The Airbus A220 is now getting more widely established in service. Indeed, the slightly smaller and highly efficient nature of the jet means that it is likely to be pretty popular as service gets reestablished for a lot of airlines. Sadly, I haven’t seen any other than those with Delta. I have seen a decent number of those, though. As a continuation of my lockdown trawl of the archives, here is a variety of shots of Delta’s A220 flight. If you prefer to call this a C Series from its Bombardier days, feel free but that ship has sailed!
An early ISAP symposium included a visit to Lockheed Martin’s facility at Fort Worth. We were there to see the first F-35 test aircraft, AA-1. In addition, they had arranged to bring Glacier Girl, a P-38 Lightning, to be there too to provide two Lockheed Lightnings. However, while I was up the scissor lift that was provided for us to get an elevated view, I looked the opposite direction. There were two interesting looking airframes parked up. One was an old F-16 that had probably been used for test duties. The other was not a flyable plane but it was some sort of test rig for the STOVL configuration of the F-35 – what would become the F-35B. A couple of cool looking items that you wouldn’t normally get to see.
Ahead of an ISAP symposium many years ago, my friend Richard had arranged a visit to JRB Carswell at Fort Worth. As well as being the home of the Lockheed Martin assembly plant, it also hosts the 301st FW of the USAF Reserve with their F-16s. They were great hosts and we got to spend a bunch of time around the base. On their ramp space, we had a lot of freedom to shoot them prepping for missions and heading out.
We also got to go to the EOR and see them come in after their missions and have the jets safed prior to taxiing back to the ramp. Being close to the jets while they are doing real work is such a different experience to seeing them at an air show when things are all a bit more contrived. This was a new experience for me at the time and so I was following the example of a few of the other guys when looking to see what sort of things to get shots of. It was a great learning experience and a bunch of fun too!
It’s been a little while since my last trip to Dallas but I did come across some other shots from when I was coming home through DFW. As one of the hubs for American Airlines, the majority of the gates seem to have American jets on them. The variety of types is decreasing with the MD-80s in their last throws while I was there. I like the longer shot you can sometimes get from the connector between the terminals which bunches up the jets. When they are all one type it isn’t so interesting but a collection of different fins is good if you can get it comparing the size of the narrow bodies and the widebodies.
Quite a while back I posted some shots from the Fort Worth Stockyards. In that post, I mentioned that there was a gathering of cowboys taking place but I have been a bit lax in following up with a post about that. Many of the cowboys were dressed pretty much as you might imagine a cowboy would be. A couple looked a little more unusual. One guy was wandering around in a very large and heavy looking fur coat. I don’t know what type of fur it was and I didn’t get a good shot of him because I didn’t want to look too obvious.
I may have lived in the US a long time but there are still plenty of things that catch me off guard. Dressing as cowboys is one of them. It is something that I don’t often think of as being a current thing. It feels like people dressing up rather than dressing as they always do for their lifestyle. It is no different to any other form of dress but it still catches me out. I was once in Las Vegas for some meetings and the hotel I was staying in had a lot of people there for a large rodeo competition. I was amazed by how similarly everyone was dressed. That is what happens with many styles of clothing but it did seem strange to me at the time. Anyway, here are some of the cowboys at their gathering.
I headed to Alliance during my time in the Dallas area. There was a C-17 parked on the ramp a bit away from where I was. However, it was in nice light at the beginning of the day. Things improved a lot when I saw the beacons come on followed by the sound of engines cranking. It wasn’t too long before the jet taxied for departure. The Wright Patterson markings on the fin meant it was easy to see that this jet was from Dayton. I don’t know if that was where it was headed or whether it had stopped at Alliance en route to somewhere else.
Twice a day at the Fort Worth stock yards, they do a drive of the long horn cattle. They take them through the street up the center of the yards with the crowds gathered around. They are very specific about where you can be. There are markers that you must stay behind and they police latecomers closely to not try and get in front of those that have been waiting. Also, you are not allowed to be low down. Crouching is not allowed. I think it might be so you can move away quickly if required.
The cowboys herd the cattle on horseback. The cattle themselves seemed pretty docile on this occasion. They are not kidding when they are called long horn cattle. The horns on these creatures are absolutely enormous. They move relatively slowly up the street so, once they had passed us and the crowd started to disperse, I was able to walk up the street quickly and get to the other end before they had all gone through.
A work trip to Texas included a weekend where I was free to do some exploring. I decided that the Stock Yards in Fort Worth would be worth a look. I knew a little about it but not much. There were the buildings left from the time when the yards were actively trading cattle. These are now repurposed for the tourist business. They also have some of the surrounding buildings like the hotels and bars that probably are still serving much the same purpose as they always have.
A lot of exhibits were set up with people in costume cooking or working with traditional crafts. These were in a variety of tents. They didn’t seem to be getting a lot of visitors and I felt a little conspicuous photographing them as a result but I guess that is all part of the attraction. There was more to come but that will be another post.