Tag Archives: turboprop

A Development Dash 8

I may have a soft spot for testbeds, but development airframes are also something that will interest me.  While driving around Tucson International Airport, we were looking at the various airframes at one of the schools based on the field.  There was a Dash 8 sitting in the yard.  It had Series 200 markings on it and seemed to be a development airframe.  With Mark being a Canadian, he was definitely pleased to catch this but I was too.  It looks in surprisingly good shape.

Photoship Over the Air Show

The Abbotsford Air Show was also apparently an event that the Aviation Photocrew from Europe had made the trek for.  They had arranged for a variety of photo flights associated with the show and involving some of the performers.  I didn’t know that this had been set up but, when we saw the Skyvan flying overhead with planes formating on it, we knew what was happening and my friend Mark told me that the same folks were running things.  I hope that they got some good shots.

A400M Atlas Demo from RIAT 2019

I was working through some shots from my last trip to RIAT in 2019.  Amazingly enough, I hadn’t finished editing some of the shots from that visit and I wanted to get rid of a lot of surplus shots to help the old hard drive space issues!  As I was working through them, I got to some shots of the A400M displays I saw over the course of the weekend.  I think the A400M is a cracking looking jet.  Whether it is doing what everyone wanted of it, I have no idea.  I just know it looks great and is capable of some really impressive demos.

For some reason, I had been feeling very brave during RIAT when it came to shooting some of the props.  I had gone with quite low shutter speeds with long lenses and the results were not necessarily all I would have wanted.  There were always going to be blurry shots to get culled, but the number of sharp ones was a little lower than I would have liked.  However, all was not a total loss, and I did get a bunch of shots that I was happy with.

Here is a selection of shots from across the show including the official displays by the Airbus test crew and some of the operator aircraft too.  The weather for RIAT 2019 was not that great.  We did get some nice light occasionally but one of the days was very wet (and I was feeling crappy too) and the others were overcast a lot of the time.  Not the most exciting light for a grey painted plane but they had the potential for prop vortices.  Will I have big prints of these on the wall?  No, I don’t think so.  However, it was okay and there will be other times, I hope.

Not Many P-3s Left So This Was a Treat

When my friend Paul first told me he was going to be in Seattle over the holidays, I thought we wouldn’t be able to get together.  However, circumstances changed, and it turned out we could go out and check out the local aviation scene.  We had been getting some stuff locally but a check on ADSB showed a P-3 and an EP-3 out at Whidbey Island and we debated whether to make the run north.  In the end, we went for it.  The EP-3 had been out a while already and it did return before we got there but we were not going to come up short.  A P-3 made its return with some lovely December sun on it.  It flew a bunch of patterns which meant the chance to try different spots to get some images, so we were rather pleased with the outcome.

Some of My Rides on Safari

We took three internal flights while we were in Kenya and Tanzania and all three were interesting aircraft.  Better still, they were all different types.  One was a new one for me to fly on, but you might be surprised as to which that was.  Our first trip was on a Let 410.  It took us from the Serengeti to a short strip just short of the border with Kenya.  This wasn’t my first ride in a 410 but it was my first landing.  Previously I jumped out of one as part of a tandem skydive.  This one had far more comfortable seating.

Once we crossed the border, we took another flight into the Maasai Mara.  This was on a type that is ubiquitous in the area – the Cessna 208B Grand Caravan.  I have never been on one of these.  They were very densely configured and getting through the cabin to a seat was quite an effort.  I don’t care to think what getting out in a hurry might be like!  We saw so many of these with different operators over the course of our visit.

The last type we flew was a Dash 8 100 Series.  A far larger type than the others, this flies some heavier routes, and these might involve multiple stops along the way picking up and dropping off customers.  Ours picked us up in the Mara and took us direct to Nairobi.  No intermediate stops for us.  It has been a long time since I flew in an early generation Dash 8, and I hadn’t thought of them as doing rough field ops.  However, supporting remote communities is part of their history so of course they are fine on these strips.  Unfortunately, heavy rains at the strip 90 seconds from our camp meant we had to drive for forty minutes to another strip to make this flight.  It was a good trip, though.  This part of the world was great for people like me that like close up encounters with aviation!

The Marines Show Up

I could easily have missed this, but my friend messaged me that a Herc was coming in.  I was working on some other stuff and would have been unaware until too late.  It was not where I was, and I wasn’t moving but the roll out and taxiing back was in lovely light so I wasn’t missing out.  They taxied to the terminal and kept the engines running so I wondered if they were going straight back out but it wasn’t to be.  They then taxied to a parking spot and shut down.  Maybe they were clearing customs?  Apparently they stayed for the night but were gone when I came by the following day.

The Avanti Just Fails to Catch the Light

I was having a really lucky day.  I had caught a few really cool photo subjects and the lighting had been really good.  I was about to pack up and go when my friend reminded me of something I had forgotten.  An Avanti was scheduled in at the end of the afternoon and I had figured I would have been gone so had let it slip to the back of my mind.  Since a couple of other movements had got delayed, I was there later than expected and now the Avanti was on the approach.

The light was looking amazing, but it was still some distance out.  The Avanti is pretty fast, but I was watching the hillside beyond the field start to lose the sun and I knew that it wasn’t going to last long enough for my Avanti.  Sure enough, as it came into sight, the light was gone.  We had a gloomy look to things as it buzzed past.  Not as it could have been just three minutes earlier, but its an Avanti and it rounded out an excellent day nicely.

The Old Horizon Fleet

The departure of the Q400s from Horizon’s fleet means that they are now fully equipped with Embraer E175-E1s.  I know some people didn’t like the Q400 but I actually found it to be perfectly fine when I flew in them.  Not a ton of space but not the longest flights.  Certainly nothing as long as I have done in the Embraers!  However, before the Q400s, there were other aircraft in their fleet.  I was scanning through some shots for some other reason and came across shots of Dash 8-100s and CRJs.  I figured I would remind people of some of the older times that Horizon operated when I was shooting stuff.  Of course, there are far older types that they would have had but they are before my time.

A Dash 7 Almost Catches Me Out

We saw a variety of planes in Kenya and Tanzania.  This one I didn’t get too close to but I was really happy to have caught either way.  Dash 7s are pretty few and far between these days.  There are some up in Canada that I would love to get up to see but the last ones I saw were in Toronto and looked stored.  This one flew overhead and I grabbed a few quick shots.  Oh to have seen it touching down on one of the rough strips.

A More Dynamic Angle on Lynden at Last

I have had various encounters with the C-130s of Lynden Air Cargo over the years, but they have usually been a relatively normal side on type of shot.  I saw one of the aircraft had gone into Paine Field and I was fortunate that the departure was scheduled for a weekend day when I could get up there.  I decided at the last minute to make the trip up and, as I pulled up at my preferred location, a quick check of the phone showed the aircraft was already at the hold.

I got set up as rapidly as I could and then they were rolling.  The advantage of this location is that the plane will have rotated and is climbing out towards me.  The Herc is able to get out of short strips just fine, but it isn’t climbing too rapidly so I knew I should get something different to what I have taken before.  I quite liked the front quarter shot but the others were fine too.  I was then back in the car and home in a short time.  It was almost like I hadn’t been away, but I had got the result I wanted.