The regular AN124 visitors to Everett continue. This time of year can often bring northerly winds which means a departure up past the Future of Flight building. Having a heavy Ruslan depart that way can mean a nice angle to get on rotation as well as the climb out which, while a bit backlit, makes for a good change. I was happy with the takeoff but, as the jet climbed away to the north, the smoky combustion of the old D-18 engines was clear to see. The further that they climbed out, the less the plane was obvious and the more the smoke trail was. A bit of mixing from the trailing vortices helped as well. A lot of the people around me were commenting on how dirty it was.
I’ve already shown the B-1s at Red Flag some love but here is a bit more about them because, well, why not? The four afterburning engines produce a lot of noise, light and, I guess, thrust. For a few of the departures, I focused the camera on the back end to try and show that energetic output. Daylight is not the best time to show up the afterburner plume – night works well for that as does being more directly behind the jet – but it still is possible to see the jet against the dark airframe. This is just something so impressive to see.