This 182 showed up at Boeing Field during my day off. I was a bit far away from it but wasn’t going to pass up the chance to shoot something new and floats make a Cessna a bit more interesting than it might otherwise be. It didn’t hurt that a Q400 from SEA was climbing out in the background and showed up in a few of the frames.
There is something interesting about amphibious planes. Whenever I come across one, I am hoping I can get a shot of it. This one was parked up tight against the fence at Renton. Shooting through the fence with my normal camera is problematic with the wire strands always being in shot and hard to remove in post. The phone lens is a better bet in this situation. I stitched a few shots together to make something usable. I liked the star formation on the fin which led me to think this one might come from Alaska.
Back when we lived in Chicago, I went to Kenosha to photograph the Grumman Wildcat that had recently been lifted from Lake Michigan. While I was there, I also got to have a look around the hangar which housed the collection of Chuck Greenhill. His airworthy planes were stored in the hangar but it was also busy working on restorations of some Grumman amphibians.
His Duck was in the hangar and it was a great looking example. I was disappointed that I never got to see it fly. It looked immaculate. I understand it has been sold and is now in Texas. There were also two Mustangs parked in there. One of them, Geraldine, they claimed to be the most authentic Mustang example in the world. I don’t know how you would measure such things but they seemed very confident claiming this. It even included a full, working armament so you could head up and shoot someone down if you were so inclined.
The amphibian restorations were very interesting. Bare metal fuselages and the wings off while they were in work. It would have been good to make regular visits to see how things progressed but I was not able to go back again so couldn’t do that. Even so, pretty cool to see the workmanship on these airframes.
I found myself looking through some old photos (as I have done a lot in the last ten months) and came to the Clear Lake Splash In that takes place in California. I only made one trip up to this event and, while I was told that it was a quieter year than previous events, it was still a pretty cool thing to experience. Three Grumman Widgeons showed up at the event. The classic Grumman amphibian look was cool to see in action.
They landed on the lake and then dropped the undercarriage to allow them to power up the steel plate ramp that had been laid to provide access to the parking field. The three of them were parked together over near the trees. One went out to do some flying during the course of the day and then they all headed home when things wrapped up.
Watching something of this size transition from the water to the land was most impressive. Similarly, the trip back down the ramp and in to the water was cool to witness. The Widgeon sits pretty low in the water when it is not at speed but, once it is up on the step, it is a very different beast. Since they were operating parallel to the shore, it was possible for them to be quite close while they were at speed which was great.
There is no shortage of DHC Beavers in the PNW, even of the turbine variety. Plenty of them are on floats, too, so even that doesn’t make it particularly special. However, when you haven’t been able to shoot much aviation for a long time, one is a welcome sight. Even better when it switches to the closer runway when on approach.
How many different animals have I photographed in our backyard? In a time when we haven’t been able to travel to see much, having stuff come to us has been quite a benefit. This addition was a total surprise. I had taken the sun shade out from where it was stored beside the house and, when I put it up, I realized it was pretty grubby and needed a clean. I moved it to an open patch of grass and washed it down. When I got back to the table, I realized it had been housing a frog that had dropped on to the table when I opened the shade up. I grabbed the camera quickly before it disappeared. It actually hung around longer than I expected and I even tried to start focus stacking but it then got a little mobile and I gave up on that.
It leapt off the table and on to the grass where I got a couple more shots before letting it head off to wherever it felt like taking cover. The green and gold colors were really pretty vibrant. I am not a frog expert but I did Google it. I think there is a fair chance that it is a Pacific Tree Frog. Anyone know anything better?
When I photographed this amphibian, I thought it was a Goose or a Widgeon. It made a pass over Paine Field while I was waiting for the return of the Bf-109 so I grabbed some shots of it. It was only as I looked at the shots afterwards – particularly the engine installations – that I realized I didn’t know what it was. I looked up the registration as saw it was a Gweduck. This is the only example so far and it is based at Renton. I would love to see more of it – particularly if that can include some time on the water!
While on the terrace at Future of Flight, I saw a Goose parked up over near the FBO. I had mixed feelings since it was interesting that it was there but I was disappointed I didn’t know it had come in and had missed the arrival. You can imagine how happy I was to see it taxi out a short while later. It made a mid flight departure so was still reasonably low as it came past. The dark paint might have Ben a problem on a cloudy northwest day but we had sun so it showed up nicely. Only as I looked at the shots afterwards did I realize that it was a turboprop conversion rather than a piston-engined plane. Oh to see it on the water!
As Bombardier has decided to remove itself from a number of its legacy aviation programs, Viking Aerospace has been willing to step in. It acquired the rights for a number of legacy de Havilland Canada products first and put the DHC-6 Twin Otter back into production. Since then it has acquired the CL215/415 amphibious waterbomber program and very recently the Dash-8/Q400 program. It has its headquarters at Victoria International so, after getting off the ferry and having a spot of lunch, we swung by to have a look. They have a very nice, modern headquarters building which stands out amongst the other airport buildings.
I took a look on the ramp. Their demonstrator Twin Otter was parked up along with a couple of clean airframes that looked like they were destined for new customers. A CL-215 was parked a bit further out. I discovered shortly afterwards that this one is about to undergo an upgrade program. There were plenty of people going in and out of the offices but the ramp was sadly quiet. No movements while I was there although we had places to be so I didn’t hang around for long.
While waiting for a few vintage types to arrive at Paine Field for Skyfair the following day we got an interesting bonus. A Kodiak showed up on approach. Not only was it equipped with floats but it was also painted in a tiger stripe livery that was pretty striking. Not a type that might normally get too much attention but, fitted out like this, it certainly did.