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.
If you don’t know I like JetStars, you have not been a regular reader of this blog. If that is the case, I have a real soft spot for this jet. The original business jet and a plane that looks so cool even decades after it first flew. If you did know, my apologies for being so repetitive. On the evening that Mark and I arrived in Klamath Falls, I saw a post on the JetStar Facebook group about some JetStars in the city. A Brit, Kev Perry, had posted some shots of them. I decided to contact him, and he gave me some good information about where they were and the team that looked after them.
The next morning found me and Mark at their front door asking if we might come in. The team couldn’t have been more accommodating. Two of the jets were parked up on the ramp in the morning sun looking fantastic. They let us take any shots we wanted. They also told us about a third jet that they had in their hangar so it would have been rude to not wander across and take a look. Photographing a jet in the hangar is not as cool as in the morning sun but three JetStars in a morning is not something to miss.
I’ve seen the JetStar prototype a few times in various visits to the Museum of Flight restoration facility up at Paine Field. The JetStar is a favorite of mine as might be determined by several of my posts over the years. The prototype is a bit different, though. It was built with two engines – Bristol Orpheus turbojets. After the first two aircraft, the rest were four engined. After it finished testing, it was used by Lockheed for transport duties. It ended up in Vancouver before coming into the museum’s collection. These shots are of it in the restoration shop.
Considering how few JetStars there are around, they seem to make a disproportionate appearance on the blog. This one is another active example. My friend, Paul, was telling me how he had seen an example at McCarran on a previous visit. Just as he pointed to where it had been, a short distance away was the same jet. It was away from the fence which was helpful so I figured I should get a shot and add it to the archive. Not a great place to get good shots but better than nothing. Cheers mate!
Regular readers will know I am partial to the Lockheed JetStar. I have previously posted about shooting one at Hayward when it was taking off and another that was at the airport as a source of spare parts. This spare aircraft has moved from the location I previously saw it and is now out on the ramp near the taxiway. While out working with the HueyVets guys, I ended up by the airframe waiting to shoot the Huey.
Up to this point, the airframe looked in good shape. However, recently, one of the engines was removed so I guess it will progressively become more obvious that this jet is not going to be flying again. For the time being, though, you can choose an angle to make the missing items no longer apparent. Then the jet still looks like a great airframe. I hope it lasts a bit longer and that its sacrifices are enough to keep the other jet airworthy.
Regular followers of the blog who like aviation will know I have a soft spot for Lockheed JetStars. While my luck has not always been great in chasing them down, I have come across a few at various times. Hayward Airport is the home of a couple of them. There is one I have seen move through on a few occasions but I thought there was another based (or stored) on the field. At one point it seemed to be out in the middle of the ramp but, more recently, when I was flying in to Oakland, it appeared to have moved over to near the road.
I figured I would try and see it if I was passing by early in the day. Finally a chance came to do this and I stopped off en route back from Oakland. The plane was parked up conveniently close and the fence in front was not too high. I don’t recognize the registration as being one I have seen before so this is a good one to add. While I haven’t seen any sign of this plane moving, it could be blocked from tracking. It certainly looks to be in great condition which would seem likely if it was unused. Maybe I will catch it moving one day.
If you go back a long time in this blog, you will see my tales to chasing a classic business jet, the Lockheed JetStar. Since leaving Chicago I have been frustrated to see a large number of movements of this fantastic looking machine showing up at Midway and Chicago Executive airports. They must have known I was gone and come out of the woodwork.
Fortunately, there is a local example. Hayward Executive is a short distance from me and I recently spotted that it was due to make an early departure for Mexico. With nothing to conflict with this, I headed across. Wanting a specific movement is often a frustrating thing since, while a flight plan will be filed for a given time, they often go at another time since it is all about when the person is ready to leave. You don’t have to stick to a schedule when you have your own jet!
In this case, I was lucky. They filed for an 8:42 departure and actually got airborne at 8:49. Not bad. The weather was overcast and not the greatest but, with the angle of the departure, more sun much actually have been a problem at this time of year. Anyway, I got a good view of the take off run and the turnout was towards me so a few quick shots to add to my JetStar collection and I was done. Back home for breakfast!
A long time back (not that long if you think in geological terms), I wrote this piece about hunting down a Jetstar. I won’t bore you with the details in case you read about it the first time. If you didn’t and want to know, click on that link and you can find out more. Anyway, I still get updates when any Jetstars are flying in the US so I know if they are coming close. Normally, if they happen to be near me, the chances are that I am either already doing something or the weather is crappy (or both).
Recently, I got a morning email about a departure of the same jet as before from Midway. I was free and the weather looked good. Moreover, I still had time to get ready and get down to Midway before it was due off. I decided to give it a go. I needed to find a new location to shoot from so tried a couple of spots when I got there by checking out some of the other departures before settling on a location. Next time I might try a different lens but the result overall wasn’t too bad.
A few weeks ago during one of my many trips out of Midway, we were taxiing to the departure runway when we passed one of the FBOs on the field. Parked up ready to board was a Lockheed Jetstar. Not endangered perhaps but certainly a rarity. A mental note of the registration and I checked up on it when I got back on the ground.
Turns out this aircraft makes a regular appearance at Midway. Now to find a chance when we can both be in the same place. It doesn’t fly a huge amount so finding the chance would be the tricky thing. Not only must it be flying in to Midway, it must do it when I am in town, not tied up with other work and preferably when the weather is good.
An email alert told me that she was coming in today so all things were aligned. I headed down to Midway and looked to find a spot to shoot from. Midway allows you to get very close to the approaching aircraft but it is well developed and has an abundance of power lines so getting a clear shot is not that easy.
I arrived just in time to miss a very attractive Global Express that was landing. Had I not originally gone to a bad spot, that would probably have been added to my shot list but never mind. It did seem to be a busy time for corporate aircraft though. In about 10 minutes, a Hawker 800 and a Cessna Soverign arrived, bracketing the arrival of my target. Not too bad when you think about it. Considering Midway is usually wall to wall Southwest 737s, this should be counted as a bit of a result.
The Hawker gave me an opportunity to check whether my lens choice was right. The 70-200 was okay but perhaps a little short so, keeping an eye out for the imminent arrival, I swapped to the 100-400. No drama this time and I was ready when the Jetstar came across the roof tops.
She is an interesting looking aircraft. Certainly dated in her appearance, big fuel tanks on the wings and four engines mounted at the rear. Not, perhaps, as graveful as some more modern aircraft but more interesting for being such a classic.
It is a brief moment as an aircraft passes by on approach so a rapid series of shots and then she was gone. Originally, she had a flight plan filed for a departure half an hour later so I was ready to run to the other end to catch her again but this was cancelled. Even so, a worthwhile expedition to catch a great looking aircraft.