When Horizon was still flying the Q400s, they painted a bunch of them in the colors of Pacific Northwest universities. The Q400s have gone and the Embraer E175-E1s are now the only aircraft flown by Horizon. Thankfully, they have decided to continue the practice. While we were away, I saw that a jet had been painted in Washington State colors with “Go Cougs” written in the fuselage. I was disappointed to have missed its arrival but it wasn’t long before it was scheduled for an evening arrivals in to Paine Field.
It was a Sunday and we had been up in Skagit County and I didn’t know whether our return would be in time (or if I was going to have to suggest a diversion on our way home to Nancy). As it was, we got home in good time and I had a while before I headed back out. With the seasons turning in the direction of autumn, the light is getting nicer and it was ideal conditions when the jet came down the approach. I could have waited for the departure but I had what I wanted and there was still dinner to think about so I headed home again.
The end of the Q400 operations at Horizon meant the departure of their special paint scheme with a retro livery. However, it wasn’t long before a new Embraer E175-E1 was delivered in the same scheme. I ended up coming across it a few times quite quickly after it was introduced and have seen it a bunch of times since. I think it looks pretty good in the old colors and we’ll have it looking like that for quite some time. I did catch it in some murkier conditions as it departed Paine Field one evening but it turned out to suit the livery quite well and I was pleased with the way that the shots turned out.
The Alaska Airlines fleet is undergoing a transformation. Part of that was the removal of the Q400 from Horizon’s fleet with the Embraers becoming their only platform. Suddenly getting shots of the aircraft seemed a lot more interesting. I did manage to get the retro livery special one more time as it took off one evening. As it headed into the sunset, it seemed far too on the nose for their retirement. A few weeks later, they were gone.
Alaska Air is going through a re-fleeting process in the near future. They are consolidating types in service with some aircraft disappearing. The Airbus fleet is on the way out which is no great surprise to anyone. The Horizon fleet is also getting some changes with a focus on the Embraers and the Q400 turboprops also going away. The Q400s have been ubiquitous in the Pacific Northwest for so long that I didn’t always pay them much attention. Now I need to think about them a bit more.
One of the fleet has been painted in a retro paint scheme for Horizon’s days gone by. Despite it being a plane that should appear at Seattle multiple times a day, I had never seen it before. Therefore, I was very pleasantly surprised to see it at Portland when we were down there. Our photo location was directly above the ramp that the Horizon planes were operating from and the south runway, which was their runway of choice, was convenient too so I was able to get a bunch of shots of it in action. How long before this plane and all of its sisters are gone from the area.
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.
I was up at Paine Field one weekend morning awaiting a Dreamlifter movement – more of that in another post – and one of the local Embraer operations was departing while I was waiting. Sure, an Embraer E175 is not the most exciting photo subject but I wasn’t doing anything else and the morning light was alright so why not get some shots of it as it taxied by and lined up to depart.
I took this a long time ago but just came across it again. I was under the approach path for SeaTac and one of the many Q400s that come in and out every day was setting up on final approach. Since it was nothing special, I figured a low shutter speed was in order. With the light on the front of the plane, this should show up the prop disc nicely. It worked out pretty well.
Alaska Airlines has a 737 flying in a special scheme as a Salute to Veterans. I have shot that in the past and it appeared on the blog in this post. I wasn’t aware until recently that they had painted a second jet in a similar scheme – this time from their regional fleet. This is an Embraer E175-E1. Here it is departing SeaTac one morning while I was awaiting my flight out.
An Alaska Airlines Embraer E175-E1 might not normally get a post but this one was operating a flight from Paine Field when I shot it. I saw there was some sort of graphic on the fuselage but I hadn’t worked out what it said at the time. Turns out this is the 1500th E Jet that Embraer has delivered. That is quite an achievement when you considered that Embraer was a manufacturer of niche turboprops for many years. Congratulations.
Medford is not a busy airport for commercial traffic but it does have some regular services. Horizon seemed to be the most common operator (should I call them Alaska now?). Their Q400s were coming and going quite often. Horizon has been painting their aircraft in a large variety of schemes, many of which are associated with colleges around the region. (My friend David who works for them recently shared with me just how many there are so I might start trying to get them all.)
One of the planes is painted to represent Washington State University at Pullman WA. I have seen this one before a few times but this time it was taking off while I was driving around the airport to see what was there. It quickly climbed away past me but I got a better look at it than I had previously done.