I have been noticeably unsuccessful when shooting JetSuite X aircraft. When we lived in the Bay Area, they were running flights out of Concord. I did see some aircraft on the ramp but they were not convenient to shoot and I never saw them move. I have seen them a few times at Boeing Field but the conditions have always been less them impressive. Finally, I got to see one landing on a nice day!
Their schedules are easy to track so I knew it was going to be coming in. It wasn’t why I was there but you will take any opportunity! The white with red stripe livery is a slightly odd one but, on a sunny day, it looks pretty nice. I have often pondered what they are re like to use but have not found out to date. I don’t know whether they will survive the current crisis so maybe the opportunity is gone?
Alaska Airlines has a 737 flying in a special scheme as a Salute to Veterans. I have shot that in the past and it appeared on the blog in this post. I wasn’t aware until recently that they had painted a second jet in a similar scheme – this time from their regional fleet. This is an Embraer E175-E1. Here it is departing SeaTac one morning while I was awaiting my flight out.
An Alaska Airlines Embraer E175-E1 might not normally get a post but this one was operating a flight from Paine Field when I shot it. I saw there was some sort of graphic on the fuselage but I hadn’t worked out what it said at the time. Turns out this is the 1500th E Jet that Embraer has delivered. That is quite an achievement when you considered that Embraer was a manufacturer of niche turboprops for many years. Congratulations.
Half an hour of spare time on my way back to John Wayne Airport so I figured a quick shoot of approaches was worth a shot. It wasn’t going to be the most productive of shoots but why waste an opportunity. There were some regional jets and some airliners while I was there but also a few biz jets showed up. The sun was getting lower so the light was a bit more appealing. Even so, just a few stock shots for possible future use. Two Alaska Embraers came in but they were from different operators, Skywest and Horizon. I know someone who has a preference there (David).
When you consider the large cabin corporate jets, there is one jet that has not had as much success as it deserves. The Legacy 600 from Embraer is a derivative of the E135 regional jet but transformed into a longer range and far more comfortable jet. It hasn’t done much to dent the market that Gulfstream, Dassault and Bombardier have been operating in. It doesn’t have the super long range of some of the competitor products but, given that many operators never go off the US East Coast, that range is not a big deal for many customers. Prestige is though and the Legacy has never had the same cachet given its regional jet heritage.
This one showed up at San Jose on a sunny winters day. The interesting thing was that something very similar was also flying that day. The second aircraft is not a Legacy, though. It is an E145 that is operated by Intel. They have outfitted it as a corporate shuttle. It runs their staff between their locations. I don’t know what the interior is like but externally it looks a lot like a bizjet which, I guess is what it is.
Embraer is a company that has made a phenomenal transformation in the last decade or so. From being a small, state owned company that met local needs, it became a power in the regional aircraft sector. Once they had become established there, they took a step into the corporate aircraft sector. They started out by making corporate versions of their regional jets but now they are designing specific jets with the Phenom and Legacy types being hugely successful.
One of the regional jet conversions was the Lineage. Based on the E195 jet, the Lineage provides a large fuselage but doesn’t provide the extreme range of other large cabin jets. However, many customers do not go that far and don’t need the extreme range. (This doesn’t stop a lot of Gulfstream and Global customers of course!). It has been reasonably successful but not a big seller and I had not seen one until recently. I was at Las Vegas when this example took off. Good to finally see one.
The step up in size that Embraer took when they create the E170/175 and E190/195 aircraft was important for them and it proved to be a successful move. Both types did well and have achieved a solid market presence. With a new generation of technologies coming, Embraer decided to go for a significant upgrade to the type with new engines and other systems resulting in the E2 versions. In line with that, they decided to tweak the current design to create the E1 upgrades. This turned out to be a well-timed upgrade as it came at a time when a whole bunch of airlines were looking to up-gauge their regional feeder services. Embraer picked up a ton of orders.
The speed with which these jets have entered the US fleets is impressive. Both United and American signed new deals for service with these jets and now you can regularly see their E175s feeding in to large airports. Alaska has gone a similar way (using Skywest much as United has) and their fleet of E175s is starting to grow. The E2 has now had its first flight in the larger E190 form but the 175 will follow in a few years. The E170 has been dropped from the line at this point. I imagine we will see even more of these jets as they will dominate this seating range which Bombardier seems to have ceded as they focus on larger jets.
I like having more than one airliner in one shot as you have probably figured by now if you read the blog a lot. Since SFO has parallel approaches, getting this type of shot is not a rarity although you do appreciate it when it works out. In this case a Skywest Embraer E175 (operating for United Express) and a Southwest 737 were lined up on the approach. They were offset a bit so their relative position from my viewpoint changed during the approach which provided a nice variety of compositions.
“You don’t know what you’ve lost ‘til it’s gone” as the song goes. These days a number of aircraft types are fading away and the previous lack of interest shown when they were commonplace gets replaced with a sudden wish to make the most of their final days. One type that is likely to be disappearing from the skies around here before too long is the Embraer EMB120 Brasilia.
It isn’t disappearing in total but the largest operator of the type around here is Skywest. Skywest uses the Brasilia for their services and for those of United Express. However, the relatively small capacity of the type is making them uneconomical to operate – something the age of the airframes is probably not helping. I think I have only flown on one a couple of times when I was connecting on Comair from Cincinnati to Greenville-Spartanburg (and back) in 1990. I recall it being a rather noisy beast inside.
As Skywest draws down their fleet, they will soon be gone. Ahead of that time, here are a few shots I have gathered over the years.
I previously talked about the visit to the Vectren show at Dayton a few years ago. One of the more unusual acts to make it is a team that apparently has a track record of appearing at Dayton and that is the Brazilian team, Esquadrilha da Fumaça or Smoke Squadron. They are equipped with Embraer Tucano turboprop trainers and the performance characteristics of the Tucano make for a tight display in front of the crowd combined with good maneuverability for the formations and the individual aircraft.
The weather was not great with low cloud and flat lighting but the lower speed of the Tucano meant that a good display could be presented, even if vertical maneuvering was restricted. The formations were tight and some good configurations could be set up with the planes maneuvering around each other during passes. I was disappointed to see how few shots I had of some passes. Now I would have a lot more to choose from but I guess I spent less time shooting in those days.
I suspect a lot of people have not seen this team so I am posting a lot of different shots in here. I would certainly like to see them perform again at some point in the future. I shall have to see where they next appear in the US.