On a recent trip to Frankfurt for a bit of LH business and to attend the FlyerTalk / Vielfliegertreff  ‘Advent-DO’, I made sure to block out several hours in my calendar for spotting.    Fortunately, ‘FRA’ is very ‘Spotter friendly’ and provides 3 dedicated areas designed to maximize quality spotting opportunities.     The three include the observation deck in Terminal 2 (currently closed as part of a renovation to the food court area) and 2 spotting venues located at strategic points just outside the Airport’s fence.

One of these venues is located on the east side of the airport next to the Berlin Airlift Memorial which gives visitors a great vantage point for arrivals coming from the east.   The other venue,  ‘Affenfelsen’ (Monkey’s Rock?), is a spotting platform that puts you next to the North/South runway that is dedicated only for departing flights.   Another advantage of the Affenfelsen site is its proximity to the East/West runways which allows you to capture flights arriving from the west.

For the 2 days that I had time for spotting, I chose the Affenfelsen site since it is easy to access from the airport and provides 2 runways worth of activity.    To reach this spot, you simply take the Holiday Parking shuttle from Terminal 1 or 2 to the Holiday Parking Lot located near Affenfelsen.   You’ll need to take a 15 minute walk from the parking lot, but its worth that minor effort.

Due to the amount of photos, I’ll publish a few posts to cover the 2 days.   Weather on day 1 was overcast with low ceilings and mist that made it a bit challenging, however day 2 made up for it with clear and crisp skies.   All of the photos that you’ll see are taken with a Nikon D800 attached to Sigma’s new 150-600mm Super Telephoto lens (click for lens review post).   This was the first time I put this lens to use and it performed brilliantly.   Even at 600mm and free hand, images were still sharp and ‘usable’!  Enjoy!


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AirBridge Cargo 747-8F


Air France’s new HOP! regional ERJ 190


Speedbird’s A321 taxis to a mid-runway departure position


Perhaps the most peculiar sighting that I’ve ever made at Frankfurt. This China Southern ERJ 145 (along with 5 others) had recently been sold to a Russian start up and have yet to be repainted. So no, this ERJ is not flying to Beijing!


No mistaking this Etihad A340 sporting the beautiful F1 livery.


‘Siegerflieger’ was nearly a mile away. It took every bit of the lens’ 600mm to bring this beauty closer!


What is becoming an endangered species, this LH 737 is preparing to depart from a mid-runway position. LH will be retiring the rest of their 737s during 2015.


Yankee Papa, the 1500th 747 to be built by Boeing, is arriving from the west.


‘Yankee Quebec’ is Lufthansa’s newest 747-8i. It was delivered to the airline in August 2014.


Lufthansa’s D-AILF, an A319, rotates for a perfect photo…..


Another LH A319 departing FRA….there would be a few dozen of these! 🙂


Lufthansa Cargo’s ‘Charlie Lima’ arrives from the west during the late afternoon.


TAM’s 777 arriving from Brazil


Thomas Cook’s 767 begins her take off roll…..


Turkish Cargo A330-200 Freighter


Ukraine International’s 737 arriving from Kiev