Located just south of down-town Seattle is King County International Airport, otherwise known as Boeing Field. Rob Edgcumbe paid a visit while in the area.
Originally, this was Seattle’s main airport. However, the military took the field over during the Second World War and the local authorities created a new airport slightly further south that was to become SeaTac. Boeing Field was made public again after the war but the main traffic was already going to SeaTac. However, the field was not going away and with Boeing’s original sites in the vicinity, it became the centre of their flight test activity, something that remains the case today.
The airport is also popular for freight traffic with UPS conducting a lot of business on site and other freight operators also using the location. It is also popular for business aviation with FBOs located alongside the field. It is also a haven for general aviation of all sorts. Consequently, it provides an interesting mix of traffic if you visit.
I was in the area for other reasons and had the chance to stop by one evening. With the sun staying up longer, it is possible to get some nice evening light on the arriving traffic. Also, since the field is located below a ridge, you get a combination of aircraft in nice light with terrain behind them, making for a slightly different view. I got quite a mix of traffic. There were some larger freighters from UPS and DHL, a 757 freighter carrying the titles of Capital Cargo International Airlines. A high point for me was an old Boeing 737-200 which has been given a freight door.
There was plenty of business jet traffic as well. NetJets seemed to have a few movements but other operators were also in action. There were also some local operators. Ameriflight appears to have a cycle of operations with several aircraft of varying types all arriving within a short period of time. Their types included Beech 99, Beech 1900s and Metroliners. A bit of a change from the usual traffic.
One other interesting opportunity is that the freight railroad behind the field is the one on which Boeing 737 fuselages are shipped in on their way to the Renton factory. A train with several of them on-board came by while I was there. Not something I had planned for so I could only grab a couple of hurried shots, but still a different type of 737 shot to the norm! If you find yourself there, don’t forget to look up since, depending on the traffic pattern, SeaTac arrivals or departures can come very close to you.