One dull Saturday morning I made a short run to BFI for a bizjet. Since I got there with a little time to spare, I shot a couple of the other arrivals. The light aircraft traffic was using the parallel runway to the one my arrival was due on which meant they were flying right over my head. I had a go at low shutter speed shots to get lots of prop blur since I wasn’t desperate to get keepers. A Civil Air Patrol Cessna 206 was one of the planes working the pattern so I got a few shots of it.
As a youth, a British Airways 737 was a regular sight. The 200 series got a ton of use by BA and, in later years, the 400 series did a lot of work at Gatwick. The A320 family gradually displaced them all. However, Comair in South Africa flies in BA colors. They even had 727s in BA colors in days gone by. IAG, the parent of BA, signed a letter of intent with Boeing for 200 737 Max aircraft but this has not been turned into a firm order that I know of. However, Comair did order the Max and one of their aircraft was on test recently. I am not sure if it is still going to Comair or has been reallocated to another customer but it is still in British Airways markings – for now.
One of the rarer small turboprops is the Mitsubishi MU-2. It is a high performance aircraft that developed a bit of a reputation for crashing. What really was the issue was that it was an higher performance plane than many pilots were used to and, once a specific training program was implemented, it was back in the same level of safety as other turboprops. My late friend, Mike, took part in a round the world trip in an MU-2 which he blogged about and is well worth searching out.
While the MU-2 is a bit of a rarity, for some reason, two of them were up our way recently at the same time. I don’t know whether this was a coincidence or not. One was operating out of Paine Field and the other was at Boeing Field. The weather wasn’t great but it was an MU-2 so, early Sunday morning, I headed down to watch it come in. We had an Air Canada Max arrive shortly beforehand to allow me to check on my exposures in the conditions and then the MU-2 showed up. A quick few shots and then back in the car and head home.
Boeing is churning out P-8s at quite a rate these days. Most go to the US Navy but a fair few are for export and the most recent export customer to have their jets delivered is Norway. The Royal Norwegian Air Force has started taking their jets – the first of which I saw on the ramp at Renton. I did recently catch one coming back from a test flight which was a bit more interesting. The Saint symbol on the fin seems to be common to the jets I have seen so far.
Bombardier’s Global 6000 has been a very successful jet for them. With the arrival of the Global 7500 at the top of their line, the next question was what to do with the 5000 and 6000. They got an upgrade put together which has moved them up a little. Some aero tweaks, an interior upgrade and the new Rolls Royce Pearl engines resulted in the new models. Visually, I wouldn’t know how to tell the old from the new but at least flight tracking information lets you know which is which.
My first encounter with one was at Boeing Field. A Spanish registered 6500 was parked over at Modern and it departed while I was there. Since it is a large jet, it has to cross over to our side of the runway to taxi for departure. The food news was that it went full length rather than departing from the intersection. This provided a good opportunity to shoot it close up. Then it headed off. Despite the range, I think it was only going to Arizona so it wasn’t taxing the capabilities of the jet.
It wasn’t long before I got a second 6500. Again, Boeing Field was the venue but, this time, it was arriving rather than departing so I was able to get it in the air. The conditions weren’t quite as nice as for the first encounter but it was still fine. I like the original Global Express, liked it when it became the Global 6000 and I still like it now. It might have been around in these various forms for a while but it is still an elegant looking jet. Where is my checkbook…
While waiting for an arriving 777X, I looked back across Boeing Field at the Boeing military ramp. They had a bunch of P-8s on the ramp at that time but one seemed a bit odd. First, it didn’t have the fin cap attached. I am not sure what might be the reason for removing it. Also, something about the paint on the fin was odd. It looked like someone was in the process of repainting it. Since it was on their ramp and the rest of the airframe was obscured, I couldn’t see which airframe it was or which customer it was destined for so no idea what the story might be. Anyone with any suggestions?
I mentioned in one of my earlier posts about walking along the runway at Boeing Field during the FOD walk that there were some limitations on what we were allowed to take photos of. Fortunately, I was at the end of the runway that didn’t have any limitations. Therefore, I could shoot anything that was on the Boeing civil ramp as well as the main terminal ramp for the airport.
S7 is a Russian airline so not one that I normally get to see. Tokyo is the only place I have seen their planes in operation. They have a bunch of 737 Max jets on order. I saw one of them in a Boeing test bay on the west side of Renton one evening when passing by. The bright green colors are hard to miss. Fortunately, it was not long after this that I was at Boeing Field in the evening when the jet came in from a test flight. The light was pretty nice by that time of day but I don’t think it would have mattered with a color that vibrant!
Bombardier recently completed their 100th Global 7500. It is an impressive machine with excellent capabilities. If I was minded to buy a bizjet, it would definitely be the one I got but I just don’t feel like it at the moment. I haven’t seen too many of them yet so catching one is a nice surprise. This one was departing Seattle. I’m not sure how far it was going but, given that it is registered in France, I assume they were actually making good use of its range unlike so many of the owners of such jets. It seemed to have a nice fade in the paint scheme too. Maybe I will put something like that on mine when I get it.
While walking along the main runway at BFI, the shorter runway remained in use. Since I was at the north end, that meant walking parallel to some of the movements. A Turbo Beaver was one of the planes to use the runway while I walked alongside so it would have been rude not to grab a few shots as it went by. I was using the M6 which is not my usual camera for action work but you go with what you have!