Sunday, August 21, 2011

Airline art

We live under a serious north-south airline corridor. Most days, when the sky is clear, you can look up and see contrails streaking high across the sky. Often you can see the actual planes as tiny white or silver dots moving through the sky out in front of the vapor trail. At night we see the airliners as blinking lights moving in the same north-south pattern.

Disintegrating airline contrails look like brush strokes in the morning sky.

Since there are no major commercial airports near us (or minor ones for that matter), most of the planes we see are up at cruising altitude. Every once in a while, if it's quiet, we'll hear the faint roar of jet engines a minute or so after a plane passes overhead.

There are some smaller airports in our region, mostly for private planes, and a military airport or two. Air force jets often zoom by us at very low altitude, scaring the bejesus out of us. There are also frequent police and medical helicopters that use the river valley as a corridor for their low-altitude flights.

I found a web site that tracks airliners in real time on a map. I can zoom in on my region and actually figure out which plane I'm seeing, the aircraft type, the airline, its altitude and airspeed, and it's origin and destination. Pretty darned cool, if you're into that sort of thing. Here's a link.

15 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing that. What a great programme. Sunday night in Australia means it is not so busy, but wait for tomorrow morning!

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  2. Great link, thanks! We're on the same corridor a bit further south. Like you we get the French Air force training planes too; sometimes they even fly over upside down... if they weren't so fast you could see their faces!

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  3. I just stumbled upon your blog this morning. My dream is to live in France like you are! I speak passable French, at least I used to, and I've been to France quite a few times. I enjoyed reading your most recent posts, and I look forward to reading updates.

    Thanks!

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  4. Flightradar24.com is fascinating. Thanks for the link. My friends who work at Boeing didn't even know about it.

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  5. Thank you Walt. I will try to use it this evening

    Last night, quite a few planes taking off from YUL were passing over our house, including the A380 from AF.

    It must be ADM ( the airport authority) changing take-off runway for some reasons .

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  6. Beautiful shot. The link is fascinating. I have a friend who is plane-obsessed and is going to love this link (and his partner is going to shoot me for giving it to him).

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  7. Thank you for the link Walt! I posted it on Facebook. It is so fascinating to me as I live close to LAX and will check it out later. Right now I am in Africa watching the live safari (on my computer, of course I am not physically there). Have fun in Le Perche.

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  8. We're a bit south from you - on a warm evening we often sit in the garden watching those north-south vapour trails with the sun going down behind them, until the bats come out to entertain us.
    Simple pleasures...

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  9. Great vapor trail shot! We used to also get a lot of French air force trainer planes when we lived in Cognac - very noisy!

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  10. Nadege - I'm with you - sometimes it feels like the blog or site I'm reading is where I'm at at the moment!

    Walt - I can't wait until a plane goes over so I can check the stats on it! I have a friend who will enjoy the link since he's been an airline enthusiast since working (engineer) for McDonald-Douglas in L.A.

    Pretty darned cool, just as you wrote!

    Mary in Oregon

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  11. I'm glad you all liked that link. I have to be careful not to spend too much time on that site, it's addicting!

    mcpersonalspace54, welcome!

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  12. One thing that fascinated me on our recent Europe rivers cruise was the number of vapour trails in the sky. Although we have our air corridors in Australia too we don't get anywhere near the number of trails as I saw then.

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  13. victor, it is amazing! Must be the high number of origins and destinations in densely populated Europe.

    starman, merci!

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