The A350-1000 has started to be delivered in some numbers. However, none of the operators that I get to see regularly has any in their fleet at this point. Some of the early deliveries went to Qatar Airways and they have been flying them to Dallas. Since I had a free weekend in the area on a work trip, I decided to catch my first examples.
Things conspired a little against me, though. On the Saturday, the weather that had just passed through had left some northerly winds which meant the approaches were coming from the south which is not so handy for getting shots. I did find a location but it wasn’t a great spot. Heat haze was still a bit of a problem and the angles were rather limited.
On the Sunday, normal service was resumed with a southerly flow. However, just before the A350 showed up, they decided to do a sweep of the runway. They moved arrivals to the inside runway which meant it the Qatar jet was a bit far away compared to everything that had been arriving on the outer runway a short while before. Still, I got the shots. It also taxied out just before the sun went down. However, they crossed to the other side for departure so not much of a shot opportunity.
American Airlines has painted a number of its jets in liveries of the airlines that went into it over the years. It happens that, as I write this on a plane, I just saw an A320 in American West colors as we taxied out. They painted up three 737s in special schemes and I had a poor record of seeing them. Two of these, the TWA scheme and the Reno Air scheme, both showed up at DFW while I was there waiting for a flight home. The TWA scheme landed just after I got there so I saw it while riding the inter-terminal shuttle. I then had it taxi out past me a little while later. Sadly it took off from the other side of the field. The Reno jet followed later and it did take off from our side so I felt like I had finally checked out something that had evaded me for too long.
The McDonnell Douglas MD-80 is a jet that has had its time and is now rapidly disappearing from the skies of the US. However, they aren’t all gone. American Airlines has been a big user but the arrival of 737s and A319s means they are heading to the desert in large numbers. I had assumed that meant they were a rarity but DFW is clearly still seeing a lot of them. I was taking a shot of any of them that showed up since I might not get many more chances. I have, of course, shot them a lot of the years but this was a nice final encounter. Strange how pleased you are to see something that used to be a bit of a yawn.
The A220 (or C Series CS100 if you are not yet ready to have it labeled as an Airbus) has been in service for a while but, until recently, I hadn’t seen one. Then, while I was on the shuttle between the terminals at DFW, we came around the terminal that Delta uses and I realized that the jet that had just pushed back was an A220.
It was early evening so the light was quite nice. The shape of the jet was quite distinctive. Aside from the cockpit shaping, the wings are quite large (giving it quite decent range capability) and the large fans of the Pratt GTFs are conspicuous. It is not a bad looking jet the Delta colors looked good on it. Sadly it taxied to the other side of the airport so I didn’t see it depart but it was nice to finally see one for real.
Returning from a work trip to Dallas, I was flying out of DFW. I got to the airport in plenty of time so, with a bit of time to kill, I decided to take a ride on the train that runs between the terminals. It makes a loop of the whole airport in both directions. I decided to see what you could see from the train and did a whole loop of the airport.
First, it is not a great photo platform. Aside from shooting through the windows (which were actually not that bad), the stations are not well located for viewing the ramps and, when it has a clearer view, it is moving at speed and is a pretty unsteady base for shooting. There are always reflections too, of course.
DFW is an American hub and that is pretty obvious as you head around the terminals. No shortage of American jets including a few remaining MD-80s and one of the special scheme jets too. The longer view across the gates with the multiple fins was a shot you could get at a number of places. It wasn’t just American though. Obviously other airlines use the airport. It happened that a British Airways 747-400 had pushed as we got there and the train runs around the perimeter of that ramp so we saw it from almost all sides.
If you have a bit of spare time while waiting for a flight at DFW, I would definitely take a ride around the terminals. It is a lot more interesting than sitting waiting at a gate and the food options weren’t great either so take a ride and see what is going on and where people are going to and coming from.