January - February, Milan / Paris Going lowfare from Skavsta opened up new ideas. Why just go on return trips when you can make triangular routings? Flew to Bergamo and rented a car. Laptop with maps and a GPS was quite handy! Arriving after sunset and I got a bright idea, why not search for one of the ex Alitalia Caravelles supposed to be in the neigbourhood? Everything seems so close on the maps but finally finding I-DAXU in Pavia, Voghera. Darkness made shots hard but the fuselage of an ex Airforce DC-3 were close to the gate and turned out better. Very late and trying to find a hotel with reasonable price was harder than we thought and we gave up in the late hours, parked the car on a side street and fell a sleep. Not sleeping very well it didn't get better when the local Policia came with their flashlights asking for "dokumente" and wondered what we did here! As it wasn't obvious we were sleeping! Early morning at Malpensa but not early enough as we forgot to cater the day before and local store didn't open in time. When walking from the car to the little park next to runway 35R we noticed a couple of 772's of Alitalia rouring past us. It should turn out most Alitalia widebodies moving during the day used 35L instead. Among many Alitalias we also got in front of the mountains a Livingston A332, Eurofly A332, Alitalia Cargo 747, Albanian B146 and Vueling A320. The latter one to be flown in 2006. After the morning peak we tried to find a spot for departures runway 35L. While doing so the only MD-11 we had a chance to get, took off 35R... Back to the park again. Second night we checked into a hotel. Entering the ruff room we found out they just turned on the heat but I think the temperature were above zero... The water coming from the shower feeled like below zero!
Another clear day and off to the park. Movements like day before and we got the other Livingston A332 and a Blue Panorama 767. The Icelandair 767 flying for Neos were not within reach and the only 737 we got from Neos taxied from the charter terminal directly to 35L for departure at great distance. Driving back to Bergamo checking out the far side of the aiport getting some parked F27's, then staying next to the taxiway getting MyAir A320 and some other stuff, leaving the car, checking in, some pictures through the glass before boarding including the Euro Atlantic 737 flying for BlueAirWeb and some SkyEurope 737's. Unfortunately the film from Bergamo was lost so technically I have no pictures from there... Flying Ryanair once again, this time ending up in Paris.
Starting the day at Charles du Gaulle with Austral 772 and Ukraine International 737 on the taxiway between the north and south part of the airport. A tour along the fence at terminal nine gave us Afriqiyah A320, Air Horizons 738's, Air Mediterranee A321 and Eagle A310 plus A320. Back to the grassfield for some crossing traffic, SX-BVB Hellasjet A320 and EK-32009 Armavia A320, both destroyed in the hangarfire at Brussels in June.
We also got AtlasBlue 737's, Air Tahiti A343 and Gulfair A332 in jubilee colors before leaving to Le Bourget and the traditional bizzjet hangar tour, finding out the Falcon jet center were not accesible anymore but we got some interesting nes such as Air Ivoire A321 and Libyan Air Ambulance Corvette.
Not being at the far side yet we thought while being in the neighbourhood of the museums backyard, why not try to find it and see if we could make a visit? Said and done we entered the open gates and parked by the maintenance hangars. Nobody at all were seen and we strolled around for a while when suddenly being approached by a very angry worker. No explanations at all of us being from sweden, working with historical aircrafts (Caravelles for example) helped. We had to leave imediately! Maybe the poor condition of the objects here were the reason, I don't know, we never got an explanation. At least got the Caravelle, DC-7, HD-34 and L749 before being kicked out. Back to de Gaulle before leaving to Beauvais for our flight home.
April, Dublin Vacation with my girlfirend together with another friend and his wife. Main target whisky and sightseeing. Got some Aer Lingus A330's from the terminal as well as Air Comet 742 and a sole Eirjet A320.
May, Prague Girlfriends birthday celebrated in Prague on another great vacation. Enjoying good food, beer and the beautiful city. Lots of walking but it's worth it. Only aviation excursion this time being a trip to the airport and CSA headquarter taking pictures of the restored DC-3 outside the entrance.
June, Copenhagen / Finkenwerder / Hannover / Frankfurt / Hermeskeil / Speyer / Sinsheim / Zurich / Basle / Dijon / Paris / Brussels / Antwerpen / Rotterdam / Amsterdam / Lelystadt / Finkenwerder
Our goal today was being in Frankfurt for an early start there next day. Driving the winnebago through Sweden via the bridge (experiencing it costed a small fortune to cross with this type of vehicle) to Copenhagen finally getting the Air Greenland A330 at the hangars.
Continuing through Denmark and Germany to Finkenwerder always presenting some nice predelivery aircrafts. This time totally empty except one of Privatairs A319CJ's.
Rushing to Hannover, arriving just before the last light disapeared getting a Kras Air Tu204, Air Berlin 737 in Dreamliner colors and some Hapag Lloyd Express aircrafts. Small barbeque before heading to Frankfurt, arriving late evening or maybe early morning... We were four persons on this tour and we set up two teams alternating the driving. This meant two of us could party and rest every second night while the others drove and navigated. No daylight wasted if not really necessary, all long distance driving carried out during nighttime.
Starting with the morning traffic at Frankfurt with Cirrus Air 735, Aero Flight A321, China Airlines A340, Gemini DC-10, a bunch of Lufthansa widebodies, Varig Log MD-11F, Omni DC-10 and in the distance Uzbekistan 763. Optimistic about time contra distance and speed of our rolling home we waited a bit too long at Frankfurt before leaving.
Plans were to visit the three great museums of Hermeskeil, Speyer and Sinsheim. With no hurry we drove to Hermeskeil. Great weather and a lot to see. Some highlights worth to be mentioned are Lufthansa L1049, UAE government VC-10, Interflug Il18 and Tu134, Jordanian Airforce DC-3 and a Comet from Dan Air.
Realising the museums might have closingtimes (!) we put the pedal through the floor on the winnebago and rushed to Speyer, running through the outdoor exhibiton taking photos of the airliners presented. The latest addition was the most spectacular installation I've ever seen, the Lufthanda 747 on 20m poles "flying" over the museum slightly banking to the left. Stairs all the way up had to be tried and what a view from here! Other aircrafts flying around here was a Mercure, VFW 614, An2, An26, An22 and DC-3, everything quickly passed.
Then off for the final mission this day, arriving at Sinsheim 15min before closure but here we didnt need to pay anything as the airliners were accesible from the frontyard. To bad we were in such a hurry because the two latter museums have lots of aircrafts of interest (like Ju52's) inside the halls as well, Stopping at a nearby shoppingmall we catered for the next day and drove to Zurich arriving late evening at the runway end. A well worth beer and some barbeque once again overlooking the nightlife of the airport.
Weather was really bad when we woke up, heavy clouds and some rain offered now and then. Once again our rolling facilities came handy. We reparked the vehicle and the foldable roof on the side was mounted. Kept us dry. The visit gave us Air Caraibes A330, various types from Air Berlin, Denim Air F50's, El Al 737, Emirates A345, Helvetic F100's, Salzburg/Styrian Spirit CRJ's, various types from Swiss with A340 being a new one for me.
As this was my first time along the perimeter at Zurich I made sure we passed the firedump in order to get the ex Air Afrique DC-8 still in "service".
Continuing in the rain via Basle and its strange roadnet caused by the airport belonging to both Switzerland and France. After many wrong turns we found the correct perimeter to one of the aprons and some lousy pictures of hungarian F27's of Farnair we continued to Paris. A glance at the map showed Dijon to be pretty close to our planned route and with the day quickly turning to night, we took pictures of the sole bizzjet to be seen, PR-JAQ a Citation 750. Arriving Orly sometime during the night...
A glance at the map showed Dijon to be pretty close to our planned route and with the day quickly turning to night, we took pictures of the sole bizzjet to be seen, PR-JAQ a Citation 750. Arriving Orly sometime during the night...
Morning traffic at Orly gave us loads of different Air France's, Air Senegal 737, Celestair A319, CCM A320 and some Airlinair ATR's.
Before leaving for the airshow at Le Bourget I made sure we stopped for a short while at Athis-Mons. Finally I got a picture of "my" Mercure F-BTTJ which I flew back in 1994 but didn't get any pictures of by the time. Unfortunately they repainted one side in the old Air Inter colors and the side kept in the last scheme they gave her a faked registration. The Concorde prototype were now presented without titles since the latest vandalism took place when the aircraft was covered with tags.
Main target for the Paris visit was the A380 and we were off to Le Bourget. Weather still sucked and afterwards we found out that we choosed the wrong way for our trip and was more or less followed by the rain instead of just quickly passing it. Hard to know in advance... Lots of interesting stuff in the static display but as always everything was parked very close as the space is much more limited here than at Farnborough. DC-10 waterbomber, Italian Airforce 767 tanker, 772LR from Boeing, United CRJ 700, Qantas Q400 and most types of bizzjets were represented. The A380 flew along with A346 and A318. The Breitling L1049 was great to get. Off again, this time to Charles de Gaulle and taking approaches, nothing really special, most interesting were Smartwings 735. First full night sleep this trip.
Starting off at Charles de Gaulle with Air Seychelles 763, Air Algerie A332, Hexair E145, MEA A332, TAM A332 and Aeromexico 762.
Then continuing to Brussels and some Jetair F100 and 737's, UAE Government 737, Tarom 737, some SN Brussels Avro's and a sole A319.
The bad weather was no good for approach shots and we rolled on via Antwerpen hosting 9Q-CDY Andover and a sad looking HP Jetstream.
On to Rotterdam only to find a Metroliner and a Jestream before we ended up at Amsterdam for tonights dinner and sleep.
Amsterdam always offers good variety of traffic and many heavy ones, pax as well as freighters. Staying along runway 06/24 as departures used 24 today. Schipol is known for a quite complex mix of runway operations and you don't get everything as there are 5 active runways...
We then heard from some locals that China Airlines 747 in Dreamliner colors operated todays flight and it most likely was departing runway 18L. Following them to another spot and we got it! to get most out of our stay we then continued around the airport perimeter passing the bizjet apron and further on to Polderbaan for the afternoon arrivals. Staying near the taxiway bridge and lighted our grill for making dinner whilst keeping an eye on the movements. Used to the rules in Sweden allowing barbeque in open nature we were quite surprised when the local police informed us it was not allowed in Holland. They kindly asked us to finish our dinner and put the grill out. So should be done before they returned 15min later to check us. No problem! When dinner was finished and evening was getting closer we drove all the way around Polderbaan to the east side where we found some local roads, parked our home with an evening view of the runway and went to sleep.
Waking up early and moving back to runway 06 where arrivals came in today. The weather was not as good as yesterday but the Surinam 743 had to be pictured anyway! Some freighters and KLM MD-11's also came. Sky cleared up during the morning and we stayed until the afternoon getting lots of nice actionshots.
Moving on to Lelystadt and touring the museum, the L749 was looking great but we missed the DC-2 which had a landing accident earlier in the season and were not present.
Continuing homebound via Bremen, home of OLT S340's and 2000's and Lemwerder which was totally empty.
On the way to Finkenwerder we discussed what stops were going to be made next on the trip when I got a call from my girlfriend at home. Bad news, she called from the hospital and our plans changed to a VERY quick stop at Finkenwerder, even this time only showing an A319 from Privatair. We then drove all the way home with only fuelstops on the way exceeding our budget more and more all the time... I can asure you it's very comfortable to have the house with you, shower, toilet, beds, kitchen aso. In the end it was not as cheap as we thought but we sure had a good time.
August, Amsterdam / Manchester Trying the new concept with triangular routings we found cheap tickets with SAS to Amsterdam and home from Manchester. Good thing Jet2 operated the route between the two cities! This time we met up with my good friend living near Schipol and started off at the nowadays classic spot next to 06/24 for takeoffs runway 24. Soon they changed to Polderbaan and we moved to the taxiway bridge. Windy days like this when they change runways alot you are pretty smoked without wheels. Then we got a ramp tour before going to runway 36R to get some arrivals before it was time to be dropped at the terminal area for our "Jet 2 Manchester".
Arriving in the evening at Manchester and heading downtown to our hotel we felt pretty stiff in the skin after the windy day at AMS. Some food and beer and a good nights sleep preparing for tomorrow. Getting up early and taking a taxi to the far side of the airport for some morning departures at 24L. Taxidriver was very helpful and tried out some different roads before finally dropping us as close to the perimeter as possible. Walking for a while but we're used to that. Brilliant lineup shots from a small hill next to the fence. Unfortunately the 06R/24L is closed everyday 1200-1500 and around 1200 we started walking towards 24R. After staying for a while close to the touchdown point taking lineups and arriving traffic we were relly surpriced to suddenly being harassed by the local police! Never happend at MAN before! Questioning us for a while, making us feel like criminals but we didn't fall for their trickquestions and we left together after getting a copy of the report. With the sun from the wrong direction it didn't do much harm anyway and we choosed not to argue too much and instead walked to the classic pub next to 24R getting a well worth beer. After relaxing for a while we strolled the last distance to the terminal for our SAS flight home. Of course we found out that our Scandinavian company presented the oldest they had at our departure gate; OY-KGT Hake Viking.
October, Budapest Yet another trip with my girlfriend. After being to Prague we talked much about going to Budapest as well and this was my birthdaypresent from her. She even included a visit to the museum at the airport. Arriving with Wizzair A320 at the oldest terminal, recently restored, being able to get some of the oldies when taxing in. The 732 used for training, HA-MOG the old Il18 still there, HA-TCB the Il76 maybe heading for the museum lateron and a nice An12 parked next to us. After getting our bags we transfered to the Malev terminal and from one of the two decks I got two American Trans Air L1011s and a few Malev aircrafts, most already departed from the time we landed until now... Then a visit to the museum with quite nice collection of aircrafts and then downtown. During one of our tourist excursions we passed the local airfield next to the city and in the distance I saw the flyable Li2 and a couple of An2s. Have to make a visit next time.
November, Johannesburg Air France offered a good deal for a ticket to Joburg via Paris (what a misstake to use them) Arriving at JNB and picking up a rental car - a brand new Golf 1 from 2005. The hotel we prebooked via the internet did not live up to our expectations. No electric plugs for our computers and cameras, room seemed to be hostel style and the fact that somebody already lived there was to much for us! We called for the manager and told him we were not happy. He gave us the money back and wished us "really good luck with finding something else to this price". We then drove to one of the airport hotels (think it was a 4 star) which offered us a deal at lower cost than the fleecircus we just escaped from! This was our new headquarter and the restaurant in the lobby turned out to be a really good one!
Very keen to start the photography, we rushed to the approach 03R and after a short while the first aircraft appeared - a DC-4!!! Great start of the trip but the weather was crappy.
When bored enough of dull approach shots we used the weather as excuse for doing some regocnition. We drove off to the maintenance aprons at the east side of the field and tried almost every small road we could find and suddenly a gate appeared which by the time were opened. Nobody bothered when we drove in and we started at the far end where the three ex Premiair DC-10's were parked. We found some bizjets and some of 1time's aircraft, continuing to the 748 workshop and then when passing the gate again we were stopped by security. They asked for our permission (which we didn't have) and after explaining and excusing us we were finally told to make a visit at the airport authorities in the terminal before we came back. Not much left to come back for as we got most of it anyway!