Tag Archives: airliner

Puppy Spot SAAB

The Puppy Spot SAAB 340 is a regular visitor to the Pacific Northwest but I had never shot it.  As I was leaving SEA after the arrival facility trial, I saw that the SAAB was due in to Boeing Field in less than half an hour.  It is not far between the two places but arrival time was going to put the sun right on the nose.  No good options to shoot it – assuming the sun stayed out.  I headed for Ruby Chow Park and was there in time to get it arriving.  Light wasn’t great but I did finally check it off the list.  Not sure what the story with the name is but I think they transport puppies across the country.  Must be a lot of cash in the puppy business if air freighting them around the country is cost effective.

Views Of The Ramp At SEA

The new international arrivals facility at SEA includes a long walkway that overlooks the ramp between the A concourse and the South Satellite.  I was able to get a few shots as I wandered through there.  A Delta A220-100 was taxiing by when I got there and there was another shortly afterwards.  They are pretty common here these days.  Since A Concourse is heavily used by Delta, no surprise that a lot of their jets were present.  A few Southwest jets were over on B with some widebodies on the satellite.

Singapore Airlines Max Delivery

Singapore Airlines has been taking delivery of a bunch of 737 Max8 jets.  These were bought by the Silk Air subsidiary but, after the order was place, Singapore decided to integrate that subsidiary into the main airline.  Plenty of the aircraft had been painted before this decision was made and I guess Boeing’s price to repaint the jets was higher than the other options available so they were delivered in the old colors and then repainted after delivery.  However, more recent jets have been painted in Singapore’s colors from new.  737 deliveries usually happen from Boeing Field but, for some reason, this jet was delivered from Paine Field.  The sun popped out as it lined up to depart for Hawaii where it would stop en route.  Not often you get an airline flight between Paine Field and Hawaii!

Air France Tries Everything At SEA

Airlines seem to be consolidating their fleets these days with less and less types showing up.  I am sure that this is true for Air France too but, recent experience at SEA feels like the opposite.  We seem to have been the destination for a lot of the Air France long haul fleet.  We have had 777s coming in here for a while.  I imagine that they will be the ones we won’t see much of again but you should never bet on that.  The 777-300ERs are likely to be around for a while, even if the -200ERs go away.

Then we have had the A330s and the A350s.  I like the look of the A350 so was pleased to see them bringing that on this route.  I had wrongly assumed that, with the A350 being deployed here, that was going to be a regular feature.  Instead, we have now got 787s coming in.  I was north of the airport when I got to shoot a 787-9 lining up for approach.  When I have looked more recently, that is the jet showing on the schedule.  Who knows what we will get next?  I am pretty certain it won’t be the A380!

Shooting After Sunset

For a while, I had been thinking about trying to do some night photography of airliners.  I had seen some good shots people had got but SeaTac does not have a lot of ambient light to illuminate aircraft flying overhead.  It would be better if there was a large public space under the approach that would provide so brightness to work with.  I was down at SeaTac to pick up a colleague and knew I would be there as the sun went down so I decided to have a go at some shots.

I used the 70-200 f/2.8 to get as much light as possible.  The sun was going down so I was going through quite the transition of lighting conditions.  Some were just twilight while other were when things were getting quite dark.  The autofocus was also struggling since the center point was being used and the underside of the jet lacked much contrast in the dark.  I still got a few usable images.  The lack of light means they aren’t too great but it was fun to try something different.  Now to find a better location!

Battle Of The Alliances

The creation of the airline alliances has allowed airlines to serve a wider range of routes than they could sustain themselves.  Part of their obligation as a member of the alliance is to have some of their aircraft painted in alliance colors.  Sadly, these liveries are not that exciting but I suppose it is some variety.  I was quite surprised to get an Air France 777-300ER in SkyTeam colors vacating the runway at the same time a United 777-200ER in Star Alliance colors was taxiing the opposite direction.  I felt like the scene for a stand off but no such thing occurred.

New Bradley Midfield Terminal

When I was last at LAX, there was plenty of construction underway in the middle of the field.  The Bradley International Terminal was being expanded to accommodate the growth that had taken place.  This was all pre-pandemic of course.  On this visit, it looked like everything was complete.  The new midfield terminal area was looking finished and there were aircraft on the gates including a China Southern A380.  With that fleet due for retirement, that might be my last chance to see one.  Not sure whether I will get to use the terminal or not but it looked good.

Is This Airline Really British?

I got another new freighter while at LAX although not a great shot of it.  Cargologic has a pair of 747-400Fs in service.  The threshold for the south runways is a long way east of Imperial Hill so it is easy for freighters to stop and turn off before they get past all of he buildings that are in the way.  Consequently, I didn’t get a clear shot of this jet.  At the time I took this, a bunch of restrictions had been imposed on Russian operators as a result of the invasion of Ukraine.  Cargologic is a British registered airline so was not restricted.  Its ownership traces back to Volga Dnepr which is restricted.  Not sure the distinction is a real one but, at the time, it was enough to allow them to keep operating.  I suspect the UK government is not going to look too hard.

Alaska Max Jets On Test

I got a couple of Alaska Max jets on test on the same day recently.  One was still unpainted but the colors were on the rudder and winglets so it was easy to see where it was going.  The other jet was already fully painted and probably close to delivery.  With me now traveling a little bit more and that travel being with Alaska, maybe I shall get to travel on one before too long.  We shall see…

Night Touchdown

I posted about some night photography I tried on jets approaching SeaTac.  After finishing that up I was heading to the terminal to pick up my colleague and I decided to go for a shot of touchdown in the dark.  This was not going to be an easy one to get since it is really pretty dark at the north end of the airport so little ambient light.  I was relying on the lights of the jet and pushing the ISO to a really high level.  It is true that the noise gets really tough in those conditions but when looking at the image at a normal size, it really is not a big deal.  Besides, it is a shot we would never have done in pre-digital days.