Saturday, May 23, 2015

Spotter Alert!

A common complaint I hear is that most of the A380 operations at LAX occur on the north side of the airport. For those who like to do their spotting from In-N-Out, this is great. For those who prefer to spot from the hill in El Segundo, it's lousy. Well today is your lucky day! Runway 24 Left is closed most of the day for maintenance, which means that all the early afternoon A380 departures will be from Runway 25 Left. The closure is scheduled to run until 4 PM this afternoon, so it's quite likely that Korean, Singapore, Air France, British Airways, and Asiana will be departing from the south side of the airport today. Emirates often takes 25 Left anyway, but the time frame may force them to use the south side as well. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Dreamin' of a Virgin


This week we added another carrier to the list of Dreamliner operators at LAX: Virgin Atlantic has begun using a B787-9 on one of their daily flights from London Heathrow. Unlike the other B787-9 users at LAX (United and LAN, so far), Virgin didn't first show up with a B787-8 before bringing the B787-9. Virgin has had B787s since last October, and was the first European operator of the B787-9. Virgin has also ordered more Dreamliners than any other European carrier so far. With the retirement of their A340-300s, whic had a seating capacity of 240, Virgins' B787-9s are the smallest aircraft in their fleet (by passenger capacity, anyway). Virgin's B787-9s are configured for 264 passengers; the next smallest, their A330-300s, are set up for 266. This appears to be a reduction in capacity at LAX, since the Dreamliner has replaced either an A340-600, which seats 308, or a B747-400, which seats at least 367.


Check out this Virgin Atlantic Dreamliner fact sheet

Virgin Atlantic fleet

Wikipedia: Virgin Atlantic

Virgin B787-9 with an Aeroflot A330-200 touching down

With an Air China B777-300

And another Air China B777-300. If I hadn't told you that was Air China, how long would it have taken you to sort that out? Now do you see why I don't like Star Alliance paint jobs? And SkyTeam is just as bad!

Here's a rare view; how often do you get to see a Dreamliner from this angle?

The windshield is one of the distinctive features of the B787. Unlike all other current airliners, it smoothly follows the sweep of the fuselage; there is no inset or step. Compare to the other airliners shown above; the Aeroflot A330 is a particularly good example.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

So, about that photo . . .

When I first took the shot that started this, what I was looking at (and what most of you spotted right away) was the three-of-a-kind line up that featured the E170. Then I noticed that all three of these airplanes had taxied around from the south side, which highlighted what a number of you also noticed: These three represent the three remaining legacy carriers (American, Delta, and United). Then another thought occurred to me: That while each of them represents a legacy carrier, none of them actually IS that carrier: Each one of these is operated by somebody else. The Delta Connection and American Eagle aircraft are flown by Compass, while the United Express airplane is operated by SkyWest.

To recap:
  1. E170 3-of-a-kind
  2. Three remaining legacy carriers
  3. All taxied around 
  4. None are flown by the legacy carrier 
I think each of these points was called out by one or more of you who sent in comments. For the win, though, was this one, sent in by Anonymous, who is a frequent commenter:  There is a stealth bomber on short final 24R   This comment makes more sense if you go back and look at the original photo; in the opening shot above the stealth bomber bears a striking resemblance to a Southwest B737 - now that's some impressive camouflage!

Technically, each of these is actually an E175; to ATC the E170 and E175 are the same, much as the E135 and E140 are the same for us. The E175 is about five feet longer than the E170, and holds eight passengers more, for a total of 76. E170s are not new at LAX, but they were a rare sight here until the arrival of Compass Airlines a couple of years ago. Prior to Compass, the only E170s to appear at LAX were flown by Republic, either for Midwest Express or Frontier. We also have had the larger E195s in Air Canada and AeroMexico Connect livery. The Air Canada E195s used to be common here, but we don't see them any more. The AeroMexico Connect E195s used to only show up at night, but we do occasionally get one now during daylight hours.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

What's special about this picture?

Many of you enjoyed the What's wrong with this picture? series back when I was able to do that, so here's a quasi-related theme. When I first took this shot, I had an idea in mind. Now, taking another look at it, I see at least three possibilities. So, what's special about this picture?