I was hanging out at Arlington with my buddy Bob. A variety of aircraft were flying that day but the conditions were not ideal. We were there for something else but that is the topic for another post. We had gone to the north end of the field where a path crosses under the centerline. Some Eagle Flights were taking place that day and one of the planes providing them was a Cirrus SF50 Vision. It took off while we were up there so we got some head on shots of it. A grey jet on a cloudy day is not ideal so, rather than getting the regular side on shots, a head on view was actually a better outcome.
A G-III is going to be of interest but when it comes on a Sunday morning when the sun is out and conditions look nice, I am going to try and be there. This was the One Flight jet which I had seen before but I wasn’t going to pass it up because of that given how good the conditions were. I got there in time to see it land and it parked up on the ramp a little north of me although not easy to get a shot of. It wasn’t staying for long so I was able to catch it taxiing back out for departure and then taking off too. Not a bad result for a start to a Sunday morning.
I wanted to explore some parts of London that I haven’t been too much before so I headed east. Before I started getting my real exploration underway, though, I took a visit to London City Airport. I haven’t been there for years and things have changed a lot including the types that can access the airport. I had seen some photos from the airport but I wasn’t sure about the options for photographing there. I was also not timing it well with things being far busier in the early morning and late afternoon. Still, it was worth a visit.
I headed to the east of the airfield where a road bridge crosses the water. I was hoping that this would give a good view down the runway but the runway lights obscured things a little. An offset helped a bit. It also was a good location for some approach shots.
I then headed back towards the terminal and got some touchdown shots from alongside the runway as well as a few shots of jets taxiing out and departing. It was quite something to see the Embraer E190s climbing out so quickly. They got airborne very swiftly and climbed away like homesick angels. The majority of traffic was British Airways Cityflyer Express so not that much variety but a few bizjets came through too.
Later in the day,when crossing the Thames in the Cable Car, I got a good view down towards the runway. It would have been great if a jet had taken off while I was crossing but one took off just after I got back on the ground. As I walked to the Excel center, I saw a high level footbridge that looked like it might have a good alignment with the runway. I planned to check it out later but, having spent a long time with a friend and needing to get back, I completely forgot until it was too late. If anyone knows whether this spot works, please let me know.
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 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.