an in house airline, Antonov Airlines. They seem to have picked up a bunch of work that Volga Dnepr previously had. Despite the enthusiasm for various people calling them Russians, they are definitely Ukrainian!
They have been in and out of Paine Field pretty frequently over the last few months. I have got shots of them at different times with the aircraft carrying various messages about cities in Ukraine. Having got shots at different times, I also started shooting some video. Here are some of the shots along with a video of one of the departures.
I was at SEA early one Sunday morning to try and catch a shot of Salmon Thirty Salmon before it was repainted. Northern Air Cargo also departs at a similar time of day as part of its loop between Hawaii, Seattle, Los Angeles and back to Hawaii. I assume one of the regular jets was in maintenance because they had chartered in some capacity from StratAir. I was not familiar with this operator but I was happy to catch a 767 in new colors for me.
I posted about the visit of Western Global and their 747-400F a little while back. They did not wait long for their next return and, this time, they went for a rarer type by bringing in the MD-11F. I know FedEx and UPS still have loads of these (although they are starting to retire them) but other operators are thin on the ground. This was worth catching. (I have since heard that Western Global is in liquidity difficulties so who knows if they will still be around soon.)
It arrived at Paine Field when I wasn’t able to be there, but it did depart in the morning when I was able to get to see it. The weather was not ideal, and I would have appreciated a little sun on it but I’ll take it in any conditions given that I don’t know when I might get another opportunity. What a cool looking jet the MD-11 is from the front quarters. When they are gone, we shall have lost something special.
Air Tanzania Cargo placed an order for a 767-300F and it recently came off the line at Everett. I saw various shots of it from local photographers, but it never flew when I was able to shoot it – i.e., when I wasn’t at work. When I did get up to Paine Field, it had been parked off at the back of the ramp and didn’t look like it was going anywhere soon. Then, I saw that it had become active again. I figured that meant it would be delivered soon. Fortunately, one of the flights was during an afternoon and it was due back late in the day – after work! I was able to get up to Paine Field after leaving the office and be there for the return. Just as well I did as it got delivered shortly afterwards.
I was flying home from the Midwest and, as we taxied off the active runway, I could see an Asiana 747-400F taxiing for departure. We crossed the runway before it took off and, since I was on the side of the aircraft facing the runway, I got a good view of the sunlight punching through the clouds off to the west. I got the phone out to get a shot having completely forgotten that the 747 would be on its way any time. As it came into view, I grabbed a couple of phone shots as it passed the sunlight. Phones are still not a true competitor to a decent camera, but they can really produce something useful.
This plane was teasing me. Ameristar has DC-9s in its fleet and they are clearly not young airframes, but it is nice when they get a fresh paint job. One was at Boeing Field in a shiny new looking livery. Unfortunately, it wasn’t going anywhere while I was near it. I got shots of it on the ramp and near the terminal building. I also got an overhead shot of it from up on the hill. None of these involved it doing anything other than sitting there though. Let’s hope I get lucky with it before too long.