Tag Archives: dreamliner

After Dark with ANA

Over the many posts on this blog, there have been a few that involve hoping for great light at the end of the day.  Some have been successful and others have not.  This is one of the latter.  An All Nippon Airways 787 was out on test from Paine Field.  It was due back shortly before sunset so the potential was there for some lovely light.  Unfortunately, the potential was also there for being slightly delayed and arrived after the sun had gone down.  This is exactly what happened.  I wasn’t going home, at this point, though.  Instead, I shot it in shady twilight conditions.  Assuming Boeing sorts out its issues, it won’t be long before the 787s are all gone so you have to enjoy the opportunity while it remains.

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!

Robbed Dreamliner

Dreamliner deliveries have been stalled for about a year now with a brief interlude of deliveries early last year.  They are stored all over the place including this American Airlines jet up at Paine Field.  I think it had a radome when it was built but, clearly someone needed one and the easiest one to hand was on this airframe. Now it sits awaiting a replacement and – hopefully – acceptance and delivery!

 

The Fourth 787 Struggling to Fly

Of the original 787 development airframes, three are now in museums and Boeing has one that it continues to use for test work.  It was the fourth of the jets and, I assume, the closest to a production standard.  It was recently out at Boeing Field for a flight.  It taxied by me to the end of the taxiway where it then waited for a very long time.  Some fire trucks were close by but not attending it – just watching as far as I could tell.  They called up to say that they would be there for a long time so the tower was diverting things around them.

Eventually they taxied back before finally getting whatever was the issue sorted out at which point the runway in use had changed.  They had to head to the other end of the field for departure.  This time they did take off and headed off for whatever testing they had planned.  Not sure of whatever it was that caused them so much trouble but I guess it got resolved.

Competitor Dreamliners

I took this shot at Haneda Airport in Tokyo.  The 787 has sold well with the Japanese carriers – my trip to Tokyo was on a JAL 787-8 and ANA was the launch operator – and with these two airlines competing strongly for the Japanese market, it seemed slightly appropriate that they should both be in this single shot.

Zipair

There is some rationalization underway in the Japanese airline business at the moment.  JAL and ANA are both taking control over smaller operations as a result of the difficulties that COVID has placed upon them.  However, even before COVID reared its ugly head, JAL had created a new subsidiary.  This is called Zipair.  I recently read that it is due to start operations soon which surprised me because I thought I had seen its planes before.  It turns out I saw one of their 787s as it was parked up at Narita when the flight I was on was taxiing in after landing.  I guess that airframe hasn’t had much use yet.

Uzbekistan Dreamliner Delivery

Rarity value of Boeing’s production jets is a nice feature of living here.  The 787 line is closing at Everett but there are still plenty of jets to be delivered as a result of some production quality issues.  An Uzbekistan Dreamliner was built last year and I saw its colorful livery on the flight line a while back.  It was finally lined up to depart recently so I decided to watch it go.  It had done some test flying in lovely light in the preceding days but I was unable to be there for that.

The conditions weren’t as nice as they had been previously but they were okay and it did mean that the heat haze which is a big deal at this time of year was not such a factor.  They were departing to the north so came out of the South Gate of the Boeing ramp and taxied to the south end of the field.  A long flight home means plenty of fuel but also no payload so a pretty early rotation.  Even so, managed to get some shots of a jet I am unlikely to see again.

Stored Dreamliners in the Early Days

Having seen the increasing number of 777s and 787s parked up at Everett (777X won’t be certificated for another year or two and the 787s have stopped delivery since October due to fuselage issues and are only now starting to be accepted again), it reminded me of the number of 787s that were stored in the early days due to the extended test program given how many issues there were with the jet.  (Does this all sound rather familiar?)

I didn’t live in the Pacific Northwest in those days but came up to Seattle for an ISAP symposium.  The field trip included time with the Heritage Flight Museum n Paine Field.  We were checking out the collection and also getting to see a few of the aircraft in action.  A few of the attendees had also paid to get flights in the planes as well.  We got to hang out on the ramp as well as on the berm which I understand was a popular spot in days gone by but is now out of bounds.

There were plenty of 787s parked around the field in those days.  To be honest, I can’t recall whether deliveries were underway and the numbers had thinned a bit but the earliest airframes were the most trouble and they might have been the ones still sitting around awaiting a long list of rectification issues and the potential that the original customer wouldn’t even take them.  These are some of the jets that I got shots of that day.

Inlet Vortex on a Rainy Day

Boeing was supposed to be making the first flight of the fourth 777X one Saturday, so I headed up to Paine Field to see it.  The weather was not great with low clouds and rain and it was below minima for the flight, so we didn’t get to see the 777X.  However, an American Airlines 787 was doing a test flight and it took off in the damp conditions.

As they powered up the jet, the moisture on the surface of the runway got sucked up in the vortex that forms between the inlet and the ground at high power and low forward speed.  A dull day makes it easier to see this as well, so I was able to get a few shots of it.  The lack of flying that day was a disappointment but this meant the days wasn’t a total bust.

Dreamliner Glider

Around the world you can find plenty of parked Boeing 787s at the moment.  Problems with the Rolls Royce Trent engines for this type mean that airlines have been pulling engines from various airframes in order to keep others flying.  ANA uses Rolls engines on their fleet and I saw this aircraft being pulled around a taxiway at Haneda.  Both engines were off making it look quite odd.  It will certainly be a lot lighter than before but, somehow, I think that isn’t going to make it more efficient!