Bombardier recently completed their 100th Global 7500. It is an impressive machine with excellent capabilities. If I was minded to buy a bizjet, it would definitely be the one I got but I just don’t feel like it at the moment. I haven’t seen too many of them yet so catching one is a nice surprise. This one was departing Seattle. I’m not sure how far it was going but, given that it is registered in France, I assume they were actually making good use of its range unlike so many of the owners of such jets. It seemed to have a nice fade in the paint scheme too. Maybe I will put something like that on mine when I get it.
The cruise ships are back in Seattle. A year of cruise travel didn’t happen while COVID was raging and no vaccinations were available. Now they seem to have found a protocol to make cruises viable. (Not something I would be trying but each to their own.) When we were down in the city for a weekend, we got to the hotel shortly before one of the cruise ships sailed. It belonged to the Norwegian cruise line and was a huge thing. It was not an elegant looking ship but it clearly had plenty of capacity.
It sailed off on its trip – presumably towards Alaska – and a little while later the other end of the cruise ship spectrum showed up. The National Geographic Venture is not a traditional cruise ship. They have small vessels that are able to make more specialized trips into restricted spaces that the large cruise ships could never get to. We have looked at their cruises to Alaska as something that we might want to do at some point. The season is over for them now so it was not clear what the boat was up to but it couldn’t have looked more different than the Norwegian ship.
While walking along the main runway at BFI, the shorter runway remained in use. Since I was at the north end, that meant walking parallel to some of the movements. A Turbo Beaver was one of the planes to use the runway while I walked alongside so it would have been rude not to grab a few shots as it went by. I was using the M6 which is not my usual camera for action work but you go with what you have!
Our hotel in Seattle had a roof deck which we sat out on prior to going out to dinner. Looking south across the city, you can see Mt Rainier. In the evening light, the mountain was glowing. It looked great and was accentuated by some cloud formations across the summit. Sadly, from this location, the bottom of the mountain is obscured by buildings but it was too good a site to let that stop me taking some photos.
One of the things that we were hoping to see during our visit to the zoo was the baby gorilla that was recently born there. Of course, when wanting to see something at the zoo, you are always up against the problem that the animals are not aware of or interested in what you want. They are doing their thing. The parents of the baby were sitting up in a corner of the enclosure, a long way from everything else. You could just get a view of them from a certain angle.
Then, our luck improved. The mother walked down the to bottom of the enclosure near the spectators. The baby was clinging to her arm as she came down. When she stopped, it would jump off and run around a bit before grabbing back onboard when she started to move off. Back up to the top of the enclosure and they were gone. A brief moment and we just happened to be able to see it. What a cute little creature it is.
Vintage business jets are a nice thing to come across and, while the modern generation of Gulfstreams are a common sight around the US, the G-III is now something of a rare beast. Seeing one at Boeing Field parked on the Modern ramp was a nice surprise so I was just hoping for it to depart while I was there. Fortunately, I was in luck. It eventually powered up and taxied for departure. The hush kits on the old Spey engines are a bit of a giveaway but they aren’t that effective. The noise on takeoff was definitely a sign of something from a previous generation.
A Falcon 20 making an arrival on a Saturday morning when the sun is out is not something to be missed if possible. We were heading out that day but I just had time to make the run over to BFI to get the Kalitta Charter Falcon 20 as it arrived. The timing could hardly have been worse with the sun directly down the runway so right on the nose. (I suppose it could have been right on the tail if the winds were the other way around so maybe not the worst situation possible.) I was able to get a couple of previous arrivals to make sure I had a good angle since I rarely shoot from that location. Then it was get the Falcon and back in the car to do what we had planned for the day. Not a bad result.
P-8 production is really moving along at the moment. Aside from the US Navy aircraft, there are planes destined for the Royal Air Force, the Indian Navy and the Royal Norwegian Air Force in production and on test. One afternoon I got both an Indian and an RAF jet arriving in close succession. The nice thing about arrivals from the south when they are military jets is that they then taxi back past you as they head to the military ramp.
The shot you didn’t get. How many of those do we have. It’s easy to get blasé about something and decide not to bother. Of course, many times, this will be just fine, otherwise we wouldn’t be blasé in the first place. A couple of UPS jets had arrived. One was an MD-11 and one was a 767. A second 767 was on approach and I figured why bother. As it touched down abreast my location, something looked decidedly odd about the radome.
I talked to Nick, who had been next to me and had photographed it and asked him to take a look at his shots. Sure enough, the radome was a complete mess. Presumably a bird strike had smashed it during the flight although whether it was early on or during the approach we couldn’t know. It was quite the scene of destruction and I didn’t get a photo of it. 99 times out of a 100, it wouldn’t have been anything but this time… Oh well.
It must be a sign of aging how surprising it is to find something that was previously so common as to be boring suddenly is a rarity and has novelty value. Sierra Pacific is an odd operator anyway but they have some 737-500s. These were not the most popular of that generation of 737 but they sold reasonably well. United had a bunch of them that I have shot and Southwest had a fair few, some of which I have flown on. The follow up with the 737-600 and that was a poor seller.
Sierra Pacific was bringing their example in to BFI and I was able to get some time off to see it arrive. It was scheduled to be a brief stop so the chances were good of getting it arriving and departing. The -500 was a short jet – similar in length to the -200 and the last version to come of that generation that started with the -300 and then got stretched to the -400. They were both more popular with the airlines. It now looks like a toy compared to the current crop.
The skies had been a bit overcast but a bit of sunlight showed itself as the jet was on final approach. Not fantastic light but certainly an improvement on a little while before it appeared. It touched down and headed for Modern’s ramp. It wasn’t long before a bunch of people were around the plane and then a fuel truck showed up so it looked promising for a speedy departure. Sure enough, it was soon taxiing. Bigger jets have to cross to taxi to the threshold but you always worry that they will instead take an intersection departure. This day was a good day, though, and they crossed and taxied right by me. They were heading to Omaha so we’re pretty heavy so it wasn’t an early rotation but, since it was later in the day, the heat haze was not so bad.