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A Pair of New 737s in Nice Light

With Max flight activity pretty much back to normal at BFI, there is no shortage of opportunities to shoot the jets on the approach.  However, since it is now mid summer, the lighting is going to be pretty harsh most of the time.  A little later in the day, though, and the light can be improved.  I have also taken to using the polarizer to cut down on the harsher glare which is boosting the vibrancy of the shots.  I got two of the jets during one visit.

One of them was a Ryanair Max 8-200.  This is a special configuration that Ryanair has ordered that has an extra reader fuselage exit added to the -8 fuselage to allow the seat count to be increased.  This jet turned out to be the first one to be delivered to the airline shortly after this was taken.  The other was an Oman Air jet.  Nice colors for the livery of this airline which were enhanced with the lower light angle and the polarizer.  Sure, 737s are incredibly common but sometimes it can still be nice to shoot them.

Malibu Downwind Fast

A Piper Malibu was launching out of Boeing Field last year.  Things were quite busy and the tower asked them to make an early turn downwind once airborne.  They clearly took them at their word because they barely seemed to be off the ground before yanking it in to a tight turn to the north.  I doubt they even passed the tower!  They were only going a short distance and were due back about fifteen minutes later so I guess they know the area well.

Charter SAAB 2000

The SAAB 2000 was not a best seller when it was in production and they are definitely not too common in the North American market these days.  That makes it a nice surprise to get one.  The 340 was a reasonable looking plane anyway and stretching it and adding bigger engines resulted in a more elegant look in my mind.  This one is apparently used for charter operations and was a nice thing to get when taking some time off recently.

Korean Air BBJ

I was surprised to discover that Korean Air, while being a major airline, is an operator of corporate jets.  I’m not sure how an airline ends up in the bizjet market but they have.  They have Globals, G650s and BBJs.  One of the G650s was in SEA recently but I didn’t have an opportunity to see it.  However, I did get the BBJ on one of its visits to BFI.  It was stopping at BFI before making a direct run back to Korea.  It is quite a nicely painted jet.  Lots of the windows are blanked out on the front fuselage.  A check on their website shows this is where some sleeping seats are installed.  Plenty of smaller accommodation at the back for your lackeys to use while you rest up front if you like.

More 777X Test Shots

With the extended test program for the Boeing 777X, I have had ample time to shoot the four test aircraft.  (The fact I have only shot the third jet on the ground is a function of the very limited flying it has done to date.  It is the performance aircraft so they are not using the engines much to maximize performance until the configuration is tightened up and the performance tests are required.). That hasn’t stopped me getting shots of the jets when the opportunity arises.

They have flown over the house a few times when on the return journey to Boeing Field.  I have also caught them on occasions when down at Boeing Field.  I got two in one day with the second and fourth airframes heading out close together.  I got the second as it rolled for take off and the fourth taxied past while I was eating my lunch.  I’m sure I will get more shots of them with the test program scheduled to continue through certification at the end of 2023!

What Will This Neptune Get Labeled With?

The Indian P-8I fleet is different from the P-8A Poseidons of the US Navy and that have a different name – Neptune.  The original batch had Ark on the fin.  The second batch had a different name but the current test aircraft I saw at Boeing Field both departing and arriving had a blank fin.  I am not sure whether this is because it won’t have a unit name, whether it hasn’t been decided yet or whether it hasn’t been disclosed and will be added at a later date.  It made for a slightly more boring look combined with the US registration taped over the paint scheme.  I got it departing and returning so experimented with some slower shutter speeds to make things more interesting.  The takeoff run was long so it must have been pretty heavy when it departed.

What Are You Planning With All Of These Robbies?

Robinson operations at Boeing Field are very common.  There are quite a few airworthy Robinsons – R22s and R44s – on the field.  Apparently, someone has plans for a bunch more airframes though.  This selection of airframes are stored awaiting something new.  Not sure whether they are going to be overhauled or just turned in to parts supply for other airframes.  They clearly aren’t flying any time soon.

R44 With a Camera Boom?

There is no shortage of Robinson R22s and R44s at Boeing Field.  Plenty of flight training takes place there and these types will be on the move on a regular basis.  This R44 was coming in one evening when I was over there waiting for a later arrival.  What caught my eye was that it was fitted with a boom of some sort.  It looked like the sort of thing from which a camera might be mounted.  An extension would be needed to bring to camera forward far enough but maybe this was the base of the mount?  It was certainly not normal.  Anyone know details about this installation?

Alaska and Southwest on Test

The return to airworthiness of the 737 Max was first given in the US so there was a focus on getting airlines deliveries if they were under FAA jurisdiction.  I guess we didn’t realize at that point that there would be some follow on issues that resulted in these jets getting grounded but such is the life of the Max watcher.  Southwest started taking jets very soon after it was possible and Alaska soon followed with their first delivery – the grounding having come into effect before they had a chance to take their first jet.

On one day when I was watching the activity at Boeing Field, both airlines had aircraft out on test.  They were operating under Boeing flight numbers but it wasn’t possible to tell whether they were production flight tests for Boeing or customer acceptance flights.  No doubt I shall see a lot more of both operators with these jets in due course – once Boeing sorts out the latest issues and they become a more reliable part of service!

Long Time Since I Shot an MD-11 Touchdown

MD-11 freighters are still a big part of the UPS fleet.  In visits to Boeing Field before I lived up here, I got to see them quite often.  For some reason, my more recent visits have not included many MD-11s.  However, one nice evening with pleasant light, a UPS MD-11 was due in.  They were on a northerly flow so a touchdown shot was not a problem.  The bigger issue is that the 100-400 is fine for most of the sequence but, at the closest point, it is a bit too much lens.  Still, nice to get one of these again.  No idea what the long term plan is for UPS and the MD-11 but I hope they hang around for a bit.