Japan is one of the places where it is easy to find a Boeing 777-300. The 777-200 sold in good numbers and Boeing stretched the airframe to create the -300. It was not a big seller but was picked up in the Asian market where capacity was important but range was not such a concern. When Boeing launched the 777-300ER, they unlocked the range and payload capabilities that were in demand and it sold very well – usurping the 747 as the long range high capacity jet of choice.
The -300 has been retired from some of its original operators but Japan Air Lines still flies them. They are most easily identified by the original wingtip shape as opposed to the rake tip that the 300ER has. They also have the original engine choices as opposed to the GE-90 only 300ER. I saw some at Haneda and grabbed some shots. With the A350s joint the JAL fleet, I wonder whether the 777-300s will soon be heading to the yard.
Haneda is a busy hub for Japan Air Lines (JAL). While you visit, there will be a steady stream of JAL 737s coming and going so, another one arriving is no cause for interest. However, I realized that this particular jet did not actually say Japan Air Lines on the fuselage. Instead, it was marked Japan Transoceanic Air. I had never heard of this airline before. A little research shows that it is part owned by JAL – hence the use of the common livery – but there are other shareholders. Occasionally they will lend aircraft to JAL but they do operate to Haneda so I don’t know whether this was a JAL flight or one of their own. A new airline for me, though.
Around the world you can find plenty of parked Boeing 787s at the moment. Problems with the Rolls Royce Trent engines for this type mean that airlines have been pulling engines from various airframes in order to keep others flying. ANA uses Rolls engines on their fleet and I saw this aircraft being pulled around a taxiway at Haneda. Both engines were off making it look quite odd. It will certainly be a lot lighter than before but, somehow, I think that isn’t going to make it more efficient!
On a previous visit to Haneda I ended up getting a photo of a Japanese Coast Guard Gulfstream. This time, the weather was not great so I ended up staying on the side which should be backlit but wasn’t since there wasn’t much light! A turboprop showed up on approach which I hadn’t noticed online and initially wasn’t bothered about. However, I shot it and it turned out to be a Japanese Coast Guard Dash 8. I was pretty pleased!
I shot this Singapore A350 landing at Haneda in January of 2020. When I was reviewing the shots, I saw something odd on the roof. At first I thought it was markings for rescue areas but it really didn’t look that good. I am wondering whether the original paint job was pretty shoddy and the paint is peeling off. It doesn’t look good to me.
This 767 was parked right beneath me at the terminal in Haneda. The crew seemed busy at work fixing something on the wipers on the first officer’s windshield side. I watched them at work for a while before they seemed happy to have the jet fixed and ready to go on its next service.
Japan Air Lines has been taking delivery of a bunch of Airbus A350s recently. I was interested to see them at Haneda where they seem to be based as opposed to Narita. Interestingly, for a plane with substantial range, they are being used from a lot of short sectors at the moment. On the station platforms, they had some posters about a special A350 that was celebrating the 20th anniversary of a Japanese boyband, Arashi.
Fortunately, this jet was being used on internal flights and it was due back in to Haneda when I was there. With the crummy weather, the JAL terminal roof top viewing deck was fine for photos in the afternoon since, with no sun, there was no backlighting. The A350 came in to view and stopped in a cloud of spray from reverse thrust and then taxied back and parked right under me. Plenty of opportunities to get some shots of it.
I spent a little time at Haneda on a recent trip to Tokyo. It was not an ideal day for photography but it had its possibilities. One thing that really surprised me was that I seemed to see a bunch of planes with special paint schemes. I don’t know whether Japanese airlines just have a lot of specials or whether Haneda is the place that they all come but I saw a lot. One of them was from China too. Here are some shots of the specials from that day excluding one that will have its own post.
Lufthansa A350s are something I seem to struggle to get a good look at. They operate to a number of places where I have been but I either time it wrong or they are on the opposite runway from me so a distant shot is all that results. The closest I have got to them is at Haneda. There an example landed and taxied in to the terminal across from me. The light was at the right angle but the excessive heat meant that haze was a problem and I wasn’t going to get a good shot. It is the closest I have managed so far but I shall continue to wait for the opportunity to get something better. The fleet will grow and the route structure will expand so the time will come at some point.
The passenger 747 fleet is something that is shrinking fast. US operators have retired theirs but other operators still have fleets in use, some of which (like British Airways) are still fairly large. However, they are definitely not as common a sight as they used to be and seeing one from a different operator is a nice surprise. At Haneda I saw a couple of operators. A Qantas jet was parked on the far side of the field and, while visible, wasn’t much of a shot. However, a Thai Airways jet was on the gate when I arrived so it seemed like there was a fair chance it would move before I overheated and gave up.
It took a while but eventually it did push back and taxi for the runway I was watching. It then sat at the hold for what seemed like a ridiculously long time. It probably wasn’t that long but I was wilting in the heat and begging it to move. Finally it did line up and got off the ground pretty quickly. I guess the run to Thailand is not a long one so it wouldn’t have been very heavy. I wonder whether I shall ever see one of these again?