Tag Archives: Airbus

GlobalX Has Interesting Passengers

GlobalX charter flights are pretty common in our area these days.  The company is expanding aggressively, and any charter work seems to be on the cards.  This one flight was a bit unusual – at least compared to what else I have seen then do.  The buses pulled up with the “passengers”.  However, instead of all walking up the steps, they went one at a time.  A closer look showed that their hands were in front of them – presumably in cuffs.  I’m not sure whether this was a criminal transfer or a deportation flight, but I suspect the latter.  I have seen plenty of DOJ flights into BFI but this was a first for me to see.

A400M Atlas Demo from RIAT 2019

I was working through some shots from my last trip to RIAT in 2019.  Amazingly enough, I hadn’t finished editing some of the shots from that visit and I wanted to get rid of a lot of surplus shots to help the old hard drive space issues!  As I was working through them, I got to some shots of the A400M displays I saw over the course of the weekend.  I think the A400M is a cracking looking jet.  Whether it is doing what everyone wanted of it, I have no idea.  I just know it looks great and is capable of some really impressive demos.

For some reason, I had been feeling very brave during RIAT when it came to shooting some of the props.  I had gone with quite low shutter speeds with long lenses and the results were not necessarily all I would have wanted.  There were always going to be blurry shots to get culled, but the number of sharp ones was a little lower than I would have liked.  However, all was not a total loss, and I did get a bunch of shots that I was happy with.

Here is a selection of shots from across the show including the official displays by the Airbus test crew and some of the operator aircraft too.  The weather for RIAT 2019 was not that great.  We did get some nice light occasionally but one of the days was very wet (and I was feeling crappy too) and the others were overcast a lot of the time.  Not the most exciting light for a grey painted plane but they had the potential for prop vortices.  Will I have big prints of these on the wall?  No, I don’t think so.  However, it was okay and there will be other times, I hope.

Last Good Paint on a Lufthansa A340

The A340 is a plane that keeps on going despite repeated claims it was done.  The 300 series jet is actually not as inefficient as it is popular to suggest (the 600 series is far less competitive) and it is still working for a few airlines including Lufthansa.  This winter the jet is back on the run to Seattle which has pleased me.  Most of the jets have been repainted in the new livery which is not that thrilling.  There are also Star Alliance liveried jets but there are one or two of them still in the older Lufthansa colors.  This is a better look from my point of view.

I did have one of them come in one weekend when the light was good and the wind was favorable for the shots I was after.  The landing shots were more of a struggle because the plane landed at noon and the lighting angles were not helpful.  Departure was mid afternoon and so this was slightly better.  They have been back occasionally since but not on days with a) good weather and b) me being available to be there.  I hope I get more chances before they finally head to the desert.

So, What Really Happened With This Jet?

Titan Airways provides jets for some high end tourist programs.  I have shot their older A321s before, but they recently took on an A321neo that had previously been used as a transport for the UK government.  On a flight, it had issues with windows that were not sealed, and the plane was not pressurizing properly with a load of noise.  When they investigated further, it turned out it had been used for filing work and the high intensity lights had damaged the window seals.

With the windows repaired and a test flight undertaken, it was back in service and its next trip was to Seattle.  I caught it landing at Boeing Field.  It arrived at the worst time of day for lighting but, with something unusual like this, I decided to make the best of it.  It turned out okay and I was quite pleased with the results, as was one of the pilots!

Beach Towel Aircraft

Condor has gone on a bit of a Marmite route with its livery.  They have decided to paint their aircraft with a striped paint scheme that looks like a beach towel.  When they first went this way, the A330s that came to Seattle were leased jets and they only painted the fins rather than the whole airframe.  They had ordered new A330-900s from Airbus, and these were delivered with the full paint job.  I took a while before I finally saw one of these come to SEA and it was the green one.  I still haven’t seen beige or blue!  I have heard comments that really show how much people dislike this choice.  For me it is such a nice change from the norm that I am really happy to see them.  Something different is fun.

Delta 321neos Abound

Delta has gone in for the A321neo in a big way.  They are taking delivery of them at a pretty steady pace.  That doesn’t mean you get them everywhere as some types get focused on regions that others don’t.  For a while, we didn’t see too many of the neo jets up this way but that seems to have changed now.  I am seeing loads of them if I am around SEA these days.  Here is a selection of shots of their jets that I have taken in recent months.

Frontier’s Weaselly Pun

Frontier Airlines names all of its planes and the names reflect the wildlife artwork on the fin.  One of their A321neos was taxiing out at Portland one morning.  It had some sort of weasel-like creature on the fin and the name of the plane was Kari the Fisher.  I certainly get the Star Wars reference but I had to look up Fishers to find out that they are a member of the weasel family.  I had never heard of them before.  Nice to think that my enthusiasm for aviation can be educational in other spheres!

AeroK – A New One for Me

A while back I got a notification of an A320 departing SEA heading to Korea from an airline called AeroK.  I didn’t have the chance to be there and wrote it off as a missed opportunity.  Then, earlier this year I got a similar notification on a weekend, so I was able to make the trip down to see this depart.  I hadn’t made the connection, but AeroK is Korea in reverse.  It is a low-cost carrier that only recently started operations.  I assume these were delivery flights for their new fleet since they won’t be operating to the US at this stage of their development.  It would be good to see more of the planes at some point.

Encounter With a Breeze A220

Since Breeze started service in the US, I have not had much of a chance to see its aircraft.  They don’t provide service to our part of the world yet.  I have seen some of the Embraer fleet it operates when those jets have come to Boeing Field.  This was of interest but slightly disappointing to me since the fleet is going to be made up of A220-300s and the Embraers were an interim fleet.  Of course, that might make them the most interesting jets in due course.  I did want to see the A220s, though.

I had to make a work trip to Orlando in October.  My flight arrived in MCO at midnight and, as we pulled on to the gate, I see a Breeze A220 parked next to us.  I got a shot of it with my phone but it was dark and the lighting from the terminal was definitely not good for the colors of the livery.  The fact that they used that gate, though, gave me cause for optimism when I was due to return.  I got to the airport with plenty of time and my flight was delayed.  Consequently, I was able to watch another Breeze A220 as it pulled in from its flight and, then again, when it departed.  The phone had to be the option again but I think it worked out okay – at least until I get a chance to get some more shots at some point in the future.

My First Polaris – Just In Time

The Royal Canadian Air Force will soon be getting new tanker transport aircraft.  They are going to buy some Airbus A330 MRTTs to replace their CC-150 Polaris jets.  These are based on the A310 and I have never seen one before.  Fortunately, there was one on static display at Abbotsford for the air show.  It was in the grey scheme rather than the brightly painted version but that was fine by me.  I was just glad to get one before they are replaced.  It would be good to see one flying but I suspect the chances of that are diminishing.  You never know, though.