Tag Archives: video

F-35A Departure And Arrival

Over the course of the Seafair weekend, I got to see the demo F-35A arrive and depart a few times.  The demo pilot would get airborne and keep the jet on the deck in full burner building up a decent amount of speed.  Then, she would pull to a steep climb just as she got to the perimeter of the field.  This looked pretty impressive from the side but it was even more impressive from head on.

The return to land after the display was a lot more sedate.  It was a pretty standard pattern and approach but there were plenty of people at the south end to enjoy the last moments of the flight.  I headed down there a couple of times.  You could easily do both departure and approach since you had the whole time that the display was underway to re-position.  I did all go to Ruby Chow Park from one departure and shot video rather than stills.  Seeing the F-35 come right at us and then pull hard was impressive.  The noise was intense and the wake threw dust and debris into the air around us.  It made an impression!

Slotting A Large Ferry In A Narrow Space

The car ferry terminus at Portsmouth has moved locations over the years.  The current Gunwharf location is tucked in quite a tight spot and the ferries are getting ever larger.  It requires some skill to get a boat that big in to the berth frequently and quickly.  I had multiple opportunities to watch them do this when in Portsmouth and when waiting to board so I got stills and video.  A little video of them working is below.

We also were close to the terminus when we had our lunch on Spice Island.  The ferries actually come around Spice Island and in to dock and the view along the shore looks almost continuous so, when the ferry goes in or comes out, it looks like it is emerging from the land.  For some reason, I don’t tire of watching this happen.

Ducks Fighting The Current

The River Itchen runs through the center of Winchester and, just downstream of the old mill building, the water is very shallow.  The river bed provides a good location for a lot of weed to grow and the ducks seemed to enjoy feeding on this weed.  However, it did require a fair amount of effort on their parts as the current was flowing fast in the shallow areas.  It was fun watching them either paddling furiously or bracing against the river bed while dipping their heads under water to feed.  The water would sometimes roll up across their backs while they fought to stay in place.  After watching this for a while, guess what I chose to have for dinner!

Airliner Vapor In To SEA

If you were to ask people what characteristic Seattle would be known for, I suspect a fair few people would tell you it is rain.  It is true that we have damp winters here but summers (while a little late in starting) are actually rather dry.  However, we can still have some humid conditions which can be good for forming vapor and, if you watch the jets heading in to SEA, you will often see vortices streaming off the flaps and the occasional puffs of moisture above the wings.

Occasionally, the conditions are just right and you get a lot more vapor.  Better still, if this happens in sunny conditions and the planes are slightly backlit, you can get some lovely rainbow effects showing up.  I got lucky with one such day.  Asiana had an A350 coming in at this time so I was treated to some interesting effects.  A Lufthansa 747 and CargoLogic 777F also arrived but I decided to go with video on those to show off the fleeting nature of the vapor is it formed and dissipated.

English Day at Exotics@RTC

I didn’t get to Exotics@RTC this year as much as I would have liked.  Sometimes the weather conspired against them and sometimes I couldn’t make it anyway.  I did mange to make some of the special days, though, and one of these was the English Day.  This tends to have more of a vintage feel to it than some of the other special days.  Yes, there are plenty of McLarens and Aston Martins but a lot of older stuff to mix it up a bit.

You get the Bentleys and Rolls (not sure how well they qualify as English anymore) and there are Jags all over the place but there are plenty of less common types and definitely a few of the ones that probably keep mechanics busy.  You have no idea how many jokes about Lucas electrical systems you can hear in the space of an hour.  Aside from these shots, I also took a little video to share with my sister on the day and have edited that down a bit to include below.

Watercress Line

The UK has a large selection of preserved railways.  The cuts in the second half of the twentieth century that closed many branch lines provided opportunities for the preservation movement to get going and the result is a lot of lines that you can visit and ride on.  They are usually very well run operations.  The Watercress Line runs from Alresford to Alton in Hampshire.  We wandered past the station in Alresford when we were visiting with some friends there but it wasn’t operating that day.

However, since we were nearby and staying for a long time, I did take the opportunity to nip back out at some point to see the trains in action.  I got to see one of the services departing from the terminus at Alresford but, I was a little thwarted on that occasion because the locomotive was billowing steam forwards and almost totally obscuring the view of it from the bridge I was on.

I also stopped off at an intermediate station which had a passing location which allowed trains operating in opposite directions to pass each other and continue on their way.  A steam locomotive is quite an impressive thing to watch as it works and a little video does a better job of conveying the impression than stills.  Neither will give you the full sensation, though.  The smell and the feel if it passing beneath you is hard to replicate.

Our schedule was pretty full and didn’t leave time for playing with train rides but it might be fun to have a ride on this line or another like it when we are next in the area.  I’m sure it would be quite fun.  However, watching one of these old things at work seems better from the outside than the inside.  (The line does run along a ridge that parallels the main road and I would like to go back at some point to try and get some shots of this location too.)

 

The Motion Of A Caterpillar

I have recently come across a couple of caterpillars during my wanderings.  One of them was in the parking lot at work while another was out on a trail.  Caterpillars are strange creatures because they only have a few “legs” which are bunch up together with one other at the other end of the body.  No doubt, a specialist would be cringing right now at the inadequacy of my description.  The result is that the motion of the body is quite complex.  Video is the best way to demonstrate this so I used the phone to get some footage including when the sun angle really helped to emphasize the complexity of the movement.

Handbrake Turn In A Ferry

When you look at something like a ferry that can hold 180 cars and a thousand passengers, you don’t immediately think of agility and maneuverability.  However, the Wightlink ferries that run between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight have surprising capabilities.  The entry to Portsmouth Harbour is followed by a rapid change of direction to get to the terminal at Gunwharf.  From the Spinnaker Tower, you get a great view of how rapidly the ferry can be thrown around.  The St Clare is a bi-directional ship so it doesn’t back in like Victoria of Wight.  Instead, it looks like it is doing a handbrake turn.  The wake ends up almost combing out of the side of the boat!

The Tehachapi Loop

When I first started planning to trip to the Mojave Desert for the Edwards AFB show, a friend of mine in the Midwest was also planning on being there.  He said he was also going to visit the Tehachapi Loop.  I was vaguely aware of it but decided to look it up.  While he ended up not making the trip, I took some time on my last day to go across to see the loop for myself.  The Tehachapi Pass is a steep climb for a train to make and, in order for it to climb sufficiently in one section, the engineers that laid out the alignment put in a special configuration.

The trains make a 360 degree climbing turn and, given the length of the trains, the leading part of the train will pass over the top of the back end of the train as it climbs.  It is quite something to have a long train twisting around on itself as it climbs the grade.  Of course, descending is the reverse but that is less dramatic because the train is braking whereas the climbing trains are working flat out to make it up the hill.  The sounds of the locomotives at high power reaches you long before they come in to sight.

When I got there, I had no idea whether I would see a train or not.  I had plenty of time but I didn’t know whether the trains were regular on a Sunday.  Fortunately, it wasn’t long before a train came into the loop heading down the hill.  I watched it negotiate the curves and the parts of the train appear and disappear.  The interesting news was, as it got a little further down the hill, it stopped.  This looked promising in that it was probably holding for a train coming up the other way.  Sure enough, it wasn’t long before the sounds of multiple locos pulling hard came up the slope.

There were four locos on the front of the train dragging their load towards the summit of the pass.  The cars were stretched out behind them down the grade and, at the back (long after the lead locos had gone), another pair of locos were bringing up the rear.  With the train safely by, I decided I wouldn’t hang around to see if there was more traffic.  I had a drive back to the airport to do and didn’t need to wait around just in case.

Salmon Climbing The Ladder

The salmon that come through the locks in Ballard come in three waves according to the park rangers.  There are three types of salmon and each type comes at a slightly different time of year.  (I’m sure the sales like this so they get three feeding times!). Within the fish ladder, they have a viewing gallery which allows you to see the fish as they loiter for a while before surging up the next step in the ladder against the flowing water.

It is quite impressive to see how fast they can go when they make an effort.  They swim gently against the current in the viewing area waiting for a time that seems appropriate to them.  Then they align themselves with the inlet port through which the water is rushing.  This needs a dose of acceleration to avoid being pushed back into the gallery and then, once they are stabilized, a surge of effort and they zip up the port.  Photos don’t do it much justice but video is a better medium.  The reflections off the glass are not ideal but you will get the idea.