Tag Archives: Portland international airport

Horizon Retro Before They Go

Alaska Air is going through a re-fleeting process in the near future.  They are consolidating types in service with some aircraft disappearing.  The Airbus fleet is on the way out which is no great surprise to anyone.  The Horizon fleet is also getting some changes with a focus on the Embraers and the Q400 turboprops also going away.  The Q400s have been ubiquitous in the Pacific Northwest for so long that I didn’t always pay them much attention.  Now I need to think about them a bit more.

One of the fleet has been painted in a retro paint scheme for Horizon’s days gone by.  Despite it being a plane that should appear at Seattle multiple times a day, I had never seen it before.  Therefore, I was very pleasantly surprised to see it at Portland when we were down there.  Our photo location was directly above the ramp that the Horizon planes were operating from and the south runway, which was their runway of choice, was convenient too so I was able to get a bunch of shots of it in action.  How long before this plane and all of its sisters are gone from the area.

BA’s Smallest Big Jet

British Airways was an early customer for the 787 when Boeing launched it in the form of the 787-8 and has been growing the fleet ever since.  They now operate the -8, the -9 and the -10 versions.  Their introduction allowed the retirement of the 767-300 fleet so the 787s are now the smallest of the widebodies (although the 787-10 has similar capacity to a 777-200ER).  In Seattle, we tend to get the 787-9 or an occasional 787-10.  However, Portland gets the 787-8 so, when I got to shoot one there, it was the first time I had seen a BA -8 in ages.  They look quite stubby in comparison to the rest of the family.

Fill Of FedEx Freighters

Portland is a big base for FedEx it seems.  (I think, at this point, I should called it FedEx Express but, since I am old enough to remember when they were called Federal Express, having Federal Express Express seems a bit redundant.  I know, I am grumpy old git!  Back on topic…) They had a ton of movements when Mark and I were there.  On our first day, it was the afternoon and the southern runway was not ideal for photography given the light angles.  Still, it was not terrible and the freighters provide a fair bit of variety.

The following morning, the light was move favorable for a while so we were able to get plenty of shots.  The freighter traffic is usually busy at the beginning and end of the day for the express parcel business so we had enough to shoot.  The big jets were operating with plenty of 767s on the move.  They also had the feeder services with a steady stream of Super Cargomasters (Grand Caravans) and ATR72s to handle the local distribution.  Good to take advantage of them before the replacement for the Cargomasters arrives.