International flights are starting to increase in frequency and, it seems, capacity. Lufthansa has been making the run to Seattle with the A330s for a while now. Recently, they changed from the 300 to the A350. One quiet Saturday, I figured I would head down to grab a shot. Sadly, the old livery example of the previous day was replaced with one in the new livery. I do prefer the old livery but that wasn’t the reason for my disappointment. It will go away before too long so there will be plenty of chances to get the new livery over the years. It was hot and sunny and arrival is noon so about the worst time you could think of for photographing. A polarizer to take out some glare and to deepen the colors was the best I could manage.
I complained recently about my lack of luck when shooting the A330NEOs that Delta operates out of SEA. I finally got some better light on them. I was out for the Aloha Air Cargo 767 which was coming in just after sunrise. About half an hour later, Delta had a NEO coming in from Honolulu so I hung around. The light changed a lot in that half hour with the super warm light getting a little subdued as the sun came up but it was still by far the best light I have had on one of these jets. Thankfully it came in on the inner runway so no shooting it in the distance!
I was in a location where a couple of the departures from SEA were overflying me. I happened to have the camera to hand (of course I did) and I had the polarizer on there at the time. I had an Alaska Airlines 737 (what a shock from SEA) and a Hawaiian Airlines A330. I grabbed a few shots. The thing I like about the polarizer is cutting down on the glare from the white fuselages but they were still pretty bright. The rest of the sky was darkened considerably and, when editing to address the white fuselages, even more dark. I quite like the deep and moody look it gives to the shots with very little editing involved. Both jets pulled some vapor as they came through the same area so clearly there was extra moisture in that one spot. Maybe it was a thermal?
The Aloha Air Cargo 767 was the reason for me being out early one morning but it wasn’t the only freighter coming in. (Indeed, this was the case for both of my efforts to get the Aloha jet.). Kalitta were also operating a 767 which is under contract to DHL. Some of Kalitta’s jets are plain white so you wonder whether a given day will bring something in that has a bit of color to it or not. On this occasion I was lucky. It might not be the most dramatic of the DHL schemes but it is better than no color at all!
A 767 freighter conversion made its way across the country and stopped off at Boeing Field recently. Unfortunately, there was no way I was going to be able to get there to see it so I figured it was just one of those things I had missed. However, not long after that, it showed up with a flight plan to SEA. The flight plan was listed against Northern Air Cargo but the plane is marked for Aloha Air Cargo. I was taking the day off and it was due in at the beginning of the day so I decided to head down to try and get a shot.
Sadly, the traffic was getting busy at SEA and, with plenty of departures and not too much on arrival, they put it on the outer runway. It was a bit far out from where I was but I got some shots, although nothing too special. I then saw it was coming back on the Sunday but this time it was due to land at 5:30. With sunrise just after 5am, this would produce some good light. However, I didn’t plan on getting up.
At 4:30 on Sunday morning, I woke up. I thought this was an opportunity so decided to get up and head out. At that time of the morning, no risk of traffic problems. I got down there in good time and, while it was a few minutes early, I was ready for it. The sun was barely up so the light was really excellent. Also, with no departures at that time of the morning, they came in on the closer runway so a total win!
Shortly after my A220-300 landed, another Delta jet was due in. (Actually, quite a few were but they weren’t terribly interesting.). It was an A330-900, the NEO version of the A330. I have shot a few of them but have really struggled to get them in good conditions or nice lighting. Since the weather was crummy on this Sunday morning, that luck wasn’t changing. However, it was there so why not get a few shots. At some point I will get one in good light.
During the winter, I shot a British Airways 787 as it approached landing at Seattle Tacoma International. There was some low cloud base and it was just skirting the bottom of the clouds as it passed me by. It was appearing and disappearing from view within the clouds and, even when clear, was pulling a bit of vapor along with it! An all-white jet against a cloudy backdrop does not make for a contrasty shot but the elusive nature of the plane with such a background made the shots interesting to process.
It’s true that the C Series is no longer called that but the A220 is not such an exciting name and the title was dull enough as it was so I figured some artistic license was allowed. I have shot A220s a number of times both in Seattle and Dallas Fort Worth since Delta flies them to both locations. However, to date, my only experience had been with the original aircraft, the A220-100. The -300 is the stretch version (or the actual original idea if you believe some analysts) which is proving to be the more popular seller. Delta has started taking delivery of them and one was coming to Seattle on a Sunday morning so I went out to catch it. Conditions were not ideal. In due course, these will be a common sighting but a first is still a first. Loads are flying in to Vancouver with Air Canada but, until the border opens, I will have to make do with this one.
The gradual relaxation of travel restrictions means that there are more long haul jets showing up in Seattle. Some are still just taking freight but passenger ops have expanded. The reduced number of passengers does mean that smaller capacity jets will suffice for some routes. Qatar has restarted operations to Seattle. They are using their 777-200LRs for the time being. I caught one as it was passing overhead on final approach.
I took this a long time ago but just came across it again. I was under the approach path for SeaTac and one of the many Q400s that come in and out every day was setting up on final approach. Since it was nothing special, I figured a low shutter speed was in order. With the light on the front of the plane, this should show up the prop disc nicely. It worked out pretty well.