A morning at Haneda provided a few planes to shoot but the temperature was really oppressive so I didn’t hang around too long. A Gulfstream turned on to the runway for departure and I almost didn’t bother going in to the sun to shoot it. However, habit got the better of me and I was glad I did. It wasn’t a normal Gulfstream but one from the Japanese Coast Guard. It included a large radome under the front fuselage. I hadn’t seen one like this before.
When I am shooting at a major airport, I am always pleased to get some corporate jets. A steady stream of airliners – often from the same airline – is okay but variety spices things up and corporate jets can do that. (NetJets and FlexJet do undermine that variety a little but not too much.) On this occasion, I was treated to a selection of Savannah’s finest products. They didn’t arrival in age related order but I will forgive that.
The first to show up was a G650. Top of the line for Gulfstream, this is a cool looking jet. It is a totally clean sheet design for Gulfstream who have tended to tweak previous jets to bring new capabilities. It looks different and has great performance. (It is also spawning a new generation of smaller – relatively – jets that I look forward to seeing.)
Next were some G450s. A previous generation but still a good performer and something that sells well. The fuselage is clearly Gulfstream but the wings and engines and significant steps forward from their predecessors. Not cutting edge but still something the Gulfstream thinks has appeal.
The last was a G-III. This is really going back a bit. Not a G-IISP but not far off. The fuselage is familiar, the wing similar but the engines are the old Speys and they have none too subtle hushkits fitted to them in order to meet current noise regulations. This is certainly a vintage jet by corporate standards and I was pretty pleased to see one still flying. These are often found now lurking at airports with the signs of lack of use clear to see. Shame we didn’t have an original Gulfstream turboprop but they are rare beasts these days.