Tag Archives: livery

T-38s Including Some Color

Mesa Gateway Airport is a popular spot for cross country flights by various military aircraft.  T-38 training jets are particularly common apparently so, while it was my first time visiting the airport, catching some arriving Talons was not a surprise.  What was unusual was that one of them was in a retro paint scheme in a green camouflage design.  It was looking very well finished as it taxied in and parked.  The various student trainees parked their jets and walked into the FBO.  Many of them appeared to be overseas students training in the US.

Finally, the Jetz Black Jet – Just No Sun

Air Canada operates a charter service under the Jetz brand.  While the A320s are not the focus of the mainline fleet, they are part of the Jetz fleet plan.  With a lot of use in sports charters, they do show up at Seattle pretty frequently.  One of the Jetz jets has been painted in a gloss black livery which looks pretty cool.  I really wanted to get some shots of it but they only seemed to be bringing it in late at night and departing in the early hours of the morning.

I wasn’t going to be out that late and photographing a black jet at night was not going to be that worthwhile.  Then I saw one was going to come in on a Sunday morning.  I took a look at the forecast, and it was showing the potential for the sun to be out and I decided to give it a go.  Finding a location on that side of the field for the morning light has got a lot worse since construction has taken away some of the options.  However, there are still some things that can work.  I was hopeful that the sun might be there but, with the jet turning on to approach, there was still some cloud taking away the best of the morning light.  Nevertheless, the jet looked pretty good as it flew by to touchdown.  I wasn’t unhappy with the results.

At Last, I Get a Shot of Another Icelandair Special

Icelandair painted a couple of its 757s in special liveries a few years ago.  One of them, called Vatnajökull, has never been where I was or, if it was, the conditions were bad, or I couldn’t take any images.  Finally, I saw that it was coming in one weekend and would be departing when there was a northerly flow, and the sun was likely to be out.  I finally had a good chance to get it.  Icelandair is adding plenty of Max 8s to the fleet and they are becoming more common into SEA and they will be getting some A321neos soon so the 757s might not be a reliable visitor here before too long.  Consequently, I was glad to finally get some good shots of this lovely looking jet.

Last Good Paint on a Lufthansa A340

The A340 is a plane that keeps on going despite repeated claims it was done.  The 300 series jet is actually not as inefficient as it is popular to suggest (the 600 series is far less competitive) and it is still working for a few airlines including Lufthansa.  This winter the jet is back on the run to Seattle which has pleased me.  Most of the jets have been repainted in the new livery which is not that thrilling.  There are also Star Alliance liveried jets but there are one or two of them still in the older Lufthansa colors.  This is a better look from my point of view.

I did have one of them come in one weekend when the light was good and the wind was favorable for the shots I was after.  The landing shots were more of a struggle because the plane landed at noon and the lighting angles were not helpful.  Departure was mid afternoon and so this was slightly better.  They have been back occasionally since but not on days with a) good weather and b) me being available to be there.  I hope I get more chances before they finally head to the desert.

Beach Towel Aircraft

Condor has gone on a bit of a Marmite route with its livery.  They have decided to paint their aircraft with a striped paint scheme that looks like a beach towel.  When they first went this way, the A330s that came to Seattle were leased jets and they only painted the fins rather than the whole airframe.  They had ordered new A330-900s from Airbus, and these were delivered with the full paint job.  I took a while before I finally saw one of these come to SEA and it was the green one.  I still haven’t seen beige or blue!  I have heard comments that really show how much people dislike this choice.  For me it is such a nice change from the norm that I am really happy to see them.  Something different is fun.

Retro Saudia Jet Compared to the Original

While the 787-10 was never built at Everett, there have been a few that have come here for completion before delivery to their airlines.  One such jet was for Saudia or Saudi Arabians Airlines.  It was painted in a scheme that was a close resemblance to their livery from the 80s and 90s.  I had thought that it was a retro effort on their part, but I have since heard that this might actually be the livery for the fleet going forwards.

Whether that is the case or not, I did take me back to a shot I got in 1988.  I was working for the CAA in the UK on noise measuring duties and got to spend a week inside the fence at Heathrow taking readings of departing aircraft.  One of these was a 747-300 of Saudia.  I had my camera with me that week and was able to get photos between taking readings.  I thought it might be interesting to compare the old Saudia livery with the newer version.

Getting the Cougs Jet in Lovely Light

When Horizon was still flying the Q400s, they painted a bunch of them in the colors of Pacific Northwest universities.  The Q400s have gone and the Embraer E175-E1s are now the only aircraft flown by Horizon.  Thankfully, they have decided to continue the practice.  While we were away, I saw that a jet had been painted in Washington State colors with “Go Cougs” written in the fuselage.  I was disappointed to have missed its arrival but it wasn’t long before it was scheduled for an evening arrivals in to Paine Field.

It was a Sunday and we had been up in Skagit County and I didn’t know whether our return would be in time (or if I was going to have to suggest a diversion on our way home to Nancy).  As it was, we got home in good time and I had a while before I headed back out.  With the seasons turning in the direction of autumn, the light is getting nicer and it was ideal conditions when the jet came down the approach.  I could have waited for the departure but I had what I wanted and there was still dinner to think about so I headed home again.

Frontier’s A321neo Special

Frontier Airlines has been adding a bunch of A321neos to its fleet.  They are not a regular feature at SEA but they do come in periodically.  The airline has at least one that is painted in a special green livery incorporating Pratt and Whitney imagery including a bald eagle.  This is to signify the environmental benefits of the latest generation of jets.  I actually saw one when I was elsewhere in the country.  It was parked on a pier I could see but I didn’t have my camera available to get a shot in the nice evening light there was at the time.

Fortunately, it showed up as coming to Seattle one weekend.  I figured I would get another chance at it.  However, the weather wasn’t looking great.  There was a hint that things might improve so I made my way there to see if I would get lucky.  Sadly, the forecast was a little optimistic and it was still rather gloomy when the jet made an appearance.  I made the best of it that I could but it was not great.  Amazingly, I have had a long time since taking this shot and have yet to have another chance to shoot this jet.  I think it may have visited but there was no way for me to be there.  Hopefully I’ll catch it in good light one day!

More To Love But Alaska Doesn’t Love These

When Alaska bought Virgin America, they got an order for A321neos as part of the deal.  When the merger was completed, Alaska painted some jets in their More To Love scheme to sell everyone on what the bigger airline had to offer.  Two of the neos were painted in this livery.  I have shot them both.  Recently I caught one of them and it seems to have had a need for a replacement radome as the nose doesn’t go with the rest of the paint.  Sadly, while there may have been more to love, Alaska doesn’t love these jets and they will be gone in October 2023, ending the use of Airbus jets in their fleet.  They will then be “Proudly All Boeing” (and Embraer!).

Horizon Special E175

The end of the Q400 operations at Horizon meant the departure of their special paint scheme with a retro livery.  However, it wasn’t long before a new Embraer E175-E1 was delivered in the same scheme.  I ended up coming across it a few times quite quickly after it was introduced and have seen it a bunch of times since.  I think it looks pretty good in the old colors and we’ll have it looking like that for quite some time.  I did catch it in some murkier conditions as it departed Paine Field one evening but it turned out to suit the livery quite well and I was pleased with the way that the shots turned out.