While the 787-10 was never built at Everett, there have been a few that have come here for completion before delivery to their airlines. One such jet was for Saudia or Saudi Arabians Airlines. It was painted in a scheme that was a close resemblance to their livery from the 80s and 90s. I had thought that it was a retro effort on their part, but I have since heard that this might actually be the livery for the fleet going forwards.
Whether that is the case or not, I did take me back to a shot I got in 1988. I was working for the CAA in the UK on noise measuring duties and got to spend a week inside the fence at Heathrow taking readings of departing aircraft. One of these was a 747-300 of Saudia. I had my camera with me that week and was able to get photos between taking readings. I thought it might be interesting to compare the old Saudia livery with the newer version.
I had been talking with some friends at Boeing Field about the Kalitta 727s that we had seen recently and we got on to the subject of winglets on the 727 and that the jets we had seen didn’t have them. Little would I know that I would address this a short while later. Kalitta Charters II was bringing another 727 in to Paine Field on a weekend evening and it was a different airframe to the ones I had photographed to that point.
It was also fitted with winglets! I am not sure how good the winglet design is on the 727. It looks like a pretty basic design and doesn’t seem to be very well integrated in the way that later winglet designs are. However, it must provide some benefit because they have sold a fair few of them. I clearly made the trip up to Everett to catch its arrival and I wasn’t alone. One more 727 in a time when they are not very abundant and a different configuration to boot.
The end of production of Boeing 787s at Everett meant that there was no longer a need for the Dreamlifter operations to support Dreamliner production. However, while the Dreamlifter base has closed, there are still some production activities at Everett on the 767/KC-46 line that require large structures to be delivered and the Dreamlifters are used for this sometimes. I understand at least one of them is currently stored, but the others are active.
I only rarely find myself at Everett when the Dreamlifter is there, but it has happened a few times over the last few months. Here are a few of the shots I have got since these things became a little bit rarer up this way.
Getting a British Airways 777-200ER arriving at SEA would not normally be a priority unless the light was great and I was going to get Mt Rainier in the background. If the weather was cloudy and it was arriving from the north, might not seem to be that much of a deal. However, if it is being flown by someone I know, that is a different story. My friend, Paul, was the skipper on this flight and I was meeting him to have some time around Seattle before he headed home the following day.
The clouds were a shame but the light wasn’t totally bad. I figured it would need a bit of work in post to try and make the best of the shots but the lack of heat haze did help a bit. I was able to grab a few shots of the jet as it came down the approach and then as it was over the threshold prior to touchdown. Not the greatest shots Paul will have of him flying but, hopefully there are not too bad.
I had taken a day off to go to Coupeville earlier this year. Since I was heading to Whidbey Island for the day, I went to Ault Field at the beginning of the day to see if there was any traffic. I went to Moran Beach to see if anything was coming in when the light is still favorable in that location. I actually got pretty lucky. There were a bunch of Growlers already up and about and they were recovering before I had to move off. Some squadron jets including some in special schemes were coming in. Recovering overhead me while others were on the approach, it felt pretty busy. Here are some of the shots from that morning.
The arrival just before sunset of a Kalitta 727 was the subject of a recent post. It departed later that evening, but it was very dark by then and I didn’t hang around. It wasn’t long before the jet was back again and this time it arrived a little earlier in the day. That meant that there was a chance that they would depart before sunset. That was something I was willing to take a chance on. In the later evening, it is a quick jaunt to Paine Field from home. Sure enough, they obliged by being prompt. I had barely got there when the jet taxied. The light was very nice, and they were flowing to the north so I was able to get a few shots, hop in the car and be home so fast that Nancy thought I must have blown off the idea altogether!
I was at SEA early one Sunday morning to try and catch a shot of Salmon Thirty Salmon before it was repainted. Northern Air Cargo also departs at a similar time of day as part of its loop between Hawaii, Seattle, Los Angeles and back to Hawaii. I assume one of the regular jets was in maintenance because they had chartered in some capacity from StratAir. I was not familiar with this operator but I was happy to catch a 767 in new colors for me.
It’s been a while since I posted some images of Marine Corps Hornets having issues starting up to depart from Boeing Field after a weekend visiting for training. I didn’t include any images in there of them actually taking off. I got a reasonable spot to try and see them take offs even though the weather was not really great. I was surprised at just how quickly the jets got airborne. They were already quite high by the time that they came by me. I was still able to get some reasonable shots of them. Fast jets are always a nice change to the usual Boeing Field traffic.
I was down at Fort Casey on Whidbey Island one sunny afternoon. I had been to Ault Field first thing in the morning and some of the shots from then will make it on here at some point. I was down near Coupeville awaiting some FCLP training but, since I had time on my hands, I was wandering down near the shore. The wind must have changed because some planes from Ault Field were coming down our way as part of their patterns. One was a P-8 – the latest that the Navy has for maritime patrol – while the other was a P-3 – the type that the P-8 has almost completely replaced in service. It seemed quite appropriate to have both of them working overhead at the same time.
Widebody jets coming into SEA are hard to predict. If possible, all arriving traffic is sent to the outer runway to allow departures to proceed from the inner runway with little disruption. However, if there is a lot of arriving traffic, the wake turbulence requirements for spacing behind a heavy jet can slow the arrivals flow. In this case, sending the jets the inner runway is more efficient. You never know what it will be until the plane is lined up on approach and you can see whether it is offset from the normal paths or not.
I wasn’t terribly bothered by this American Airlines 777-200ER when it came in as it is a daily arrival from London, and I have shot it on previous occasions. However, since I was in a location almost on the centerline of its approach, I decided to go for more of a head on shot and then an underside shot. If this was something I hadn’t shot before, I would be aiming to get the side of the plane in shot to show whatever it was but, in this case, no harm in playing around with different angles.