US Secretary of State John Kerry arrives at the G20 in Brisbane aboard a C-32
The annual G20 (group of twenty) Summit is the gathering of the world’s 20 most powerful and influential nations to discuss various political and economic issues facing the world. As with any gathering of major international powers, there was a vast array of interesting and unique aircraft on show.
This year’s summit was held in Brisbane, Australia, during the weekend from November 14th – 16th. As I was in Brisbane during this time, I was very fortunate to partake in some good old plane-spotting.
Over 40 aircraft part took in the G20 Summit; this ranged not only from the various head of state VIP aircraft but also the countless support aircraft. These aircraft carried everything from advance teams to motorcade vehicles, right through to food for the various world leaders and dignitaries attending the summit.
Additionally, the US delegation also brought with them a number of helicopters including “Marine One” and V-22 Ospreys to assist in the transfer of POTUS from the military base where he landed into the city.
The dedicated media/spotters area for the event allowed for some great views of the three IL-96 aircraft from the Russian delegation
As with any major event of this nature security was very tight. There were over 6,000 additional police on duty for the weekend. Now, most would expect that the airport would be completely off-limits to spotters. But thanks to some outstanding work by the local plane-spotting community, in particular the work of YBBN Spotters Group together with Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC), there was a dedicated area set up on airport property for registered spotters and media.
Unfortunately, due to the prevailing winds and runway configuration, the area was only really suitable for afternoon and evening movements. Even so, there was plenty of other locations off-airport to get some spectacular images.
Below is a selection of images that I have taken during the event showcasing the vast array of different and unique aircraft used for the event by the various visiting nations. Unfortunately, due to the timings of some arrivals, it was not possible for me to capture all of the visiting aircraft, but I feel I was able to capture quite a few special aircraft.
AirlineReporter’s own Bernie Leighton in front of a helicopter at Boeing Field (BFI) – Photo: Britton Staniar | Bloomberg News
When Julie Johnsson, Aerospace Reporter with Bloomberg News, asked if I knew of a good plane spotter in Seattle that she could speak with, Bernie Leighton quickly came to mind!
Bernie is a Managing Correspondent with AirlineReporter and he has provided some amazing photos of aircraft of all types and sizes in the Seattle area and around the world. His specialty: aerial shots.
I am always excited when a journalist with a major media outlet is looking to bring AvGeeks into the mainstream, and after speaking with Johnsson for a short-while, I knew she understood who we were and was excited to read her story. That said, I was a bit curious to why she was motivated to do this story now.
“I’ve been tracking photographers like Bernie on Airliners.net for years, so it was pretty cool to follow him in real life,” Johnsson explained to AirlineReporter. “I was curious to learn more about folks who are documenting Boeing’s jetliner production, what motivates them — and the 787’s role in galvanizing AvGeeks.”
Sounds good to me.
Boeing has to get creative to hide a new livery. Here’s the first 747-8I covered before the big reveal – Photo: Boeing
From Bloomberg News’ story by By Julie Johnsson and Britton Staniar…
Bernie Leighton leans out an open-sided helicopter into a chilly breeze, Nikon camera glued to his face as he focuses on his unsuspecting photographic quarry.
The celebrity in his lens is no Kardashian. It’s Etihad Airways’ first 787 Dreamliner, parked outside Boeing Co. (BA)’s wide-body jet plant north of Seattle and an object of desire among planespotters for a new, secrecy-shrouded paint scheme.
Leighton is angling for Internet fame as he stalks the 787, already one of the most-chronicled industrial products on the planet for its futuristic design and troubled start. Selling the first aerial shot of the shimmering silver-and-gold Etihad plane would also cover the cost of his $500 copter ride.
Continue reading Bloomberg Takes Sometime to Find out What it Means to be an AvGeek & view the video on Bloomberg News.
Swiss International Airlines Airbus A330-300 on departure from Zurich – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter
SWISS INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES BUSINESS CLASS REVIEW BASICS:
Airline: Swiss International Airlines
Aircraft: Airbus A330-300
Departed: Zurich (ZRH)
Arrived: Chicago (ORD)
Stops: Non-stop flight
Class: Business Class
Length: About 9.5 hours
Cheers: Mini-cabin that offers additional seclusion and privacy, connection efficiency at the Zurich hub
Jeers: No hot meal offered for second service, despite nearly 10-hour flight length, aging and clunky IFE
Overall: A leading long-haul business class product from an EU carrier, needs a few updates to make it more competitive in the future
The right cuff-links for the occasion – Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren | JDLMultimedia.com
When I moved to the USA in May of 2012, I packed up my entire life, left everything and everyone behind in Australia, and began a new life in Seattle. Pretty soon I was meeting up with all kinds of people, especially AvGeeks but even I didn’t think that less than two and a half years later I would be getting married.
It wasn’t just any wedding though, it was probably the most unique AvGeek wedding. How so? Well, my wife and I were married inside the very first 747 – the City of Everett locate at the Museum of Flight.
That’s me and my new wife Heidi, posing for our first photos as a married couple inside RA001, Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren | JDLMultimedia.com
Yeah, you read that right, the first 747. Truth be told, I couldn’t believe at first that the Museum of Flight would let us use the first 747 (also known as RA001) like that. But we were extremely excited. Right now, you are probably thinking about my wife, “She let you do that?”. Well, the truth of the situation is that it was Heidi’s idea.
After trying to find intimate venues for a small wedding at low-to-zero cost, we just couldn’t find any. Parks in Seattle all require a permit to get married. These can cost anywhere from $200-400. Pass!
We spoke with our friends at the Future of Flight in Everett about perhaps getting married there; however, Heidi’s family are all based south of Seattle, so this would be a long way to go for them (unfortunately, my family was not able to make it over for the wedding).
I knew that the Museum of Flight had just finished refurbishing RA001 so I joked that we should just get married under it. My wife, being ever the smart one in our relationship, made a good point that it rains a lot in October – what would we do if it rained that day? Her idea was we get married inside. This excited her more than me, and I’m the AvGeek!