Saturday, September 29, 2012

More Shuttle Shots

More from last week's arrival of Endeavour. Several comments asked about what else was going on at the airport while the Endeavour fly-byes and arrival were happening. For the most part, not much; everyone on hand wanted to stay and watch:

Virgin America in position for a front-row view of the north side fly-by

A handful more departures on the north side, waiting for the fly-by

On the south side, there were a bunch of watchers and waiters:

Another selection of shots of the arrival on Runway 25 Right:



The cranes for the separation operation, as seen from the tower
Even once parked on the ramp, everyone wanted to taxi past for a look. Word got around apparently, because for the rest of the afternoon, pilots were requesting the "shuttle tour": The Lufthansa in this shot is actually a departure; they taxied from the TBIT down to the west end just for a look before taxiing all the way back to the other end of the airport to depart off 25 Right (the same runway the shuttle landed on).

For more shuttle photos, see these entries:  The Endeavour has landed
                                                            More shuttle shots

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Endeavour has landed

Friday, September 21st, saw the arrival of the space shuttle Endeavour at LAX. This was the last of the shuttle delivery flights, and was the final time a shuttle was in the air. The arrival was delayed a day by weather, as the original plan called for a Thursday arrival. After several weeks of preparation, the Endeavour will be transported by surface streets to the California Science Center, where it will go on display at the end of October.

Endeavour was the last of the shuttles, built from spares in the late 1980s to replace the Challenger. Endeavour also flew the next-to-last mission of the shuttle program, STS-134, in May of 2011.

The Endeavour flight passing north of LAX, on downwind for its fly-by over the north runway complex

Lined up for the north side fly-by

After the fly-by on the north side, the Endeavour flight then flew over the city, circling various landmarks and locations instrumental to the shuttle program
Lining up for the fly-by over the south runway complex

After the fly-by, the flight circled back around and the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft landed on Runway 25 Right, while the fighter escort flew past (over Runway 25 Left) and departed to the west:


After rolling to the end of the runway, the shuttle carrier taxied to a nearby ramp

Many people turned out to witness the arrival (and final flight) of the Endeavour:

Update:  For more photos, see these entries:  More Shuttle Shots 
                                                              One final set of shuttle shots