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.
When Southwest bought AirTran, they inherited a mixed fleet of 737s and 717s. AirTran had been a 717 only fleet for a while but had expanded to include 737s as they grew and the production of the 717 ended. It didn’t take too long for Southwest to announce that the 717s were going away. Where to was the question. That was soon answered when Delta picked them all up. Consequently, there has been a steady stream of 717s showing up in Delta colors recently.
I have come across a few of them recently on both sides of the country. Despite the age of the basic DC-9 design, the updates introduced and the chunkier profile of the more modern engines means that there is something slightly different about the appearance of the jet. I quite like the look of it. Previously, the majority of the examples I had seen had been Hawaiian (including those I had ridden on). It is nice that the type has found a new home which means they shall be around in the US for a while to come.
The second leg of the journey that provided me with the storm video of Chicago was to Washington DC. For those that haven’t been there, Washington’s National Airport is located in the Potomac River. Approaches from the south come straight up the river but approaches from the north follow the winding line of the river to stay away from populated areas. It is quite a fun ride on a rough day.
On this day it was calm and evening was drawing in so there was a great view of the city as we made our approach. I shot some more video from the window using my phone and you can see all of the famous parts of the city. Enjoy!