Thursday, 15 January 2015

DAY 36 - If It Ain't A Boeing, I'm Not Going

 Hi y'all, greetings from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, home of the Canucks and (as we discovered) the place where breakfast cereal boxes have pictures of Hockey players on the front.

Today was a transit day where we flew from Los Angeles, California to Seattle, Washington then drove north across the US-Canadian border to Vancouver, British Columbia. The only major stop along the way was a brief stop-over to the Future of Aviation Museum at the Boeing Factory in Everett.

First leg was Flight AS475

Second leg was Seattle to Everett to Vancouver
We arrived at LAX a little bit early to ensure we caught the flight. After some online Facebook chatting with Mel and Lorenzo, we received the call to board. The flight was with Alaska Airlines flight AS475, flying on a Boeing B737-900ER, which was a first for all of us. The flight took around two-and-a-half hours departing LAX at 1020h.

I just managed to capture this whilst refuelling our Hire Car near LAX

The iconic LAX Airport

An Alaska Q400 in the OSU Ducks scheme

A Delta Boeing B757-200 taxis out

Our aircraft an Alaska Airlines Boeing B737-900ER, oh and thanks for the heads-up Mel

Boarding the aircraft
The weather was clear and fine with our take-off taking us out over the Pacific, before banking to cross the coast line north of LA. The route took us inland passing to the north of the San Fernando Valley and further north passing Yosemite National Park and the snowy caps of the Sierra-Nevada Mountain Ranges. Then it became cloudy, after all, we were travelling to Seattle which is synonymous with rain. Obviously it was raining in Seattle when we landed and for most of our drive north.

Crossing the west coast before heading north

North of the San fernando Valley

Yosemite National Park in the Sierra-Nevada Mountains

The unintended consequences of a selfie...
Note the new, funky Split-Scimitar Winglets on our aircraft offer a 5.5% fuel reduction
Landing at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Weather = Average

On arrival at Seattle-Tacoma Airport, we quickly grabbed our luggage and then collected our Rental Car; this time it was a Ford SUV, not very large, but large enough for us. The drive for the first part was a little slow due to traffic as we passed on the I-5 through Seattle and up to Everett, the home of Boeing's B787 and B747 production lines.

Navigating from the Rental facility near Seattle-Tacoma Airport

We visited the Future of Aviation Museum which sits across Paine Field, directly opposite the Boeing Factory. We had already decided not to do the factory tour as; (a) we had done the tour twice before; and (b) it was too late anyway by the time we got there. As soon as we arrived, the lovely lady at the counter asked if we had planned to head on up to the observation deck as there was a B787 inbound that we could watch land. So that's what we did, and bloody hell it was cold up there (not St Louis minus 18 degrees C cold, but cold, windy and wet. The things I do for aircraft spotting. The inbound B787 turned out to be a brand new Ethiopian B787 undergoing a test flight.

An Ethiopian B787-800 undergoes a test flight

A Boeing B747-8 Freighter

This looks like a Boeing B747-8 Freighter in the background and a Lufthansa B777-300 in the foreground (?)

A yet-to-be-painted Boeing B787-800

A Virgin Atlantic Boeing B787-9

A bunch of ANA Boeing B787s awaiting delivery

We then checked out the museum which, in terms of actual exhibits, is pretty light-on. It's more about marketing for Boeing and some technology advancement displays that are quite good. The Future of Aviation Museum primarily exists as a place for people to congregate before heading on a factory tour of the Boeing facility. However, the gift shops (yes, there are two) are jam packed full of stuff for the aviation enthusiast, including diecast model aircraft. Incredibly, I didn't purchase any, rather I elected to purchase a McDonnell t-shirt featuring the Mercury Capsule (which they designed and built).

This gives you some idea of the size of the Boeing B747-8's tail height

A Boeing B737 Cockpit Trainer

GE90 115B Boeing 777 Engine

A piece of a B787 fuselage demonstrating its all-composite materials

A Boeing B777 Nose Landing Gear

Schuyler tries out the breezy, PAN AM Boeing B787

This is as close as we got to the Boring Dreamlifter

After visiting the Museum, we had a very late lunch (around 1600h-ish) at Kings Teriyaki, apparently the best Teriyaki in Mukiltao, Washington. Although I have yet to try any other Teriyaki shops in Mukiltao, I reckon their claim is correct.

After the late lunch, we headed up north on the I-5 for the roughly two hour drive to Vancouver. By the time we had hit the road, it was already dark, so there was little opportunity for us to see what we imagined would have been quite pretty scenery. We crossed the US-Canadian border about 25km (yes, it's metric because we are in Canada) before Vancouver and all we needed to produce was our Passports; no Visas or anything else was required, in fact they didn't check our vehicle, nor were we required to get out of the car at any point.

Nearing the US-Canada Border crossing

Just about there

We arrived at our Hotel around 1900h and were impressed by the indoor pool and the enormity of our room. Well that's all for today. Tomorrow we will be oot and aboot (my American friends will get that joke), exploring Vancouver and surrounds.

No comments:

Post a Comment