A few weeks back, I stopped in at the Smithsonian’s hangar outside Dulles airport to visit the Space Shuttle Discovery in her new digs. It was pretty impressive, and I wanted to check out how the other shuttles were fairing in their retirement. So, while in the Orlando area and with a little time to kill, I stopped over at the Kennedy Space Center to check out their new exhibit showcasing the shuttle Atlantis.
The San Antonio International Airport (KSAT) looks great from the air and has some great approaches into the city, but getting a picture of the action on the runways is difficult at best. There really aren’t any good places around the airport to sit and watch the planes go by, but I found an excellent spot if you’re willing to spend a few dollars.
My wife’s family lives in Spring, TX so I’ve been visiting David Wayne Hooks (KDWH) as long as we’ve been together. It has always been a great treat to swing by on the way out of town on a sunny Sunday afternoon, break out the scanner, and watch some planes take off and land. Until last year, you could actually drive to the airport grounds (marked below), roll down the windows and watch planes all day.
It’s like Disneyland for aviation nerds. Seriously.
Last week I had some time on my hands and found myself near the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center next to Dulles airport. I needed to burn about two and a half hours, but still found that I didn’t have enough time to see everything I wanted. One thing I did focus my photographic endeavors on was the newly installed Space Shuttle Discovery that replaced the Enterprise in the space hangar. And man, was it awesome.
I recently took to the cold waters of the Frio near Concan, TX as part of a boy’s weekend, but found that supplies had run low (as they sometimes do). Uvalde being the nearest source for groceries and beer, I loaded up in the truck and headed south. A funny thing happened on the way though. You see dear reader, Uvalde’s Garner Field (KUVA) is absolutely one of my favorite airports to visit. And even though it was not on the way, I had to stop.
On a recent trip to Lockhart to shoot some guns, and filled with delicious BBQ from Kreuz Market, I headed over to Lockhart Municipal (50R) to check out what was there. Twenty minutes later, I can confidently report that it has fuel, an instructor, a mechanic, and a courtesy car. That last part is muy importante as Lockhart bills itself as the BBQ Capital of Texas. And if you fly to Lockhart, you’ll need a car. Because there’s BBQ there and it needs to be eaten.
I wanted to hate American’s new look. The boring grey. The arial font. The apparent lack of imagination on the part of the designers, lazily draping the word “American” across the fuselage instead of stylizing it. But despite a style that might be more at home with other stellar designs such as the Yahoo! home page, I find that I hate it less and less every time I see a plane all dolled up in the new colors. It’s clean, modern, and hopefully over the years the scuff marks from the apron of the jetway won’t be as apparent as it is on the current fleet.
I still think they should have gone all retro and gone back to the 1930’s design . . .
I was riding on a train from Dallas to San Antonio recently, and somewhere along the line we passed by this pretty cool looking airstrip. I believe it was just outside Fort Worth, but I was pretty heavily into my next beer at the time and can’t recall for sure. While the strip itself is reminiscent of the typical rural strips you’d expect to see in the middle of Texas, what I wasn’t expecting was to see one where the runway is so close to the brand new looking houses. And as if that isn’t challenging enough, especially if there’s a train rolling by next to the strip, I can imagine that landing becoming a little more interesting than, say, a clear day at KSAT.