I arrived in Seattle late on the afternoon of June 19 and after dealing with Seattle’s miserable traffic, I finally got to Paine Field in the early evening so there was not much to see as far as traffic coming and going.  However, the flight line was full of aircraft destined for a wide variety of airlines.   One thing that struck me was the number of 787s that were present.   The 787s easily  made up 70-80% of the aircraft sitting on the various ramps.   The 747-8i and -8F made up most of the difference aside from 1 or 2 777s.    Seeing this reminded me a bit of Henry Ford’s attitude:  “You can have any color on your car, as long as it’s black”.  Boeing’s version would be “You can buy any airplane you want as long as it’s a 787”.   It is nice to see the 787 continue to gain acceptance despite some of her early growing pains.

The highlight from yesterday’s abridged plane spotting was ironically a non-Boeing moment.    At 9:00p, an Antonov AN-124 arrived from  Columbus, Ohio’s Rickenbacker Air Force Base.    Interestingly, the aircraft did not go to a ramp for parking, but rather was parked on a taxiway, surrounded by boeing vehicles.  I speculate, but perhaps there were some pieces and parts aboard not designed for public viewing.   I say this because Boeing has a VERY SECURE area within its assembly building where access is limited to the military and their contractors.   Basically, it is the area where the 767s are being built to military specs to be used as tankers, so some secrecy is warranted.

Below are a few shots from the 2 hours or so that I had at Paine.  Today (and tommorow!), I plan on spending virtually the entire day along side the runway hoping to catch a few great shots.   If it works out, I’ll be back with some great shots…. 🙂

 

 

 

This 747-8F was previously decorated in a special Seattle Seahawks livery.

This 747-8F was previously decorated in a special Seattle Seahawks livery.

 

United_787-900_N38950_Paine

United’s First 787-900 (a bit blurry due to how far away she was parked!)

Paine_Flightline

 

New_Zealand_787_ZK-NZE_Paine

Right before sunset, the sun broke out behind a dark cloud cover to create some great light effects.

 

Lufthansa_747-8i_D-ABYP_Paine

Lufthansa’s next 747-8i, D-ABYP, is also Boeing’s 1500th 747 to roll off the line. ‘YP’ will fly home on June 28 after Boeing commemorates the occasion on June 27.

 

British_Airways_G-ZBJG_787_Paine_PAE

British Airways’ next 787 receives her finishing touches.

 

AN124_Paine_PAE

This AN124 was the highlight of day 1. About 30-40 people turned out watch the arrival at 9:00p.

AN124_Paine_PAE_2

 

Air_China_747-8i_Paine

It is unusual to see an uncovered/unpainted aircraft in the open. Typically they have a green coating to protect the surface. My best guess is that this 747-8i belongs to Air China (Vertical Stabilizer provides a hint). Please correct me if I am wrong.

 

787_Saudi_Finance_Ministry_Paine_HZ-MF8

This 787, sporting Boeing’s newest ‘Incognito’ livery, belongs to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Finance Ministry.