You know the score with me and Avantis. One of the new additions to Paine Field for Lynk Air was due back in. I was off work as mum was visiting. Surely she would want to go and see an Avanti land? How could I refuse that. If I got a few shots of it in the process, we both win.
A bizjet with cool paint is always going to get my interest. In this case, the paint made it pretty easy to determine who the jet belonged to. If you know your sports equipment providers, you will recognize this logo as that of Puma. I guess the sports business is good and a G550 is a useful thing to have. Nike has a fleet of jets. Does Adidas?
Until recently, I had only got one good shot of a Hawker 4000. This was Hawker’s effort at a larger bizjet and it also made extensive use of composites. It originally came under the name Horizon and the development program was very long requiring a couple of extensions to the certification application because it was expiring. The plane did not sell well and it was discontinued. They are so rare, the first time I shot one, I didn’t even realize what it was and figured it was a Challenger 300. Aside from one high overhead, I hadn’t seen one since.
When I saw one was due in to Boeing Field on a Sunday, in figured that was worth a trip on its own. I didn’t have anything going on so I headed over. As it happened, there was plenty of interest at BFI that day so the trip was very productive. However, even if that hadn’t been the case, it would still have been worth it to catch this unusual and rare type.
This Challenger 604 taxied out at Boeing Field and I was slightly curious because it was in a grey paint job with a US flag on the fin. I didn’t think it was a government owned machine but maybe there was something interesting about it. When I got a good look at it, I could see that the airframe had some modifications. There were ventral fins and a fairing on the underside that looked like it might have been used for mounting something else which was now absent. A check on the registration shows it as registered to Boeing. They had a development program a while back to make a maritime patrol aircraft from the Challenger. Was this airframe part of that program originally? Where is it going now?
I do like shooting bizjets and they can provide a bit of variety amongst the regularity of the other aircraft around. However, there is one thing that can disappoint and that is the unimaginative way in which they are usually painted. Airlines have adopted the variations on white but the bizjets have been doing this for ages. Consequently, when one shows up that is not basically white, I am really pleased.
Black painted bizjets look so much more interesting. The engineer in my finds myself wondering how well they keep cool out in the sun on the ramp but, since I am not the customer, not a problem I need to worry about too much. Instead, I can just be pleased to shoot a jet that looks a little out of the ordinary.
One weekend I was casually looking at FlightRadar24 and saw a French registered aircraft on the ramp at Boeing Field. It didn’t show what it was but a quick search showed it was a Falcon 6X. This got me rather excited. Dassault had developed a large cabin twin jet called the Falcon 5X which used an engine called the Silvercrest from Safran. This engine had a lot of development issues and delayed the Falcon 5X a few times. Eventually, Dassault’s patience ran out and they cancelled the jet. They then commenced a new design based on the 5X with a new engine and the associated changes this required. This became the Falcon 6X.
The jet is in test at the moment. I am not sure how long it is before they expect it to be certificated but it shouldn’t be too long. My online search showed that they were running a world tour with the jet at a time which appeared to conclude around the time of the Farnborough show so it would, no doubt, provide some good publicity. The jet had come to Seattle from Van Nuys and it was to there where it was headed next.
I had no idea how long they were hanging around for but figured it was definitely worth a shot. I drove over to the field and, sure enough, there was the jet on the ramp at Signature near the main terminal. I wasn’t sure how long it would be before they headed off so, after getting some shots, I headed to the other side of the field assuming a departure would come. Sure enough, they taxied out. Unfortunately, they didn’t use the full length and went for an intersection take off. I decided that, since it was hot and the haze was not great, I would go with video instead. The result is below. They spooled up the engines for quite a while before releasing the brakes. I guess that is what you do when you have a development jet.
I have posted some Mitsubishi MU-2 encounters on this blog before and they have usually involved me complaining about the conditions never being very good for shooting them. Would you believe it but I have finally managed to come across one on a day when the sun was out. Sadly no puffy clouds in the background to make it look even better but, given how long I have waited to catch one in the sun, this counts as a result! Hurrah!
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.
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.
When I find out that a HondaJet is in the area, I do try to get a shot of it. It is such an unusual design, I am hoping to get a good shot of one. Sadly, two things seem to be conspiring against me. First, they all seem to have a variation on the same paint scheme. No doubt you can paint it how you like but they almost all seem to look similar. The second thing is that I always seem to get them in cloudy conditions. This doesn’t stop me trying though. I have even got one in a better livery but not with good light. However, these are the recent examples I have seen. Maybe I will get a shot of one that I am happy with at some point.