Tag Archives: Arlington Municipal Airport

Northwest Aviation Consortium Exercise

Last summer, Arlington Municipal Airport was the base of a multi-agency emergency preparedness exercise.  Police, county, military and EMS helicopter operators all came together to practice how they would manage major incidents should they occur in the region.  The prospect of a bunch of helicopter operators showing up in one place was too much to resist so I headed along to see what appeared.

Both King and Snohomish Counties participated, bringing their helicopters in to carry out multiple missions.  The US Navy showed up early on with an MH-60 from Whidbey Island and launched off on a mission but sadly didn’t come back afterwards.  A variety of other emergency medical operators were there with their airframes and there was a pretty regular trade in helicopters departing and returning.

The Snohomish County UH-1 undertook some work to practice lowering crews into remote spots (which I think might include rooftop insertions).  They lifted a platform on which the teams could stand and be carried into position.  They moved various groups of people around the airfield before lowering them to the ground and swapping out the individuals.  I imagine the view from that platform would be pretty impressive.

I stayed well out of the way of operations, but the teams were very friendly and happy to chat when they weren’t engaged in training.  However, with them operating multiple helicopters and having not been part of any briefing, it was clearly appropriate to keep some distance.  This meant the shots weren’t quite what I would have preferred but they were still fun to get.

Wandering Around an Avanti

The Avantis that had been operating at Paine Field have relocated their base to Arlington instead.  I think they are getting maintained there and so it is the new base of operations.  One of them arrived while I was up that way and it parked up on the main ramp.  I wandered out and chatted to the owner as he put the plane away for the evening and then, once he had gone, I continued to get some shots.  The airframe is a selection of interesting shapes so I was trying to find good ways to shoot it.

The fuselage shape tapers aggressively, there is the front wing, the main wing and the tailplane and then there are the engines and their props.  Lots to try and work with.  The engines are interesting in that the exhaust from the PT-6s blows right on to the roots of the props.  This heat must be a form of deicing but it also must require something of the blade construction to manage the heat.  There is some sign of the particles in the exhaust in the dirt patterns that form across the blade roots.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  The Avanti is an amazing looking aircraft.  The combination of cabin size and performance is unmatched by turboprops (and a lot of jets too).  I wish it was more successful.  Lots of people focus on its noise but that doesn’t bother me.  However, having looked at those props in more detail, I can’t help but wonder how much of that noise is from the exhaust interacting with the blades rather than just the blades themselves.

Molds for an Unlikely Airframe

I was up at Arlington airport to see some vintage planes one weekend and was a short distance away from the hangars that Eviation operates from.  This is where they built their Alice prototype.  A composite airframe, the Alice was molded on site by the look of things.  All I read suggests any production aircraft will be significantly different from the prototype so the molds are probably surplus at this point.

Whether that is the case or not, at least some of them appear to now be stored outside.  I took a few images of them because the shaping is quite interesting and the construction of the molds themselves is something I like to see.  Tooling for an airframe is not as elegant as the airframe it will produce and it needs to be rigid to allow it to produce what is needed.  Now it is no longer needed, I wonder what its future will be.

Gliding at Arlington

Arlington Municipal Airport has a steady stream of light aircraft activity, but it is also home to a gliding community.  At weekends, it is not unusual to see some Piper Pawnees tugging gliders into the air.  Depending on the suitability of the conditions, these might be some pretty short flights, or they might be up for quite a while.  I have been up there at various times when the gliders are operating off the grass next to the main runway.  Usually, I am there for something else, so the gliding photos are taken when the opportunity arises.  Here are some shots of the Pawnee tug planes and the gliders themselves.