UW had some success with their football program this year which meant a few charter flights took place. Some of the charters that they arranged were with New Pacific Airlines. This is a relatively new airline that originally was going to be Northern Pacific until BNSF Railway, which owns that name, objected to their using it. Their plan has been to operate transpacific flights via Anchorage in a similar model to that of Icelandair. Things have got off to a slow start. They are doing some domestic US flying but those routes have been erratic too. The fleet is a pair (I think) of Boeing 757-200s so hardly cutting edge. I think they might not last long.
Consequently, when their jet showed up at BFI, I figured I should definitely get photos since I might not get the chance again. Winter conditions are not going to be the greatest, but I was able to get a few that I was pretty happy with. I don’t wish the airline any harm at all, but they don’t seem to be giving off the vibe of a great success story. Let’s hope the charters can fill in until they get something more solid going.
The UW Huskies had a home game during the weekend of during the weekend of Veterans’ Day. The USAF provided a flyover for the start of the game with a couple of F-35As from Luke AFB making the trip up to Seattle to do the honors. The sun was a bit erratic on the day of the game, but it wasn’t too bad and the trees around Boeing Field still had a little fall color in them. Both jets launched for the flyover.
I watched them taxi out from the Modern ramp and head to the departure end. I knew that they would be airborne well before they got to me, but I was hoping that they would keep it low. The first of the jets obliged keeping nice and low at least for a while allowing me to get a shot with the ground in the background. The second jet was a little more eager to climb and it was well skylines by the time it got close to my spot. They were planning on some time in the local area before the flyover so now it was time to wait.
Titan Airways provides jets for some high end tourist programs. I have shot their older A321s before, but they recently took on an A321neo that had previously been used as a transport for the UK government. On a flight, it had issues with windows that were not sealed, and the plane was not pressurizing properly with a load of noise. When they investigated further, it turned out it had been used for filing work and the high intensity lights had damaged the window seals.
With the windows repaired and a test flight undertaken, it was back in service and its next trip was to Seattle. I caught it landing at Boeing Field. It arrived at the worst time of day for lighting but, with something unusual like this, I decided to make the best of it. It turned out okay and I was quite pleased with the results, as was one of the pilots!
I was waiting for my mate to get through immigration at SEA after a flight from the UK. He was telling me that there was a horrible line to get through, so I figured I had a little time. I also knew that Everts Air Cargo’s MD-83 freighter was due to launch out of Boeing Field. Originally, I had figured I would miss it but, since he was stuck in line, I might as well wait around and get the take off. A slightly gloomy day but a Mad Dog freighter is still worth it!
Nothing too special about this one. It’s just because Epics are a pretty rare type and a rather unusual looking plane so, when one shows up and I am lucky enough to be able to catch it, I think it is worthy of note. The fuselage of this type has a strange shape with a slightly humped look to it. It goes against the “if it looks right, it flies right” idea but it might just make for a more useful cabin for the occupants. Until I fly in one, I’ll never know. Would be good to get one air to air, though.
One Sunday earlier in the year, I was up at Boeing Field for the arrival of an old Gulfstream. That proved to be a successful encounter and has been on this blog already. However, that was not the only bizjet traffic that day. I ended up with a variety of corporate aircraft movements.
There was a Canadian Challenger as well as some NetJets examples. A Falcon 7X was on the move which is a cool looking aircraft. There was also a Falcon 50 parked near the road alongside a Hawker. An Excel came through which isn’t that special but then we got an Eclipse which certainly is. It was a fun time to be out photographing with a lot in a short space of time. Here are some shots of those planes.
Drake recently announced he was stepping back from touring, but this comes after he has been on quite a touring schedule. Seattle was one stop he made. He has his own 767-200 that is operated by Cargojet for him. It is painted in a distinctive sky-blue livery. It came into Boeing Field for the duration of his stay in the city. Sadly, his schedule means he finishes a show and jumps on the plane to fly to the next location overnight. That meant it arrive some time after midnight and departed at an inconvenient time too. I only got it while parked and the light was not great either. Still…
A while back, I had a spate of photographing Lear 60s at Boeing Field. The Lear 60 is not a rare jet but nor is it particularly common so seeing a few in a short space of time, caught my attention back then. The 60 was Learjet’s effort to stretch as much as they could from what they already had. They took the existing wing and added a bigger fuselage. This was possibly the limit of what could be done with that wing.
I think it is a slightly disproportionate looking aircraft. The fuselage looks a bit chunky, the wing seems small for the fuselage, the undercarriage appears to have been carried over so the wheels look particularly small for the overall size. It is a bit of an odd one. Even so, I still like it when they show up. Since they have been out of production for a while, they will start to disappear. They will be around for a while but will progressively become less common. I wonder how many times I shall have so many encounters in a short space of time.
As mentioned in other posts, I have been playing around with lower shutter speeds when photographing planes at Boeing Field. Getting a blurry background to emphasize the speed of the plane is the goal and it also removes some of the annoying distractions that a cluttered airfield can provide. I use filters to reduce the light in order to get the shutter speed down without having ridiculous apertures. Naturally, I end up with a bunch of blurred photos which get deleted but the selection process for the keepers is what this post is about.
I have some photography friends that don’t like the effect that the differential speeds of the parts of the airframe have on sharpness. A sharp nose might mean a pretty blurry tail since the relative motions as I pan are different. When I am filtering through the shots, I often “focus” on how the nose looks since it is like having the sharp eyes on a wildlife shot. I care less about the tail unless it looks terrible. However, getting the middle of the airframe sharp might result in a sharper overall shot even if the nose is a little blurry.
These are the things I was thinking about with these shots of a 777X landing at Boeing Field. The reason for the post is to see what matters to other people. These shots are a mix of which part of the airframe is sharp and which bits are more blurred. I may spend a fair bit of time deciding on which is best, but I wonder whether anyone looking at them is going to like the same things as me or will even care about it. Maybe the composition of the image is all that they care about, and the pixel peeping is irrelevant. I would really appreciate feedback if you have an opinion.
A couple of years ago, I took part in the FOD walk that King County Airport (aka Boeing Field) held. They did it again last year, but I didn’t know about it until after it happened. This year I saw advance notice again, so I signed up to have another visit. The first time I did this, I wasn’t sure what was allowable so took a small camera with me. I needn’t have worried so, this time, I took better gear with me. I also recognized that the FOD walk is totally unimportant and that it is just a community engagement effort so, this time, I didn’t really make much effort to look for FOD (although I did keep an eye out as I walked just in case). Instead, I spent more time enjoying the unusual opportunity to walk down the middle of a 10,000’ runway.
This year I started at the south end rather than the north. This meant down by the Boeing military ramp which is considered off limits for photos while taking part. Everything else is fair game, though. We walk half the length of the runway and meet the other half of the group as they have come from the other end. Then we had a photo opportunity in the middle of the field with some fire trucks as background.
The short runway remains in use while all of this goes on, so you do get some opportunities to get some shots of moving planes every once in a while. We had a couple of PC-12s depart along with a Caravan. I also got a good look at some of the aircraft parked at the FBO. An Air Canada A320 was there, as was a Marine Corps Hornet. Plenty of other jets too and, on the other side, the usual line up of 737s undergoing pre-delivery tests prior to heading to their airlines. The airport management team was keeping an eye on us as people were taking their various selfies. I’ll probably do this again if I can.