A big bizjet is an appealing looking thing to shoot but the unfortunate thing is that they are frequently quite blandly painted. If I owned a $60m jet, I probably wouldn’t want to draw too much attention to myself (other than by owning a $60m jet) so I guess it shouldn’t be such a surprise. However, when one is painted up in a colorful scheme, it is a nice change from the usual.
This G650ER is one I think I have seen before but it was making a trip from Boeing Field to somewhere, probably well within the range capabilities of the aircraft. Given how quickly it got off the ground, I imagine it was not heavily loaded. It taxied up from the south end of the ramp near Modern Aviation and then held for quite a while for arriving traffic and for its airways clearance. When it got on its way, it rotated abeam me which worked out pretty well.
My first trip to my new spot at Boeing Field, as described in this blog post, resulted in a fair bit of activity. Not long after I got there, I saw a Gulfstream G650 taxiing from the south end of the ramp towards the departure runway. This location gave a few spots where the jet was clear of buildings and you could get a shot. It ended up holding at the threshold for quite a while as other movements came and went.
Once it got clearance, it made a spiritedly takeoff. Long range bizjets are rarely making use of their full capabilities so, when they are lightly loaded, they are off in quick time. This was the case for the G650 and I got some shots of it rotating and climbing away. Not a bad start for this spot.
The Pacific Northwest suddenly seems to have a bunch of Dornier 328Jet ops at the moment. I posted here about one coming in to BFI. I saw another one on the BFI ramp recently too and Paine Field had a visitor over the holidays. The weather was pretty nice for this one when it showed up so I popped out to get a shot of it coming in. I was not familiar with Taos Air. They had made a couple of stops before arriving at Everett and departed for California shortly afterwards. I wonder what the story was behind that?
I shot an XOJet Citation X at Paine Field over the holidays. The light was at a nice low angle since it was not long after the shortest day and it picked out details on the airframe nicely. I was surprised to see that the jet was in a grey paint finish. I have shot a few XOJet Citation Xs over the years. Some of the earlier ones were in a pretty standard looking livery, not unlike NetJets.
I then started to see them in an all white paint finish. This was definitely not too exciting and had the look of someone that was ready to save money when they sold their jets without the need to repaint them. The new scheme is not much better but at least it looks slightly more deliberate than a plane you couldn’t decide what to paint it. I wonder if this is a new standard for them or just an oddball?
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.
Aside from my two HondaJets and a little other traffic, things were not looking too busy at Boeing Field. I was contemplating my next move when I glanced at FlightRadar and saw a Douglas A-26 was flying over Seattle. This is one that is based at Renton and used as a personal transport by the owner. I have never seen it in action before. Consequently, I was quite excited. At first, I thought it looked like it was turning towards Boeing Field which would have been handy but then it headed north up towards the San Juan Islands.
I figured that, even if it was landing up there, it would be coming back to Renton later on so headed off in that direction to work out what flow the pattern was using. The A-26 had departed over the lake to the north but all of the movements now seemed to be from the north so I figured it would come in from that direction. No chance of shooting it from above at the overlook point at the south end but still plenty of options.
Unfortunately, they have closed off part of the park at the north end of the field and erected fencing. This takes away an area of higher ground which gives a good view of the threshold. However, with a couple of Cessnas bashing the circuit, I was able to see roughly what would be good and what wouldn’t. A check on FlightRadar showed that they had finished flying around the San Juans and were coming back over the city.
They followed the water from the coast in to Lake Washington and I thought would be coming straight for me. However, they continued over Bellevue instead. I wondered if they were off somewhere else but soon they had turned back and were heading for Renton. Looking up the lake, I could pick them out a long way out, long before they had even configured for landing. With the fall foliage still evident on some of the shorelines, it made for quite a nice shot – something that wouldn’t have been the case at the other end.
The A-26 is pretty speedy so they were soon on final approach and I grabbed a bunch of shots both tight and wider. Then they zipped by and behind the newly erected fencing! I packed up my stuff and headed off but, as I drove back south, I saw they were still on the ramp outside the hangar. I pulled in a watched them put the plane away. Only at the last minute did I realize that I could have got a closer shot from near the gate but I shouldn’t complain given how lucky I had been to see them out on my day off.
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.