Tag Archives: ups

The Holidays Bring Us Some A300s

The freighter fleets of the big operators like FedEx and UPS are gradually being recapitalized.  The older jets are heading to the desert and getting replaced with new airframes.  The A300-600Fs in both fleets are not going away quickly but they won’t be around for a lot longer.  The UPS A300s don’t normally show up in Seattle with 767s and MD-11s being the regulars here.  However, the holiday season results in a big increase in parcel traffic and so extra jets tend to show up.  That meant some A300s at Boeing Field.  Great to have them here and I hope we get another time when they show up reliably.

UPS But Not The Best One

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.

UPS 747-8F Test Flight

This was a bit of a mistake.  I saw a Boeing 747-8 was due for a flight at Paine Field.  The 747-8I that Lufthansa declined to take delivery of has been active recently and I thought this was it.  Instead, it was a freighter that was due for a short test flight.  Not what I had in mind but still not too bad.  It was another UPS jet.  There are some non-UPS 747s still to be built before the line is closed soon and I will want to see some of those.

It was early in the day so the light was best on the east side.  That limits your options but I got it taxiing down for departure and heading out.  It was a 30 minute flight so I got the return too before heading off.  I wish I hadn’t been so eager to get back because a Janet 737 showed up half an hour after I left!  Oh well.

Long Time Since I Shot an MD-11 Touchdown

MD-11 freighters are still a big part of the UPS fleet.  In visits to Boeing Field before I lived up here, I got to see them quite often.  For some reason, my more recent visits have not included many MD-11s.  However, one nice evening with pleasant light, a UPS MD-11 was due in.  They were on a northerly flow so a touchdown shot was not a problem.  The bigger issue is that the 100-400 is fine for most of the sequence but, at the closest point, it is a bit too much lens.  Still, nice to get one of these again.  No idea what the long term plan is for UPS and the MD-11 but I hope they hang around for a bit.

Sunset UPS Departure

The UPS traffic at Boeing Field was busy in the run up to Christmas.  As the light was starting to fade and the day end, another UPS jet taxied for departure.  It got airborne and headed off to its next destination as the sky in the background had a nice warm look to it.

UPS Getting Very Busy

In the run up to Christmas, online retail had clearly been very busy.  UPS runs their Seattle flights to Boeing Field and, while I was there, the traffic levels were well above the norm.  I have posted the Asia Pacific 757 freighter in a previous post but UPS’s own fleet were really moving.  Arrivals and departures were pretty frequent.  As soon as the jets were on the ramp, the team whirled into motion getting the containers off and loading up the outbound loads.

Asia Pacific 757 Freighter Helping UPS

Looking for something unusual keeps things interesting when you have been shooting the same stuff for a while while not able to go anywhere.  I had seen a couple of movements in recent months of Asia Pacific Airlines and their Boeing 757s.  However, I had never been in a position to catch one.  Christmas Eve I was off work and one was due in to Boeing Field.  It was on their own flight number but I had a suspicion that they were supporting UPS.

Sure enough, when the jet landed, it taxied up to a spot on the UPS ramp and started unloading.  UPS had been running a large amount of movements through Seattle that day and the preceding days so I guess the Christmas rush meant it was necessary to charter in additional capacity to deal with the demand.  An interesting looking plane and nice to see something different for a change.

747s Over Kenmore

A sunny but cool Sunday afternoon with a bit of spare time on my hands meant I headed over to Kenmore to see whether there was any floatplane activity.  The answer was not much.  However, I did get something a little larger overhead.  Traffic in to Paine Field was running on a northerly flow.  A Dreamlifter made an approach and was followed a little later by a 747-8F destined for UPS once test flying is complete.  They both turned on to approach overhead the north end of Lake Washington so I got shots of them both.

UPS Evening Arrivals

Founders’ Plaza sits at the northwest corner of DFW.  It is just north of the UPS ramp.  As the light was getting good just prior to disappearing in the evening, UPS had scheduled a couple of arrivals.  The first of the two was a 747-8F.  It landed on our side of the field and then taxied back towards us crossing the field at the north end.  It then headed to the part of the ramp that lies east-west so was parked tail on to us.

A little time after it arrived, an MD-11 was due in.  The later arrival meant the light was getting even better and the white fuselage was turning a nice shade of orange as the sun started to set.  It taxied back up on our side of the airfield so was more head on as it came back.  This made for a contrasty shot with the warm light on one side and deep shade on the other.  They were a good way to round off a nice afternoon of shooting.

UPS Delivered from the Paintshop

A sunny and cold winter day provides nice light and an afternoon arrival of a jet at Paine Field from the paint facility in Portland was enough to tempt me out.  UPS is the primary recipient of 747-8F jets these days and it was another of their getting close to delivery.  It was approaching from the south so I was at the windsock with a few other locals.  They flew a touch and go before making a full stop landing so I was able to try two different positions to get the landing.  Conditions were really nice for getting a shot of a shiny new plane.