I shot an XOJet Citation X at Paine Field over the holidays. The light was at a nice low angle since it was not long after the shortest day and it picked out details on the airframe nicely. I was surprised to see that the jet was in a grey paint finish. I have shot a few XOJet Citation Xs over the years. Some of the earlier ones were in a pretty standard looking livery, not unlike NetJets.
I then started to see them in an all white paint finish. This was definitely not too exciting and had the look of someone that was ready to save money when they sold their jets without the need to repaint them. The new scheme is not much better but at least it looks slightly more deliberate than a plane you couldn’t decide what to paint it. I wonder if this is a new standard for them or just an oddball?
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.
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.
Boeing has marked up a 787-9 is a special color scheme to reflect their internal charity organization. It is a jet that was supposed to go to Hainan Airlines but the financial issues with the airline means that they have not taken delivery of a number of jets. This is not a paint scheme but is a giant vinyl wrap. It looks very impressive. The jet has been used for flyovers at events Boeing has sponsored and it is also going to Dubai for the air show (which will be in the past by the time this post goes live).
Based on a Global Express business jet, the RAF’s Sentinel battlefield surveillance jet has plenty of lumps and bumps to distinguish it but the paint scheme is a different story. It is painted plain gray and, aside from one example I saw at Red Flag, it doesn’t have any interesting squadron markings. The Friday of RIAT was a very wet a dreary day but this had the effect of making the Sentinel look rather glossy. I have never seen them look too interesting before (aside from Red Flag) but this looked okay. I did shoot it departing too on an overcast day and it didn’t look too bad then so maybe this one was fresh out of the paint shop?
American Airlines has painted a number of its jets in liveries of the airlines that went into it over the years. It happens that, as I write this on a plane, I just saw an A320 in American West colors as we taxied out. They painted up three 737s in special schemes and I had a poor record of seeing them. Two of these, the TWA scheme and the Reno Air scheme, both showed up at DFW while I was there waiting for a flight home. The TWA scheme landed just after I got there so I saw it while riding the inter-terminal shuttle. I then had it taxi out past me a little while later. Sadly it took off from the other side of the field. The Reno jet followed later and it did take off from our side so I felt like I had finally checked out something that had evaded me for too long.
The BOAC retro jet that BA has painted up was a nice treat to get. There are two other retro jets in other colors but, based on their interior configuration, they should not normally be used on the Seattle route. Therefore, I wasn’t expecting a chance to get them any time soon. Then, I saw that the Landor scheme aircraft was coming to SeaTac. It must have been a substitution. Now I was interested. However, it pushed off the gate at Heathrow and then went back on with some engine start issue. Was it going to scrub?
Apparently not. The issue was resolved and they pushed again. While the passengers were, no doubt, unimpressed by this, I was delighted. It now meant the arrival was at nearly 7pm. No problem to get to SeaTac after work and the light might be really nice. The weather was better than forecast although the chance of Mt Rainier making a second appearance was low. Again, plenty were out for the arrival. She showed up on the approach and the light played ball. This jet would have been delivered to BA with these colors so it was a case of reverting to how she had appeared many years before.
Sitting in the lounge at Narita waiting for my flight home, this truck belonging to Delta was parked below us. It may be painted in Delta markings but it isn’t hard to see who originally bought it. I guess it isn’t the newest truck in the fleet and, unlike a lot of the vehicles on the ramp, this looks like it was built in the US.
Japanese jets have a reputation for interesting colors and, while the fighter units were pretty dull gray, the recce jets were far more interesting. Most of the flying jets I saw were in the blue camo scheme and they look very nice. One the first wave I saw, there was also a jet in green and brown camo. Sadly it only flew once and I messed up a bunch of my shots. The other scheme on the ramp was a green and grey scheme that looked a lot like the old German colors. Sadly, it stayed on the ramp the entire time I was there.