What Caught My Eye - Sydney Airport November 2018

By Grahame Hutchison on Sunday, 2nd December 2018

The very rare Japan Air Self Defence Force B777-300ER 80-1111 flew in direct from Haneda in 8hr 57min, touching down on Runway 34L, then taxiing to DOM6. This is the first of two aircraft which will replace the current B747s, and they should become operational around March 2019 - View All Images

It was nice to have a pair of USAF KC-135R visit Sydney Airport. LULU23 (62-3518) arrived a bit before sunset with just enough light, and LULU24 (64-14837) arrived 40 minutes later in fairly dark conditions. Both aircraft landed on Runway 34L and then taxied to Bays 90 and 92 respectively. The purpose of the visit was to conduct a Training Exercise with two USAF B-52s (ADIOS1 and ADIOS2), which would position off the New South Wales coast for refuelling, after the flight down from Guam - View All The Images

64-14837 LULU24 stayed in SYD for an extra night, after having the nose gear bay door damaged by the Tug as they pushed back for the Training Exercise. Unfortunately this forced the cancellation of the Training Exercise, and the B-52s then flew to Darwin for refuelling, then back to Guam - View All The Images

Beechcraft 350i VH-ZPE flew in from Bankstown on the 10/11/2018, then after Customs & Immigration checks on the 11/11/2018, departed Sydney Airport for Ohakea Air Force Base in New Zealand. The aircraft is one of four which were prepared at Bankstown, then conducted Test Flights and delivery with Australian Civil Registration - View All The Images

The President of the Republic of India, Mr Ram Nath Kovind, and his wife, Mrs Savita Kovind, arrived at Sydney Airport this morning, on Air India Boeing B747-400 VT-EVB. They are visiting Australia from the 21st to 23rd November 2018 - View All The Images

Not the weather you would like to have for the first visit of a new aircraft type by Air New Zealand, however it was still great to welcome Airbus A321Neo ZK-NNA on short final for Runway 16L at Sydney Airport. The arrival wind was 150 Deg at 40kts in lashing rain, and that was the end of my umbrella - View All The Images

Another first visit at Sydney Airport was Japan Airlines B787-8 Dreamliner JA841J, currently carrying the SAMURAI BLUE "Spirit Of Victory" decal to support the National Soccer Team at the World Cup 2018. This is the second JAL SAMURAI BLUE aircraft, the first one was the more spectacular B777, with decals the full length of the fuselage. JAL operate a daily JL771/JL772 service to Sydney from Narita - View All The Images

Only delivered to the Royal Flying Doctor Service in September this year, and currently based in Dubbo, this was my first opportunity to catch up with Beechcraft B300 King Air 350 VH-VPQ - The King Air 350 officially joined the RFDS Fleet at a ceremony attended by Prince Harry and Meghan, and is seen here arriving at Sydney Airport from Dubbo on 29th November 2018.

Qantas and Thai Airways are the last two operators of Boeing B747 Passenger aircraft at Sydney Airport, and with all the Qantas B747s set to retired by the Centenary of the Airline in 2020, Thai Airways might take the honours as the last B747 Passenger Operator at Sydney Airport. Almost fifty years after the first flight of the B747, she is still the Queen Of The Skies.

Dassault Falcon 8X HB-JSC arrived as DGX802 on the 20th November from Scottsdale in Arizona, via Nadi. This is the sixth Falcon 8X to visit Sydney Airport by my records, the others being F-GCDP, N406EX, VT-FCN, N1898B, and OY-SKK.

Another first visit at Sydney Airport on 30th November 2018, was Xiamen Airlines B787-9 B-1356 operating the MF807/MF808 service from Fuzhou. This aircraft was delivered in the "United Nations" sustainable development livery on 17th March 2018, but has taken 8 months to pay a visit Sydney. A departure at 1215L is not a great time of day photo wise, and the heat haze had really kicked in. At first I thought the paintwork was patchy, however there is some subtle artwork in the blue at the rear of the fuselage and on the tail. The aircraft was also dirty, which doesn't help either.


Share this Article: