Touchdown of an airliner almost always results in a big cloud of smoke as the rubber burns off the tires when they spin up to speed after first contacting the runway. Lots of tires can mean even more smoke and the 20 main tires on an A380 should mean a lot of smoke. Less often noticed is that the same thing happens when the nose gear touches down. As I shot this A380 landing at LAX, I happened to catch the smoke from the nose gear as it hit the ground.
I had in mind to make a post about the London Eye a while back. This was going to be based on some old pictures I had taken when we lived and worked in London. Since then, we made a trip to the UK and ended up staying very close to the attraction. I remember when they were initially building it. The whole structure was laid out flat on the river and, only when it was complete, did they winch it up into the vertical position.
It was a huge hit when it opened and it remains so today. The opening of The Shard has provided a new location for people to get an elevated view of London but this hasn’t stopped the visitors lining up. While we were visiting, England was preparing for the start of the Rugby World Cup and the pods on the Eye had the flags of the competing nations applied to the undersides. This added some color to the structure.
Shortly before we left London, I headed out early in the morning to get some shots of the Eye. It was interesting to see the different shapes it offers depending on where you view it from. It wasn’t in use at the time so things were being readied for the day with some of the mechanisms being tested and the pods were stationery. I didn’t get a chance to shoot it at night which was a shame but that wasn’t why I was there. However, it was nice to see it again and to see that it is going strong, long after its original out of service date has passed. I hope it will remain a feature for a long time to come.
My Dad and Jan recently made a trip to Glasgow and while they were there, they took a trip out to Falkirk. They went to see a new sculpture called the Kelpies which I would certainly like to take a look at if I get back up that way. Google it in the mean time. They also went to see the Falkirk Wheel. This is something we saw a few years ago. We were visiting friends in Falkirk en route to a wedding of some other friends.
The wheel is a mechanism for raising boats between two levels of a canal. The canal is no longer in full operation but this section has been restored for visitors. Instead of a traditional lock system, the wheel has two elements that hold water and boats that are at opposing ends and counterbalance each other. The whole thing rotates to lift or lower boats from the lower basin to the upper basin.
You can take a boat ride on the lift if you have the time. We had a limited time there so we just watched it in operation. Not only is it a cool piece of engineering but it is also elegantly designed. Definitely one to see if you are close.
If you aren’t already bored with my quest for something definitive on the takeoff characteristics of the Boeing 777-300ER, here is something more on the topic. Rather than animation, this time it is a couple of still shots. The first is a 777-300ER rotating. The second is a 777F. You can clearly see that the truck is rigidly rotating on the 300ER while the freighter has all wheels firmly planted on the ground up into it gets airborne. Maybe I will call that it for now. I promise no more posts on this for a while!