International flights are starting to increase in frequency and, it seems, capacity. Lufthansa has been making the run to Seattle with the A330s for a while now. Recently, they changed from the 300 to the A350. One quiet Saturday, I figured I would head down to grab a shot. Sadly, the old livery example of the previous day was replaced with one in the new livery. I do prefer the old livery but that wasn’t the reason for my disappointment. It will go away before too long so there will be plenty of chances to get the new livery over the years. It was hot and sunny and arrival is noon so about the worst time you could think of for photographing. A polarizer to take out some glare and to deepen the colors was the best I could manage.
With Max flight activity pretty much back to normal at BFI, there is no shortage of opportunities to shoot the jets on the approach. However, since it is now mid summer, the lighting is going to be pretty harsh most of the time. A little later in the day, though, and the light can be improved. I have also taken to using the polarizer to cut down on the harsher glare which is boosting the vibrancy of the shots. I got two of the jets during one visit.
One of them was a Ryanair Max 8-200. This is a special configuration that Ryanair has ordered that has an extra reader fuselage exit added to the -8 fuselage to allow the seat count to be increased. This jet turned out to be the first one to be delivered to the airline shortly after this was taken. The other was an Oman Air jet. Nice colors for the livery of this airline which were enhanced with the lower light angle and the polarizer. Sure, 737s are incredibly common but sometimes it can still be nice to shoot them.
A Piper Malibu was launching out of Boeing Field last year. Things were quite busy and the tower asked them to make an early turn downwind once airborne. They clearly took them at their word because they barely seemed to be off the ground before yanking it in to a tight turn to the north. I doubt they even passed the tower! They were only going a short distance and were due back about fifteen minutes later so I guess they know the area well.
The SAAB 2000 was not a best seller when it was in production and they are definitely not too common in the North American market these days. That makes it a nice surprise to get one. The 340 was a reasonable looking plane anyway and stretching it and adding bigger engines resulted in a more elegant look in my mind. This one is apparently used for charter operations and was a nice thing to get when taking some time off recently.
I was surprised to discover that Korean Air, while being a major airline, is an operator of corporate jets. I’m not sure how an airline ends up in the bizjet market but they have. They have Globals, G650s and BBJs. One of the G650s was in SEA recently but I didn’t have an opportunity to see it. However, I did get the BBJ on one of its visits to BFI. It was stopping at BFI before making a direct run back to Korea. It is quite a nicely painted jet. Lots of the windows are blanked out on the front fuselage. A check on their website shows this is where some sleeping seats are installed. Plenty of smaller accommodation at the back for your lackeys to use while you rest up front if you like.
Shortly after my A220-300 landed, another Delta jet was due in. (Actually, quite a few were but they weren’t terribly interesting.). It was an A330-900, the NEO version of the A330. I have shot a few of them but have really struggled to get them in good conditions or nice lighting. Since the weather was crummy on this Sunday morning, that luck wasn’t changing. However, it was there so why not get a few shots. At some point I will get one in good light.
While boating across Lake Union, we saw a few of the sort of boats that you buy when you have amassed a decent amount of cash. Some of them looked quite elegant while others had a more aggressive look to them – perhaps the style is indicative of the owner? With the IT business being so large in the region, I suspect a lot of the boats are connected with people from that industry. I doubt I shall be buying something like this any time soon.
During the winter, I shot a British Airways 787 as it approached landing at Seattle Tacoma International. There was some low cloud base and it was just skirting the bottom of the clouds as it passed me by. It was appearing and disappearing from view within the clouds and, even when clear, was pulling a bit of vapor along with it! An all-white jet against a cloudy backdrop does not make for a contrasty shot but the elusive nature of the plane with such a background made the shots interesting to process.
With the extended test program for the Boeing 777X, I have had ample time to shoot the four test aircraft. (The fact I have only shot the third jet on the ground is a function of the very limited flying it has done to date. It is the performance aircraft so they are not using the engines much to maximize performance until the configuration is tightened up and the performance tests are required.). That hasn’t stopped me getting shots of the jets when the opportunity arises.
They have flown over the house a few times when on the return journey to Boeing Field. I have also caught them on occasions when down at Boeing Field. I got two in one day with the second and fourth airframes heading out close together. I got the second as it rolled for take off and the fourth taxied past while I was eating my lunch. I’m sure I will get more shots of them with the test program scheduled to continue through certification at the end of 2023!
I never fail to be amazed at the crap that large birds of prey take from smaller birds. The eagles fly around here with crows and other birds swooping in at them and trying to drive them away. The strangest part is that the eagles barely do anything about it. I have seen how agile an eagle can be in flight and a rapid turn to point some talons at an incoming crow is well within their capability but they just don’t bother. I was down south of Seattle recently and heard the familiar call of a bald eagle (not as cool as you might think). It was sitting on a tree top. Crows were coming in to hassle it regularly and it barely flinched. I shot a small video clip to show the crows working as a pair and that is included below.