Saturday, March 28, 2009

Another Auckland Visit #5: OK, here we go... that large Airbus!

Here is the final set of photos from my latest Auckland trip. This time I have photos of three Emirates aircraft. First is are two different Airbus A340s; the remaining an Airbus A380! Awesome!

There were a couple of things that struck me about this big beast... obviously, the first is the size of the aircraft. It is HUGE! The first two pictures are of the A340, which apart from anything else, provide a very useful size comparison. In particular, the second [A340] and third [A380] were taken with the same settings, including focal length. The photos were also taken at about the same point along the runway.

Secondly, take a look at the wings. The shape of those wings seems extremely complex. I do realise that in flight they will "straighten out" a bit, but if you compare the shape to that of the other Airbus models I photographed today, the different is quite obvious. The tail is also huge!

The A340 registrations are A6-ERA and A6-ERN. The A380 registration is A6-EDB [I think I read these off the aircraft correctly...]. Enjoy the photos [almost] as much as I enjoyed taking them!

Another Auckland Visit #4: Cathay Pacific

Here are four views of a Cathay Pacific Airbus A340 landing/taxying. This aircraft has registration B-HXK.

Another Auckland Visit #3: A Singaporean, Korean and a Malaysian

No, it's not the start of a bad joke [although I know some terrible jokes!], but the operators of some of the other aircraft in and out of Auckland today. Here are some pictures. Top to bottom are:

At the top, two views of Singapore Airlines Boeing B777, registration 9V-SWR, followed by two photos of a Korean Airlines Boeing B777-200, registration HL7715. Next is a photo of a Malaysian Airlines Boeing B777, registration 9M-MRC. Note the titles "Visit Malaysia Year" on the side. Clearly the B777 is a very popular aircraft!

Another Auckland Visit #2: Air New Zealand and Qantas

Here are a few Air New Zealand and Qantas pictures from today's Auckland visit. Top to bottom are:

Air NZ Boeing 737-3U3, ZK-SJC
Air NZ Boeing B777-219, ZK-OKC
Qantas Boeing B767-338, VH-OGQ
Air NZ Airbus A320-232 painted in the Star Alliance scheme, ZK-OJH

Another Auckland Visit #1: Qantas, International Apron and Jean Batten

As I mentioned in my last post, I had another trip to Auckland planned for this weekend, and so earlier today, I had about 5 hours sitting around Auckland International airport.
This time I flew up on Qantas [actually, Jetconnect here in New Zealand] instead of Air New Zealand. Nothing in it really, the in-flight service was equally basic [although Qantas had fresh fruit as an option - I liked my apple!], but hey, it's only a 45 minute flight so who cares if they give us nothing?? The Qantas seats felt very slightly more comfortable, but again, not much in it.
Once in Auckland, there was a visit to the international terminal, then back to the domestic terminal and a car park for photos. Anyway, on to a few of those photos. These first is a picture of Jean Batten's Percival Proctor, which hangs in the airside shopping area of the international terminal [I shot this through glass from the "land side"].
The second photo of a shot of the international apron from the Qantas departure lounge. In the back there you'll notice what looks like a United Airlines tail - can someone confirm this for me?
The next few posts will cover off some of the other aircraft and airlines, including a certain large Airbus aircraft... :-)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Auckland trip #7: The last few aircraft and this coming weekend

Here are the last few photos that I am publishing from last weekend's trip to Auckland. This is a random selection of aircraft that I captured.

Also, this coming weekend, I'll have about 5 hours in Auckland on Saturday afternoon, so I hope to get a few photos then also. I'll be flying Qantas, and as long as the flight is not delayed and the weather is good, I hope to get my first photos of an Airbus A380. We'll see!

Anyway, here are the photos. Top to bottom are:

Two Great Barrier Airlines Britten-Norman BN.2A Mk.III-2 aircraft, registrations ZK-LGC and ZK-LOU. next is a Pacific Blue B737-8FE, ZK-PBJ. Finally, there is the Auckland Airport rescue trainer hull. I can't pick what type of aircraft it is/was, so if anyone can assist, please leave a message.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Auckland trip #6: More heavy metal

Every time I go to Auckland, I seem to get photos of an Emirates Airbus A340, and also a LAN A340. This probably has much to do with the fact that if I am in Auckland, it is usually on a Sunday evening. This trip was no exception. We'll see what happens this coming Saturday afternoon when I get to visit Auckland again... another story.

I was especially pleased however to spot this Air Pacific B737-800 landing. Air Pacific is based in Fiji, a country that is currently run by a military dictator. With sanctions in place, the dictator and his cronies can't visit or transit New Zealand [or various other countries], but it is good to see that ordinary Fijians can still visit.

Enough of the politics! I like the paint schemes on all of these aircraft... much more exciting than the Air New Zealand and Qantas schemes :-). Top to bottom are an Emirates Airbus A340 registration A6-ERE, Air Pacific Boeing 737-800, DG-FJG and three photos of a LAN Airbus A340, registration CC-CQA.

Auckland trip #5: Boeing 747s

For some reason, I have never previously been in the right place at the right time to get decent photos of B747's before. This trip was a little different, with two Air New Zealand and one Qantas B747 arriving fairly close to each other. While the day was not best for taking photos, here are three photos of those that I did get.

The first Air New Zealand aircraft is registered B747-419 ZK-NBV. The Qantas aircraft is a B747-438 and is registered VH-OJA and the final Air New Zealand B747-475 is registered ZK-SUH.

I've always been impressed by the B747. It is impressive, not only for its size, but also it's shape. On one hand, the "bubble" does not look right, yet perhaps, this makes it the most instantly recognisable airliner in the world. Awesome!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Auckland trip #4: Warbirds

Later on Saturday afternoon, I got to witness the return of a small number of the Warbird aircraft that had gone up to Whenuapai Airbase for the Royal New Zealand Airforce Open Day/Airshow.

Top to bottom are a couple of pictures of the Messerschmitt 108 Taifun [actually a Noord 1002 - a licence-built version of the 108], ZK-WFI. Following this are two pictures of the returning North American Harvards, then three pictures of the mighty Cessna A37 Dragonfly, ZK-JTL. I won't pretend to know too much about the histories of these aircraft, but a quick visit to the NZ Warbirds Association website should sort you out with the details of these aircraft and many more New Zealand-resident warbirds.

Auckland trip #3: A few other Ardmore GA aircraft

Perhaps surprisingly, considering that Ardmore is New Zealand's busiest airfield [by movements], things were fairly quite on the Saturday, with so not much general aviation [GA] activity floating around. Mind you, I didn't take the opportunity to go walking around to take a look either.

I have to say though, that it is nice to be back at a relaxed GA dominated airfield :-). Anyway, here are a few of the pictures I took of various GA aircraft.

The first two are of aircraft from Ardmore Flying School [AFS] - a Cessna 172, ZK-TAX. This Cessna is the second C172 of AFS to wear the ZK-TAX registration - the previous one sunk into the water under the low flying area some years ago... ZK-EZX is a Beech 76 Duchess, also registered to AFS.

The next two are Schweizer 269C-1 helicopters registered to Ardmore Helicopters. ZK-HVF and ZK-IMX are used for ab-initio helicopter training and seemed to be fairly busy most fo the afternoon. ZK-HYH is a Bell 206B, also registered to Ardmore Helicopters.

For the final helicopter, ZK-HSW is a Eurocopter EC 130 B4 and is registered to Advanced Flight Ltd.

The final two aircraft are a Cessna R172K operated by Air Lease Ltd and ZK-STU a Cirrus SR22, which was out for a quick local trip.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Auckland trip #2: Air NZ and Auckland Aero Club

For my recent weekend holiday, I flew up to Auckland in the back of an Air New Zealand B737-300. Being stuck in the back of a pressurised tin can at around 36,000 feet is not quite as much fun as it's cracked up to be, but hey, it was only for an hour or so [going to Europe later this year is not going to be much fun...!] :-)

After arriving and picking up a rental car [from Budget Rentals - a small car so ugly that no one would steal it if I left the keys in the ignition and a big sign saying "nick me" :-)] I drove to Auckland Aero Club [AAC] to catch up with a few people. The welcome was friendly [as always] and it was great to catch up with those that I knew when I was flying there!

Anyway, here are some of the photos I took. Except as noted, these aircraft are all operated by AAC. The first photo is of the club rooms [obviously]. Included in that photo is Cessna 172SP , ZK-JRA. I first flew this aircraft when it had about 30 hours on the clock! The Grumman AA1C, ZK-FVS was always my favourite Grumman and I flew many hours in formation in it.

Piper PA38-112 Tomahawk, ZK-WAG was a tidy looking example, albeit with an expired engine. Hopefully that is replaced and it gets back in the air soon. ZK-FLF [aka "Fluffy"] is a Cessna 152 Aerobat and received a complete refurbishment [inside and out] about 2.5 years ago.

The latest addition to the AAC fleet is ZK-SRL, a Cirrus SR20. I don't know much about this aircraft, except that it's fast, has flat panel displays and looks awesome :-)

Aircraft operated by other operators are as follows:

ZK-SMI is a Beech 76 Duchess, owned by a family trust in Takapuna [part of North Shore City which is itself part of the greater Auckland region]. The Vans RV-6A, ZK-RVJ, is registered to a Nelson address and looked really tidy.

That's enough for this post. Enjoy the pictures - there's more coming in the next posts including ex-military fixed wing and various other helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.