I have plenty of photos of Gulfstreams and a few photos of FAA jets – mainly flight checking Learjet 60s. However, the FAA Gulfstreams have not been something I have seen a lot of. I did have a nice chance to shoot one at Washington National many years ago, though. I did see the jets on the ramp at the south end of the field occasionally but I think this was the only time I got one airborne. It was shot from Gravelly Point so I was nice and close to it as it was on final approach. That is a great place to shoot from (or just hang out and watch the planes) and I will have to get back there at some point.
I heard a rumor about a Gulfstream test jet being at Boeing Field. With a Saturday morning free, I decided to head over and investigate. One of the things I had seen suggested it might be the G700. Since that had only recently had its first flight, I was surprised it would be operating out of the west coast rather than Georgia so I decided to try and see it. Of course, it wasn’t the G700. Instead it was a G600 test airframe. Since I had not seen a G600, I was still pleased to catch it. The weather was crummy and it was due to go back to Savannah so I was wondering what sort of shots I would get.
Like any test jet, it didn’t depart when scheduled. It was an hour later than planned when it rolled to the runway and then hung around at the hold point for ages. Then it turned and taxied down towards the end where I was. I couldn’t see it departing in the opposite direction because SeaTac was still flowing to the south and wasn’t showing any sign of changing. It came down past me to the end of the runway and then turned around and taxied back the way it had come. After all of this it departed into the overcast.
Given that I was expected a departure from the far end and a swift climb into the gloom, I hadn’t expected to get many shots I was pleased with. Therefore, this sojourn down to my end and back provided plenty of chances to get a bunch of shots so this turned out to be a lot luckier than expected. I am also a sucker for a jet in primer so thrown in a few instrumented panels for test purposes and I am a happy camper!
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.
Corporate jets are rarely painted in interesting schemes so, when they are, you notice them. This one showed at at Boeing Field with a puma on the tail. A bit of research when back home suggests it is a project between Jay Z and the sport gear manufacturer Puma. I think it is to help out athletes that are sponsored by them. The registration is apparently a reference to Jay Z himself. I have no idea who was on it on this occasion. Maybe Sean was onboard?
Nothing special here. Just happened to get a Gulfstream G280 as it arrived at Everett so I thought I might as well share it here.
Another stint in the lots by Boeing Field to deal with some phone calls prior to heading back out of Seattle after some meetings and some more interesting movements. A G650 landed while I was there. I was on a call so I didn’t have an opportunity to get a shot of it as it landed and rolled out which was a shame. It parked up across from me and an SUV took the occupants away. Then it was pushed into a hangar. A quick search on the registration gives a company name and Googling that shows it is associated with Bill Gates. Looks like he has a nice jet although I think he needs a new Global 7500 if he wants to stay on top of things.
SkyFair was a great time to see a bunch of warbirds flying around. It didn’t stop the normal operations of the airport though. As the day wore on, a Gulfstream made an arrival. It didn’t do anything special for the remaining crowds but it was still something a little different to add to what had been a great day.
The G650 was a plane that got off to a good start. The combination of space and range made it a popular choice amongst those that have $60-70m to drop on a plane. Recently, things have been a bit quieter as the competition has ramped up but the deliveries this year have perked up. This one was departing out of Boeing Field and, as I zoomed in to check the sharpness of the shot, I could see the passenger in the cabin who seemed to be looking back at me. She didn’t have a camera, though, so I am the only one with a shot of the encounter!
Getting the airliners coming in to LAX was what I was aiming for but I was pleased to get a bizjet bonus. A Gulfstream made an approach to the northerly runway complex. This was a surprise to me as the facilities for corporate aviation are on the south side of the airport so an approach over there would seem to have made more sense. As with some other arrivals, I wasn’t complaining. An aerial shot of a Gulfstream was very welcome.