I have posted a few shots of preserved aircraft at Kemble, but Cotswold Airport is the end of the line for a lot of planes in a far less graceful way. It is the base for disassembly of airframes that have reached the end of their operational lives. A jet doesn’t have to be that old to have greater value in its parts than as an operational aircraft. If a major check is coming up and it isn’t worth that much post check, it might be worth it to the owner to have it broken down for spares. As airframes get older, this decision is more obvious.
Kemble is the location where a lot of this happens. From the airfield or from the road that passes by, you can see a line up of aircraft that are unlikely to ever fly again. They will be progressively stripped of their most valuable parts. They may hang around like this for a long time with bits being gradually taken off as they are demanded by other operators. Eventually, there will be little left of value and the scrap metal will become the most valuable thing that they have to offer. Then they will be cut up. It is a safe process for an aviation enthusiast but a normal part of the life cycle of an aircraft. If you are in the area, head by to see what is there.
Plenty of the houses in Longparish are thatched. One of them has a roof line that drops very low to the ground on one side of the house with the door and windows on the other side. That must be the side that gets more light. The back side of the house seems to be very shaded with the result that there is a lot of growth on the roof. It was covered in various lichens/mosses. I wonder whether they degrade the thatch or actually provide an additional layer of insulation.
I was at SEA early one Sunday morning to try and catch a shot of Salmon Thirty Salmon before it was repainted. Northern Air Cargo also departs at a similar time of day as part of its loop between Hawaii, Seattle, Los Angeles and back to Hawaii. I assume one of the regular jets was in maintenance because they had chartered in some capacity from StratAir. I was not familiar with this operator but I was happy to catch a 767 in new colors for me.
When it comes to classic American cars, I know next to nothing. I didn’t grow up with them and I haven’t studied them since so put me in amongst a bunch of these cars as was the case for the Exotics@RTC Classics event and I will just focus on what I think looks cool. These cars could be the rarest of items or the thing you could see at any local car meet and I wouldn’t be any the wiser. The only clue to me that they could be a significant vehicle would be that a huge crowd of people was hanging around them.
The Classics Day certainly did bring out any number of cool looking old vehicles. To be honest, some of them don’t even look that great to my eye but they are of an era and show where car design was at that time. They might be chunky and huge but that was what cars were like back then. Others have some more interesting styling features like the fins I mention in the title to this post. That is something that I would previously have found rather crass but, as the time has passed, it is now more of a cool styling cue.
I know quite a few people that are petrol heads that will recognize these vehicles and possibly their years. The only way I would identify them was if the name was written on the side – which it usually is – or if the owner has a sheet in the window with details of the vehicle and its history. That will be plenty for me anyway. Hope some of these chunky or swoopy shapes appeal to you.
It’s been a while since I posted some images of Marine Corps Hornets having issues starting up to depart from Boeing Field after a weekend visiting for training. I didn’t include any images in there of them actually taking off. I got a reasonable spot to try and see them take offs even though the weather was not really great. I was surprised at just how quickly the jets got airborne. They were already quite high by the time that they came by me. I was still able to get some reasonable shots of them. Fast jets are always a nice change to the usual Boeing Field traffic.
Despite it having been built at the end of the 90s when I was still living in the UK and working in London, I have had surprisingly few times when I have seen the O2 Arena (or the Millennium Dome as it was known back then). I didn’t head out to Docklands very often and one of my few close encounters with it was on a party on a boat that went down the Thames but, since that was a work thing, I was more engaged in conversation than looking outside. I have seen it from planes approaching Heathrow occasionally but that is about it.
When I made me trek out to the east end of London and walked along the river back to Greenwich, I came right up to the arena. From the riverside, you actually don’t have a good opportunity to see it clearly because you are too close to it. It was possible to see some of the supporting cables but, since it is right up against the river, you lack an overall view. However, I was taking the cable car across the river to get to ExCel and the elevated view this gives provided me with a far better look at the structure.
Looking through the windows of the gondola is not ideal for getting pictures and I was struggling to avoid reflections and not always succeeding. Despite that, it was the best angle I was going to get so I took a bunch of shots. The closest locations still had the dome obscured by the new buildings that have gone up in front of it but, as I got further across the river, the dome came more fully into view.
I was down at Fort Casey on Whidbey Island one sunny afternoon. I had been to Ault Field first thing in the morning and some of the shots from then will make it on here at some point. I was down near Coupeville awaiting some FCLP training but, since I had time on my hands, I was wandering down near the shore. The wind must have changed because some planes from Ault Field were coming down our way as part of their patterns. One was a P-8 – the latest that the Navy has for maritime patrol – while the other was a P-3 – the type that the P-8 has almost completely replaced in service. It seemed quite appropriate to have both of them working overhead at the same time.
As you walk along the banks of the Avon heading towards the gorge, you are outside the locks that keep the water level up in the docks and in the tidal area. This used to be a popular location for boat to unload passengers and there are a number a jetties that have been built there. However, the traffic for these locations dried up a long time ago and they have fallen into disrepair over the years. The larger timber members are more resilient so you end up with these skeletal structures that are gradually collapsing. I wonder how many more years they shall survive or whether they will be deemed too dangerous and taken down before they can collapse.
Widebody jets coming into SEA are hard to predict. If possible, all arriving traffic is sent to the outer runway to allow departures to proceed from the inner runway with little disruption. However, if there is a lot of arriving traffic, the wake turbulence requirements for spacing behind a heavy jet can slow the arrivals flow. In this case, sending the jets the inner runway is more efficient. You never know what it will be until the plane is lined up on approach and you can see whether it is offset from the normal paths or not.
I wasn’t terribly bothered by this American Airlines 777-200ER when it came in as it is a daily arrival from London, and I have shot it on previous occasions. However, since I was in a location almost on the centerline of its approach, I decided to go for more of a head on shot and then an underside shot. If this was something I hadn’t shot before, I would be aiming to get the side of the plane in shot to show whatever it was but, in this case, no harm in playing around with different angles.
The plants in our backyard attract a lot of insects and we get plenty of bees hanging out on sunny days. One of our hanging baskets gets a reasonable amount of attention but not a lot. However, one bee showed up on a Sunday afternoon and got our attention. First, it stayed on the basket for ages climbing over the same flowers repeatedly unlike the usual bee behavior or constantly moving from flower to flower. The other reason for our attention was the size of the thing. It was huge compared to our average bees. I wonder if it got so large by removing every morsel of nutrient from each flower!