Tag Archives: photo

An Enzo Out for Some Shopping

A short jaunt to Redmond on a Saturday morning for Exotics@RTC did not yield a huge number of vehicles.  Being between two feature days, it seemed to be quite a low-key event.  There were still plenty of nice cars to be seen but it was a bit of a surprise to come across a Ferrari Enzo sitting out in the lot.  Maybe someone had used it to run out to the shops for a while but, since the event was not as heavily attended, it wasn’t quite as swamped with viewers as might otherwise be the case.

It is quite a cool looking vehicle although some of the styling cues are not my favorite.  Even so, standing around such a valuable vehicle was rather fun.  I was chatting to a couple of guys that wanted to know exactly what type of Ferrari it was and, when I mentioned what they sell for, they were quite taken aback.  We agreed that, at those prices, we would keep our own Enzos at home most of the time!

HondaJet Shapes Are Fascinating

This HondaJet had come from outside the US, so it had to clear customs at BFI after landing.  That put it right in front of me while I was waiting for something else (although I can’t remember what it was).  I find the jet very interesting although I am frustrated by the way in which all the ones I see have the same paint scheme with only a change in what color is used.  Since this one parked up near me, I got to look at it from a variety of angles and that is a good way to appreciate the unusual shapes the airframe has.

The pylons are cambered and the way in which the nacelles sit on the wing is more easily appreciated from behind.  It is great to have something different.  I look forward to seeing the big brother when it makes it into service.  A shame that Honda seems to have given up on their own engines but not a massive surprise.

Eagle Bugged by An Annoying Osprey

Mum and I took a trip down to Juanita Bay to see what sort of wildlife was out and about.  There was plenty of activity with both eagles and ospreys flying over the water looking for their next meal.  At one stage, an eagle had caught a small fish and took it to a log in the water to enjoy.  It seems that one of the ospreys decided that this could not stand and that the eagle should give up its catch.  The osprey swooped down repeatedly at the eagle trying to get it spooked and to maybe leave the fish behind.  The eagle was definitely annoyed by the osprey but was not inclined to move.  This went on for a while but eventually the osprey realized it was futile and moved on.

Indian Rafales Testing PNW Weather

I may have worked on the Typhoon/EF2000 in my younger days and have a strong affinity for that plane, but I have always appreciated its competitor from next door, the Dassault Rafale.  The Rafale is a very elegant-looking airframe, and it has recently started to sell very well on the export market.  One of those customers is India and the Indian Air Force brought some of its jets to Alaska for an exercise.  They routed across the US with an overnight stop at McChord AFB (JBLM) before continuing on to Alaska.

I went out with a bunch of friends to see them arrive.  They came in two waves and the first arrived in some quite poor conditions.  This resulted in them making straight in approaches to the field.  This was a bit of grey jets and a grey sky, but it was still worthwhile.  There was a fair time between them showing up and the second wave and, by that time, the weather had improved considerably.  This allowed them to do a run in and break to landing.  Four jets came in but one was clearly offset – presumably getting some shots of the others.  They tightened up before the break, though.

The final turns varied in how tight they were but, since the earlier jets had allowed me to get some more standard side-on shots, I decided to get closer to their approach path.  I moved in a way for the first jet and then proceeded to sprint closer between each arrival in order to try and vary the angles a bit.  If there had been more jets or time, I might have gone for directly on the centerline to get a head on shot but that wasn’t possible.  What fun catching something very different to the norm for this area.

How Much Purple is There on These Houses?

While walking through Richmond, we came along a street of older houses in what seemed like quite a desirable neighborhood.  The dominant feature of most of these houses was the preponderance of wisteria on their frontages.  Some of the plants were confined to one house while others seemed to span whatever property that they felt like.  The purple blooms were most impressive, and it seemed like they were competing to see which house could be more purple than the next.  I don’t know how long wisteria blooms for so did we get lucky with our timing, or could we have been there at a wider range of times?

Allegiant’s Fleet Evolution

Allegiant currently flies a bunch of A319 and A320 jets, but its most recent order was for some 737 Max8-200s.  The first of these have been flying at Boeing Field.  Unfortunately, my first encounter was with an unpainted jet, but I have since caught them looking a lot more like the finished article.  It got me thinking of what I have seen of their jets over the years so I thought I would scan the archive.  Plenty of the A320 family jets but I have also got their 757s and MD-80s so here are a few shots.

Struggling with Bee Photography

The flowers were out on some of the plants in our front yard and they were attracting the bees, so I decided to try again to get some bee shots.  Rather than try and follow the bees around the flowers, I decided to see the camera up on a mount aligned with one flower and wait for the bees to come there.  I used a cable release so I could sit back a bit and wait.  This did require the plant to stay steady which, when the wind was blowing, was far from guaranteed.

I was sitting so still for a long time as I waited that a rabbit came walking across the yard to nibble some leaves that were by my feet.  Since I wasn’t moving, it was totally oblivious to me.  Rather than spook it by trying to get my phone out to photograph it, I let it eat in peace.  It wandered off soon enough.

The bees dutifully showed up in my flower from time to time.  I wasn’t sure how well the shots were coming out since I was just triggering with the cable release when things were in roughly the right place.  I didn’t know whether the autofocus was going to choose the bee or part of the plant.  There were plenty of misses, but we did get a few good shots where the bees were in shot, in focus and interesting enough.  I was pleasantly surprised how many shots actually worked out.  I had been quite pessimistic when taking the shots, so this was more successful than I had expected.

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.

This Bridge is Getting Very Advanced

A work-related post for today.  One of our projects is a light rail expansion and part of it involves the construction of a long span bridge.  This was not the original plan, but it is what we ended up having.  It is constructed by having forms for pouring a section of the bridge in one place and then, when that section is cured, a traveler moves out with the forms to pour the next section.  This is all done from a central column so the weight balances out as the bridge expands in each direction.

It is now very close to the final pours, and they will soon be done.  I got to go and see the progress recently and that included looking at the center section of the bridge where the gap between the two sections coming from each direction are close to meeting.  The bridge section is hollow, and you can see across and into the other half.  The final pours involve joining each end to the rest of the right of way and then, when they have been post-tensioned, this center section will be poured.  There will be more to do but this is a major milestone in the project.

T-45s at El Centro

My involvement with the T-45 program was back when the aircraft were just coming into service.  Now I am reading articles discussing the US Navy’s plan for the replacement of the Goshawk fleet.  Another type I have been involved with that is going to disappear from service before too long.  Since the jet was never exported, when the Navy gets rid of them, that will be it.  Consequently, while I have shot T-45s at various places and times before, getting some more shots while on our trip was worthwhile.

We made a detour from our Arizona locations to El Centro to catch the Harriers.  El Centro is a regular haunt of the T-45s with the training wings sending jets out to use the ranges just north of the base.  Since it is not too far to travel, you can watch them launch and know it won’t be too long before they return.  Getting the departing jets as they break towards the south with the last jet cutting the corner the most to catch up with the first ones is easy enough.  The returns give you an option at both ends with either the overhead break with speedbrakes out at one end or the final turn at the other.  Managed to catch both.  I am sure I will see more T-45s in the coming years but here are some shots from the recent visit.