N580HW, a 61-year-old Convair 580 – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter.com
Those of us in the Seattle AvGeek scene are all too familiar with Honeywell Aerospace Flight Test’s Convair 580 (reg N580HW) based at Paine Field (PAE) [where Boeing makes their 747, 767, 777 (for now) & most 787 aircraft]. The aircraft is serial number 2, it was built in 1952. It is not every day that you have the opportunity to see a 61-year-old aircraft in operational service, let alone fly on one. This was my lucky day.
Before making the drive to the “Honeywell Museum of Flight” at Paine Field, I was at Honeywell’s Redmond laboratory to partake in a demonstration of Honeywell’s advanced Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS), Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), and landing monitoring research.
At the time, I was not sure if I would be getting a flight on the Convair or their Sabreliner (N670H). Shortly after my arrival, I was told that we would all be hopping aboard N580HW — I was thrilled, but also at the same time kind of jealous of the Sabre crew!
A Boeing 747-400 LCF (aka Dreamlifter) at Paine Field. Image: Bernie Leighton.
The Boeing 747-400 is already a large plane. When converted into a Dreamlifter, it only gets bigger. But this amazing aerial photo of N747BC, one of the four Dreamlifters built, makes it look a bit small.
Time to take a VIP tour of one of TAM’s Boeing 777-300ERs at Paine Field. Photo: David Parker Brown
Recently, I was invited to take a special tour of one of TAM Airlines’ brand-spanking new Boeing 777s that was parked at Paine Field. The plane was so new that Boeing was still prepping it for delivery. How could I refuse?
The aircraft I toured (PT-MUJ) and was TAM’s fourth 777-300ER, which was delivered on August 29th, 2013. The airline has ordered a total of nine of the type.
The 777 is the first aircraft that TAM has equipped with their new First Class product, and I was excited to check it out.
A row of Robinson R-22s at Boeing Field
From my previous articles, I think it’s apparent to both fans and occasional readers that I’m relatively obsessive when it comes to matters of aviation photography.
Helicopter spotting is not new; far from it. Friends of mine are pioneers of helicopter-borne aviation photography, but I had never really considered it to be viable in the Pacific Northwest.
Turns out that I was wrong – very, very, wrong.