Category Archives: civil

Inside the JetStars

I have posted about the JetStars that were stored at Klamath Falls.  There were three airframes that we got a chance to check out.  We were given a great opportunity because they also opened up the jets so we could look around inside.  It was fun poking around inside what was once the premier form of executive transport.  It was also interesting to see the difference in the configurations with things like the throttle quadrants looking very different between the jets.

They are being broken down for the key parts that still have value so most of this stuff will either be sold or scrapped but here are some views of the interiors of these three elegant jets.

What Is The Story With This Reverser?

I was scanning through some photos from my travels to Oregon with Mark and came across some photos of a United Airlines 737-700 landing at PDX.  It was braking and had the reversers deployed.  Looking at the shots, there is a dark burn mark on the engine nacelle that is split either side of the join in the reverser.  It looks like something has been cooked a little.  Anyone with experience that can suggest what has been going on with this engine?

JetStars In Their Last Resting Place

If you don’t know I like JetStars, you have not been a regular reader of this blog.  If that is the case, I have a real soft spot for this jet.  The original business jet and a plane that looks so cool even decades after it first flew.  If you did know, my apologies for being so repetitive.  On the evening that Mark and I arrived in Klamath Falls, I saw a post on the JetStar Facebook group about some JetStars in the city.  A Brit, Kev Perry, had posted some shots of them.  I decided to contact him, and he gave me some good information about where they were and the team that looked after them.

The next morning found me and Mark at their front door asking if we might come in.  The team couldn’t have been more accommodating.  Two of the jets were parked up on the ramp in the morning sun looking fantastic.  They let us take any shots we wanted.  They also told us about a third jet that they had in their hangar so it would have been rude to not wander across and take a look.  Photographing a jet in the hangar is not as cool as in the morning sun but three JetStars in a morning is not something to miss.

DC-7s Retired To The Sun

Erickson currently flies a bunch of MD-87s are firefighting jets.  However, these are a relatively recent addition to the service and they have replaced Douglas DC-7s.  The DC-7s were still in service when I first made a visit to Madras in 2015 but they have now been retired.  However, three of the airframes are stored on the ramp at Madras and we took a look around to see how they were fairing.

They looked in great condition.  The dry atmosphere at Madras is good for storing aircraft.  Some engines have been removed but the three jets are in the most recent paint finish and parked in a line.  They make for an interesting subject.  I have no idea how far from airworthy they are should anyone want to get any of them flying again (aside from the engines that have been removed) but they look like they have been taken care of.  I would have loved to have seen one airborne but sadly, that time has passed.

The Plane Almost No One Wanted

When Boeing launched the 737NG family, the original models were very similar in size to the previous generation of 737s.  However, there was pressure for more capacity so they added a new model to the family with the 737-900.  A few were sold but it was not a capable enough aircraft and hardly anyone bought any.  Instead, Boeing had to redesign the aircraft with some more capacity after redesigning the rear bulkhead and some more range resulting in the 737-900ER.  This has sold considerably better.  There are still a few -900s around though and Alaska has a few.  They are very early jets and they are not worth the investment for adding winglets so they are some of the few NG generation jets to still have wings with the original wingtips.  Here is one of them arriving at Paine Field.

Did You Know SeaBees Can Reverse?

I was up at Arlington when the Croman helicopters guys were in town.  One of the local aircraft is a Seabee.  It had pulled up on the ramp next to the S-61 – presumably so they could have a look at the visitor.  When they were done, they taxied off.  I figured I would shoot a little video of them pulling away.  What I hadn’t considered was that they would reverse off the ramp.  They backed away before adding some power to taxi north in the normal fashion.  Here is some video of them.

Newly Arrived Dak

I heard that a DC-3 had arrived at Arlington.  It was a plane that had been with Air Atlantique in the UK for many years and was familiar to a friend of mine that had worked there a while back.  I am not sure if I had seen it in the UK or not but had definitely seen shots of it.  It came in during the week and was parked on the ramp at Arlington over the holiday weekend.  Unfortunately, the weather was not great.  However, with nothing much else to do, I figured I would head up and see it.

The rain was pouring down as I left home but it was actually drier and even with a hint of light up in Arlington when I arrived.  Even so, the conditions were not great.  However, the clouds, while plentiful, did seem to provide some interest to the sky.  Consequently, I went with HDR to try and make the best of the conditions.

I am not sure what the plans are for the plane and whether it will remain in its old RAF colors as a Dakota rather than a DC-3 or C-47.  We shall see.  Hopefully it stays in the area and I’ll get to see it flying.

G-Force One Returns

G-Force One is a cool 727 that is operated providing zero g experience to people who are willing to pay.  It shows up at Seattle periodically, presumably because one of the tech companies is giving rides to some employees (but maybe it is just a rich person chartering it themselves).  Zero G is the company although the plane is operated on their behalf by Kalitta Charters.  I have had mixed luck shooting this plane but I did okay on this visit.  I got it arriving and heading out on a flight.  I missed the return and was actually driving along I-5 south alongside Boeing Field as it departed back to Long Beach.  Not the perfect combination but at least I got a few good shots of it this time.

Alaska Doesn’t Want These Guys

Alaska Airlines likes to advertise that it is “Proudly All Boeing”.  It isn’t of course.  The Q400s and E175s are definitely not Boeing jets.  When they bought Virgin America, they acquired a large fleet of Airbus jets too.  These are not going to be part of the fleet for long, though.  Alaska has made it clear that they are going away.  The A319s are apparently too small so are the first in line for replacement.  Go to Paine Field and you will come across a bunch of Alaska painted A319s bagged up and awaiting their future.  A319s are generally smaller than airlines want these days – it is not that long ago that the A319 was more popular than the A320 but that is no longer the case.  I wonder where these will go next.

Basler BT-67

Making a cross country flight from Wisconsin to Washington is a long enough trip but it is even longer if you are in something that isn’t too speedy.  A DC-3 is not something that is going to cover the ground that fast.  It will be a bit quicker if it has been re-engined with a turboprop but, even then, it is going to be a long trip.  I think it was the best part of eight hours to make the journey and then overnight at Seattle before continuing on to Alaska the next day.

The arrival of the BT-67 certainly got the attention of a few local photographers.  Sadly, things got a bit cloudy just as it arrived so the conditions were not ideal.  It was still cool to get a shot, of course.  Fortunately, they had parked near the Museum of Flight so I was able to get a few shots of them parked up.  The crew were just closing up so the gate to the ramp was open for them and a kind security guard allowed me to shoot past him without having to deal with the fence.