On a cold day in Munich, with bits of freezing rain and whipping winds to keep me less than comfortable, I finally accomplished a project that started 3 years ago. Today, when I shot Lufthansa’s A330 ‘D-AIKS’ departing Munich for Charlotte, I had completed personally spotting and photographing the entire Lufthansa mainline fleet which includes all their A319-20-21, A330, A340, 747, 747-8i, and A380 aircraft.
Wheels Up……D-AIKS departs Munich for Charlotte
I’ve been stalking her patterns over the last 2 weeks and with help from a few insiders at Lufthansa, I was able to know her schedule a week in advance. I had been in Europe for other reasons and this simply coincided perfectly.
There was however a scare this morning as to her whereabouts. I had expected ‘KS’ to depart mid-morning for Mumbai but that departure came and went without her…..
Originally, ‘KS’ was slated to fly between Munich and Mumbai, but because of a delayed return from Mumbai from the previous night she could not be turned around in time to return to Mumbai as planned.
No information was available from my regular sources since it was a Sunday but as luck would have it, ‘KS’ pulled on to the taxiway as the last A330 that was leaving from the morning long-haul departure rush. I really did not want to wait around in the rain and wind for the late afternoon departures for Washington, Boston and Newark, nor did I want to keep hunting her indefinitely. I’m glad it worked out in the end!
Over the next few weeks (which will probably turn into months), I’ll try to published the entire fleet in the Lufthansa gallery on my Aero-Shots.com website.
It does appear however, that I need to find a new hobby!
‘KS’ pulling away from Munich
Spotting the spotter as KS departed Munich. Thanks to FlyerTalk’s ‘NewbieRunner’ for catching the moment!
Last week I spent several days in Europe to attend the Austrian Grand Prix as well as to make stops in Munich and Frankfurt for a bit of plane spotting and LH Business.
Frankfurt was a disappointment due primarily to the lack of progress on their Observation Deck renovation. I only had a few hours free in FRA so I couldn’t go to my favorite spotting site along the North-South runway.
Munich however was fantastic. Weather cooperated nicely and with large white and grey clouds to act as a backdrop, it provided for a solid spotting session. And thanks to Munich, I was able to capture about 26 LH aircraft that were missing from my ‘spotted list’. I am now only 6 LH aircraft away from personally spotting the entire mainline fleet. I suspect the missing 6 will require a bit of stalking and hunting on my part later this year when I return.
Munich’s Besucherpark offers a great view of their runways, and with winds out of the west, creates the opportunity to catch departing flights as they take off. The large viewing hill (more like a pyramid) puts you above the airport and gives a great prespective. Admission is only €1 and is open 24 hours…..a pretty good value!
So for part 1, here are 12 images that I though turned out rather well and include a diverse range of liveries. Part II will focus a bit more on the LH fleet.
Air Canada’s A330 shortly after arrival.
Speedbird’s A320 departs for Heathrow.
Delta’s 767 departs for the States….
Always an interesting scene when an El Al aircraft departs Germany. The armored police escort is provided at both MUC and FRA.
The usually benign LOT ERJ looks good with the IronMan livery.
One of my favorites of the day, the LH A320 in *A livery looks good against a cloudy backdrop.
An LH’s A346 departing MUC with an efficient angle of attack….
Honestly, the first time that I have seen a non-turbo-propped Luxair aircraft.
Oman’s A330 is towed to the gate for passenger boarding.
Qatar’s 787 is towed to her gate.
Tui and one of their beautiful Haribo 737s
An early United 767 departure.
Normally if I don’t like something, I don’t make it too public since my filters and expectations may be different from others and I don’t want to the taint their perspectives simply because of my opinion. However there are times when an exception is warranted and this is one of them.
Frankfurt’s observation deck had been closed for months for a renovation and had finally opened in May. Since I haven’t been there since the supposed renovation, I was looking forward to seeing the new look of the place.
‘Disappointment’ would be an understatement.
Virtually nothing has changed.
Yes, the check-in area received a minor facelift and a few more light bulbs but the observation area at this point is worse off than it was before. The deck, approximately 200-300 yards wide has about 2/3rds of the platformed fenced off with no access. The only part that has access is an area that blocks the view of the aircraft parked at gates in T2. The only work that they seemed to have accomplished in the last 6 months or so is to install a teak flooring that is already starting to splinter and weather.
I wasn’t expecting a First Class Terminal calibre experience, but I was hoping that it would be as it was before and not worse with the inability to move around the entire deck. The areas that are fenced off have shown no signs of work so I don’t understand the blockades. Those areas are also falling victim to Mother nature as weeds are allowed to grow out of control.
Absolutely no progress after months of renovation…..except for Mother Nature’s reclamation project. The best part of the deck is closed.
I did find a potential reason to the slow pace of the project. Today, as I was hunting down the last 7 LH aircraft that I need to complete my project of spotting the entire fleet (I found 1), I observed a crew show up for 15 minutes, played with their drill and put a few bolts into a chair and left. I was there for 5 hours, never saw them again.
Not sure why you would use Teak in an area that is abused by the elements. There was nothing wrong with the concrete slabs. Notice not even a seat to sit on, they too were behind the fences and unusable.
The other side of the deck fenced off as well, with no signs of progress….except for the new Garbage Can.
As I vent, I remind myself that they have the project split into 2 phases and they claim it will be finished next year. I don’t know why it takes so long to refresh a 300 yd long slab of concrete. So far all thats there is the teak flooring that is going bad, and a few garbage cans and it took 4 months to get to this point.
I hope that Berlin Brandenburg was not used as a template when it came to planning this project……
After spending some time in FRA last week, which of course created ample opportunity to spend time taking a few photos, I finally have had a chance to begin sorting through my memory cards.
For the first installment, I’ll focus on non-Lufthansa liveries. Frankfurt’s position as a truly global airport provides spotters the opportunity to see aircraft that they may not normally see otherwise. In my case, I have no chance to see an Iran Air or an Air Europa aircraft in the US which makes spotting in FRA so enjoyable.
Here are a few shots that I thought provide a unique look at liveries that most people would never see unless they are able to be at a place like FRA on a regular basis. The next installment will of course focus on some of my favorite LH shots, of which there are hundreds.
Iran Air’s A300 departs for Tehran.
Air Europa 737
Gulf Air A320 departing for Bahrain
British Airways A320 departing for LHR
Condor’s special ‘Ja FRA’ 767
China Airlines 747-400
Birds compete for tail space on this Kuwaiti A300
Qatar’s new A350
This Thai Cargo 747 is departing for the very last time. The aircraft was retired after arriving in Bangkok.
Here is the next installment of images from my recent trip to Paine Field.
If you missed what I’ve posted so far from this ‘series’, here is the index of what has been published so far:
Paine Spotting: February 2015 (Part I)
Lufthansa Cargo’s D-ALFE Goes Home
Lufthansa’s D-ABYS Showing off at Paine Field
Lufthansa’s D-ABYT Retro-Jet: Inaugural Flight
Lufthansa’s D-ABYT Retro-Jet: Returns From Inaugural Flight
Lufthansa’s D-ABYT Retro-Jet: Even More Pictures!
Virgin Atlantic 787 (G-VZIG)
Saudia Cargo (HZ-AK71) prepares for test flight.
…and subsequent return.
Lufthansa’s D-ABYS returns from a Customer Flight – It has since been delivered to Lufthansa.
Lufthansa’ 747-8i (D-ABYS)
LAN’s newest 787, CC-BGB, being remove from Paint Hangar. Photo taken from my hotel room!
JAL’s newest 787 prepares for B-1 Flight.
EVA’s 777 (B16721) prepares for delivery flight…
Cathay’s 777 returns from Customer Flight.
Cathay’s 777, B-KQW, seconds after its completion. Seen here being towed to the Paint Hangar area.
American’s second 787, N801AC, departing for test flight.