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…. 🙂