This 182 showed up at Boeing Field during my day off. I was a bit far away from it but wasn’t going to pass up the chance to shoot something new and floats make a Cessna a bit more interesting than it might otherwise be. It didn’t hurt that a Q400 from SEA was climbing out in the background and showed up in a few of the frames.
While we were walking along the beach in Shoreline, I heard the sound of a plane coming our way. I could see it was a floatplane from a long way off but, even as it got closer, I didn’t know exactly what it was. I took a bunch of shots and then continued on our walk. Only when I got home did I look closer and still I didn’t know what it was. Time to hit the FAA registry. Turns out it is called a Murphy Moose. Never heard of this let alone seen one before.
Antonov 124s make a regular appearance at Paine Field. Boeing obviously receives a lot of shipments which I am guessing may be engine deliveries. Plenty of the flights come from Columbus OH which is near a GE plant and the GE90-115 fan is too big for most freighters when installed. However, it could be for something else. Anyway, I got one coming in to Everett recently. Paine Field is a popular field for light aircraft so you get a lot of them flying patterns on the main runway. One called up on final when the Ruslan was turning on to final. They made it in without any trouble but it was quite amusing to see the little plane on final with the unmistakable silhouette of the Antonov not far behind.
This plane is a great example of what an imaginative mind can achieve when combined with an understanding of aerodynamics. It is one of the products of the talent that is Burt Rutan. When Burt ran Scaled Composites, he specialized in creating aircraft that were out of the ordinary and yet capable performers. The Boomerang is an asymmetric airframe that provides twin engine performance with more benign handling in an engine out configuration. I came upon it during a visit to Oshkosh for Airventure.
The owner at the time was very happy to share his aircraft with anyone who was interested and, given the unusual nature of the plane and the fascination people have with Rutan’s creations, he was never short of visitors. I didn’t spend much time with him but, while I was there, I was struggling to find angles to shoot the plane from to emphasize what makes it special. Getting it in flight would have helped but it was fun checking it out while it was on the ground.
Most public airports have a variety of types scattered around. The heyday of US light aircraft manufacturing was decades ago and resulted in the production of Cessna, Pipers, Beeches et al in large number. These aircraft are still around but are now aging so the types parked up will often be showing their age. There are light aircraft still being produced today but the numbers are significantly lower. Moreover, they are not cheap so you don’t see so many new planes around. One of the higher end types is the Cirrus. With a nicely equipped example setting you back about half a million dollars, it isn’t a surprise that they are not abundant.
San Carlos, on the other hand, is positively swimming in the things. The peninsula is home to quite a lot of high net worth individuals so this is an area where people are more likely to be able to have a nice shiny Cirrus. Also, there is a distributor on the airfield (no coincidence there!) so the local buyers are likely to choose something they can see at home.
There are some SR20 models in use for training but more seem to be the higher end SR22 models. They are a nice looking plane and one that I would certainly be happy to have a go with. The combination of equipment, control layout and performance would be nice to try and to compare with types I have flown in the past. One day…
My visit to Livermore for the Collings Foundation visit also provided some other interesting aircraft to shoot. The field was quite busy on a sunny weekend day. The usual piston singles were out and about while a couple of aerobatic types were also getting some hours in. No great description here. Just a few shots to show you what I mean.