The Airbus A220 is now getting more widely established in service. Indeed, the slightly smaller and highly efficient nature of the jet means that it is likely to be pretty popular as service gets reestablished for a lot of airlines. Sadly, I haven’t seen any other than those with Delta. I have seen a decent number of those, though. As a continuation of my lockdown trawl of the archives, here is a variety of shots of Delta’s A220 flight. If you prefer to call this a C Series from its Bombardier days, feel free but that ship has sailed!
An early ISAP symposium included a visit to Lockheed Martin’s facility at Fort Worth. We were there to see the first F-35 test aircraft, AA-1. In addition, they had arranged to bring Glacier Girl, a P-38 Lightning, to be there too to provide two Lockheed Lightnings. However, while I was up the scissor lift that was provided for us to get an elevated view, I looked the opposite direction. There were two interesting looking airframes parked up. One was an old F-16 that had probably been used for test duties. The other was not a flyable plane but it was some sort of test rig for the STOVL configuration of the F-35 – what would become the F-35B. A couple of cool looking items that you wouldn’t normally get to see.
Ahead of an ISAP symposium many years ago, my friend Richard had arranged a visit to JRB Carswell at Fort Worth. As well as being the home of the Lockheed Martin assembly plant, it also hosts the 301st FW of the USAF Reserve with their F-16s. They were great hosts and we got to spend a bunch of time around the base. On their ramp space, we had a lot of freedom to shoot them prepping for missions and heading out.
We also got to go to the EOR and see them come in after their missions and have the jets safed prior to taxiing back to the ramp. Being close to the jets while they are doing real work is such a different experience to seeing them at an air show when things are all a bit more contrived. This was a new experience for me at the time and so I was following the example of a few of the other guys when looking to see what sort of things to get shots of. It was a great learning experience and a bunch of fun too!
It’s been a little while since my last trip to Dallas but I did come across some other shots from when I was coming home through DFW. As one of the hubs for American Airlines, the majority of the gates seem to have American jets on them. The variety of types is decreasing with the MD-80s in their last throws while I was there. I like the longer shot you can sometimes get from the connector between the terminals which bunches up the jets. When they are all one type it isn’t so interesting but a collection of different fins is good if you can get it comparing the size of the narrow bodies and the widebodies.
Quite a while back I posted some shots from the Fort Worth Stockyards. In that post, I mentioned that there was a gathering of cowboys taking place but I have been a bit lax in following up with a post about that. Many of the cowboys were dressed pretty much as you might imagine a cowboy would be. A couple looked a little more unusual. One guy was wandering around in a very large and heavy looking fur coat. I don’t know what type of fur it was and I didn’t get a good shot of him because I didn’t want to look too obvious.
I may have lived in the US a long time but there are still plenty of things that catch me off guard. Dressing as cowboys is one of them. It is something that I don’t often think of as being a current thing. It feels like people dressing up rather than dressing as they always do for their lifestyle. It is no different to any other form of dress but it still catches me out. I was once in Las Vegas for some meetings and the hotel I was staying in had a lot of people there for a large rodeo competition. I was amazed by how similarly everyone was dressed. That is what happens with many styles of clothing but it did seem strange to me at the time. Anyway, here are some of the cowboys at their gathering.
A work visit to Dallas and I was meeting some colleagues for breakfast early one morning. Looking out of the window at the hotel and the view looked pretty dramatic. Everyone was heading to the window to get a picture. Making the best of avoiding a reflection from the window was pretty tricky but I managed to sneak a couple that minimized a view of the inside of the room. It only lasted a few minutes so the timing of getting there was lucky. A minute or two either way and I’d have been sitting at the table eating breakfast.
Founders’ Plaza sits at the northwest corner of DFW. It is just north of the UPS ramp. As the light was getting good just prior to disappearing in the evening, UPS had scheduled a couple of arrivals. The first of the two was a 747-8F. It landed on our side of the field and then taxied back towards us crossing the field at the north end. It then headed to the part of the ramp that lies east-west so was parked tail on to us.
A little time after it arrived, an MD-11 was due in. The later arrival meant the light was getting even better and the white fuselage was turning a nice shade of orange as the sun started to set. It taxied back up on our side of the airfield so was more head on as it came back. This made for a contrasty shot with the warm light on one side and deep shade on the other. They were a good way to round off a nice afternoon of shooting.
I took a walk by Bachman Lake next to Dallas Love Field as part of my weekend in the area. Clearly I was there because of the planes but there was a lot of bird activity over the lake. Given how this was right under the approach to the airport, I was surprised that they weren’t doing anything to deter the birds. Putting that aside, I was happy to see a lot of cormorants. I was surprised to see how they were hanging out together.
Cormorants tend to rest in larger groups. You might see them on pylons near the water or piles in the water in large groups providing some safety in numbers. However, they tend to go off hunting alone. I have seen the occasional pair of cormorants flying together but most of the time they are on their own. The Bachman Lake residents were very different. They were flying around in a large flock. They circled around the lake and then landed in a large group on the water. They would then take off together and fly around as a group again. I wonder if this is common in other areas.
Bachman Lake sits at one end of Dallas Love Field. Early one morning, I decided to see whether the trail alongside the lake made for a good spot to get some shots. The traffic at Love Field is heavily skewed towards Southwest 737s so I wasn’t expecting a lot of variety but instead wanted to see what angles I could get. It also would be nice to have a stroll along the lake in the morning light.
There are two runways at Love Field so you have a bit of a guess as to which one will be used at any one time but that is fine. The view across the lake as the jets come to the northerly runway provides a nice wider view of things. The near runway allows getting together front quarter shots or to go right underneath for a different perspective. While most arrivals were Southwest jets, I did see a couple of corporate jets while I was there so there was a bit of variety.
I headed to Alliance during my time in the Dallas area. There was a C-17 parked on the ramp a bit away from where I was. However, it was in nice light at the beginning of the day. Things improved a lot when I saw the beacons come on followed by the sound of engines cranking. It wasn’t too long before the jet taxied for departure. The Wright Patterson markings on the fin meant it was easy to see that this jet was from Dayton. I don’t know if that was where it was headed or whether it had stopped at Alliance en route to somewhere else.