Arlington is home to a FW149 piston engined trainer. I have seen a few over the years but they aren’t too common. This one is painted up in German colors too. I have only seen it flying from a distance but it has taxied close to me a couple of times while up there. Theses are the shots I have got of it so far. At some point I will get to see it flying in decent conditions. The original design is actually by Piaggio but it was license produced in Germany.
For a while, I was able to shoot up at Arlington a bit. Our location there in the afternoons is close to the ramp used by Airlift Northwest. They have some Airbus Helicopters EC135s that they use for aeromedical flights. It is a nice looking airframe and theirs are painted well. (They have recently painted one in UW colors which I have only shot from a distance.). They seemed to be in action a lot while I was there so was able to get the teams crewing up, departing, arriving and shutting everything down. They are happy to give you a wave too which is nice.
There is a Rutan Long EZ that lives at Arlington and flies pretty regularly. The Long EZ is a fun plane just because it is so different from the average. The tandem cockpit is not unique – there are plenty of RVs that give you that – but combine it with the rear wing and the fore plane plus the wing tip fins and you have a far more interesting configuration. Consequently, I want to find some times to get good shots of it.
The one at Arlington has flown a few times while I was there, and I have got these shots. However, I haven’t really got something of it that I really like yet. Let’s hope for a combination of good weather and timing and maybe I shall get something I am more pleased with. In the meantime, I shall continue to get what I can.
I had never heard of a Vashon Ranger before I looked up the registration of one I saw flying up here in the Pacific Northwest. On this day, a couple of them were out flying and, while it isn’t the most sleek shape or the highest performer, it is a different little beast and therefore worthy of attention. I will have to do some research about the company behind them and how many there are but I imagine I shall see more of them around.
Arlington has a gliding club and they were active on a Sunday visit. They had two gliders in action while I was there. Both are Let gliders, one a Super Blanik and the other a Solo. The tug was their Pawnee and it was busy getting them up. Neither glider was spending long airborne. They towed up to the north and were released and seemed to be straight back in to downwind and then landing. Sometimes, they beat the Pawnee back in.
They were a long way from me on the other side of the field but, with cool winter conditions, the heat haze was only an issue close to the ground and, as they climbed away, you had a pretty clear shot against the mountains.
This Cessna 185 looked in great condition and any plane on floats is going to get my attention anyway. The buzz saw sound of a 185 as it takes off will definitely get your attention but it is not so intrusive when it returns. Having some nice winter light on it was a good thing and floats just make any place look better.
But of course it is! This Pitts lives at Arlington and I got to get some time watching its owner doing some pattern work. He ran it up near where I was prior to getting airborne and then proceeded to fly around the circuit for a while. Generally the approaches were a continuous turning descent which made for some top side views. Of course, the Pitts is not a large plane so, even with a long lens, it was still a bit small in the viewfinder but enough to get some reasonable shots.
Amazon is finishing up a huge fulfillment center up in Arlington WA. I understand it will be over 600k sq ft of space. The structure is approaching completion and they needed to install the air handler units on the roof. The most efficient way to do this is by helicopter so, after my many times with helicopter lifts in Chicago, I was looking forward to this happening.
They contracted with Croman Helicopters. This is an operation out of Oregon, and they do a lot of firefighting work. The lifting is. A smaller part of their business. However, it is still a good line for them. They brought two helicopters up for the lift. One was an Astar (which might have been theirs or might have been chartered since it had a different name on it) and the other was one of their S-61s. I’ve shot S-61s a couple of times but not often, so this was something I was looking forward to. They came up ahead of the lift and parked on the main ramp at Arlington. Conditions were pretty good and I was able to get some shots of the airframe.
Most of the pictures I have seen of their S-61s have them in a yellow scheme but this one was a dark grey. It was a nice-looking finish but a bit tough if the lighting wasn’t great. The S-61 has plenty of rivets which make for some cool textures in the right light. It was also fitted with a good bubble window for monitoring the load along with some duplicate engine gauges on the outside in the line of sight of the lifting pilot. I had fingers crossed for good conditions to get it in flight…
I didn’t notice this at the time but, while working my way through some shots of the Alice taxi trials, I realized that the port wing is tufted. Tufting is a simple but effective way to see how the flow is behaving on a surface. It does need to be recorded, though, so I then looked for the camera and saw the blister up on the side of the fuselage that must contain the camera. I don’t know whether they have been paying attention to the flow visualization while doing taxi trials or not. They have had flaps down as well as up but, without the nose off the ground, maybe there has not been anything significant to see. They sure aren’t saying and have other things to address after some of the testing issues.
Arlington had a couple of different visitors. They were both TwinStars and they arrived within a few minutes of each other. The first TwinStar showed up and I got some shots. When I saw a TwinStar on the approach, I assumed it was the same aircraft back around again. I figured I would drop the shuttle speed down a bit to vary things. Consequently, I was a bit annoyed when I realized the airframe in the viewfinder was a different one. I had to cross my fingers that I hadn’t blown it by going with the low shutter speed. Fortunately, a few of the shots were okay. Phew…