Monday, May 23, 2016

The Moon Over Burns Harbor

I decided to stop at a place called Quaker Steak in Burns Harbor.  I've seen them around before.  My wings, soup and steak were decent.  My mom didn't enjoy her mac and cheese.  So I give it a 50/50 rating.
As I walked out, I looked towards the moon and liked it.

A Chicago Whirlwind

I still wanted to get some pictures of the city, so I took a whirlwind tour.
 I'm not even going to attempt to name the buildings but they are all pretty impressive.
 I think this was looking down Grant Street but don't quite me on that.
 Somewhere in there, you can see the Hancock Building.
 I had to get this picture because it seemed like the typical Chicago scene.  The only way I could have made it more typical was if there was an EL going through.
 Looking down towards the Chicago Trade Building.
 And since I asked for the EL....
 As I was looking in my rearview mirror, the photo ops caught my eye.
 Looking down Michigan Avenue.
 One more shot in my mirror.
I had to get at least one shot of the Sears Tower, but I didn't feel like going back to get it.  So here goes.

The McDonalds Over the Freeway

I don't often take pictures of McDonalds but this one is pretty.
 As I was looking at the map around O'Hare, I remembered a McDonald's that was built over I-294.  It looked like it might be a decent place for planewatching.  I also thought it would make for a unique story on this blog.  If I remember correctly, there used to be something that resembled an arch that stretched over the freeway, but I think renovations took care of that.  It is also more than a McDonald's these days but still pretty neat.
 A look at the variety of shops here.
And a fairly unique view.  It looks like you could go outside at one time.

Plane Watching at O'Hare Airport

Like I said, I decided to head over to O'Hare Airport in order to do some planewatching.  I did some research on places where I could go planewatching but some of those places were tougher to find that I thought they would be.  I did however find a cell phone lot near one of the runways and that wasn't too bad.  I will definitely want to go back now that I've seen the lay of the land and can figure out how to get to the better spot.
 American Airlines was formed from a number of smaller airlines in 1930 as American Airways.  In 1934, it was acquired by E.L. Cord and renamed to American Airlines.  He hired C.R. Smith to run the company.  Smith worked with Donald Douglas to develop the DC-3.  In 1936, American Airlines became the first airline to operate the DC-3.  Because of it's size, American Airlines became the first airline to become profitable without US Mail service.
After the war, American acquired American Export Airlines and renamed it to American Overseas Airways to service Europe.  This was sold to Pan Am in 1950.  In 1959, American would transform its fleet to jets.  In 1962, American introduced the first electronic booking service named Sabre which was developed by IBM.  It built a terminal at Idlewild Airport (which would eventually become John F. Kennedy Airport).  At one time, it was the largest American Airline and the second largest in the world (after Aeroflot).
In 1979, they moved their headquarters from New York to Dallas-Fort Worth.  In 1981, they changed to a hub-and-spoke system with hubs in Dallas and Chicago.  Like many of the other airlines, they went on a buying spree (including TWA).  One of the planes used to crash into the World Trade Center was an American Airlines plane.  In 2013, they merged with US Airways.
 One of the main reasons I wanted to go to O'Hare was to see some airlines that I wouldn't normally see at Detroit Metro.  Aer Lingus is one of them.    Aer Lingus was founded in 1936 and uses the callsign Shamrock (hmm I wonder why).  It is the national carrier of Ireland.
 United Airlines was founded in 1926 as Varney Airlines by Walter Varney who would also find Varney Speed Lines (which would later become Continental).  Like many of the early airlines, it would also fly contract mail for the US Postal Service.  In 1927, William Boeing founded his own airline and started to buy other airlines.  In 1929, this was merged with Pratt and Whitney to become the United Aircraft and Transport Company.
In 1933, United would operated the Boeing 247, which was the first all metal airliner.  In 1934, the company was split into United Aircraft, Boeing Airplane Company and United Airlines.  In 1954, United Airlines would become the first airline to purchase flight simulators.
Like many of the other airlines, there were employee and bankruptcy troubles.  In 2010, they would merge with Continental keeping the United name but the Continental Livery.
 O'Hare was constructed in 1942-3 as a place to build C-54 Transport planes.  It was close to the rail lines and workforce of Chicago.  With the ending of its contract in 1945, Douglas pulled out and the airfield became known as Orchard Field (hence the origin of it's ORD callsign).  In 1949, it was named in honor of Butch O'Hare who was a medal of honor recipient and Naval Aviator.  He was the son of the accountant who helped put Capone behind bars.  It kept the ORD callsign being one of three airports whose designation has no relation to a nearby city or name.  For a while it was the world's busiest airport, until that designation was taken over by Atlanta.  O'Hare reclaimed the title in 2014.  And judging by the number of planes I saw, I'm not surprised.
 Like I said, I was in a cell phone parking lot.  It was next to one of the runways that was mostly used by smaller planes.  I had great views of those planes.  This 737 was pulling away.
 The larger airplanes were taking off from the next runway over.  While it was fairly close, I had to use my zoom lens.  However, I think I found a better spot for next time.  It will give me a better view of this runway.    This is a United 767 which was on it's way to Heathrow.  This plane either goes there or Sao Paulo.
 Because I don't get enough Delta at Metro.
 Avianca was founded as the national carrier of Colombia in 1919.  It is an acronym for the Spanish for Airways of the American Continent. 
 Another airline I don't get enough of.
 KLM stands for Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij which is Dutch for Royal Dutch Airlines.  It was founded in 1919 and is the oldest airline still operating under it's original name.  It is the flag carrier of the Netherlands.  This plane took off near me but I wasn't quick enough to get the cool shot.
 Air Canada was founded in 1937 and is the flag carrier of Canada.  It flies to 182 destinations worldwide.  It was proceeded by Trans-Canada Airlines.
 This is a Boeing 777 and is one of the airplanes I was hoping to see.  I've flown on one and  I don't think Delta operates many of them (choosing the A330 instead).  The plane was first flown in 1994 and was developed with much input from the airlines.  It was Boeing's first fly-by-wire airliner and also the first airliner to be developed entirely with CAD.
China Southern Airlines was founded in 1988 after the Chinese government decided to split it's airline into many different airlines. 
 Another 777 operated by Cathay Pacific.  This is the flag carrier of Hong Kong and was founded in 1946. 
 Another United 737.
 And an Airbus 320.
 Cargolux was founded in 1970 in Luxembourg.  It is Europe's largest all cargo airline.  I think this is pretty cool livery.
 A 737 operated by Alaska Air.
 Another 767 operated by United.
And I ended the day just about as I began it with a CRJ operated by United.

I'll have to admit this was a pretty cool experience and was made cooler by the fact I had my airport scanner with me.  It was nice to have narration with my watching.  Like I said, I will have to go back and find the better spots.  I think I'm pretty much guaranteed to see planes.

Burns Harbor in Burns Harbor

On Saturday I decided to head over to O'Hare to try my hand a planewatching there.  I found a couple of places where I might get some good views of the planes.  As I was heading over there, I saw that there was a ship in Burns Harbor and I found a spot where I think I could get pictures of her.
 Nearby the spot where I decided to stop, there is a dock that is owned by Great Lakes Towing and there were a pair of tugs docked there.  First up is the tugboat Arizona.  She was built in 1931 by the Great Lakes Towing Company in Cleveland.  Her steam power was replaced with 1,230 horsepower EMD diesel engine.
 The Kansas was also built in Cleveland by the Great Lakes Towing Company in 1927.  She was converted to diesel in 1958.  Her and her sister services the Burns Harbor area (including Chicago).
 Another angle of her.
 And probably my favorite angle of her.  I kind of like the blue color of the water.
 The Burns Harbor was servicing the AccelorMittal Plant in Burns Harbor.  Burns Harbor itself was formed in 1966 and named after Randall Burns who promoted the harbor.
 The AccelorMitall steel mill in Burns Harbor is the second largest steel mill in their group.  It was built in 1964 and covers 950 acres of land.  It can produce approximately 5 million tons of steel per year.
 The Burns Harbor unloading steel at it's namesake.  And I think that is kind of cool.
 The best shot I could get of her pilothouse.
 Another shot of the Arizona.
 It was close enough to get a hazy shot of the Chicago skyline.
 Another view of the steel mill.  It is amazing just how much goes into the production of steel.
 An old tug.
The Federal Yukon unloading what appear to be brewing vessels.  The Federal Yukon is owned by Federal Navigation and has appeared on this blog before.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Friday Night With the Flagships and Brickyards

After work, I decided to head over to Metro Airport to get some shots of the airplanes.
 A JetBlue Airbus 319 taking off.  I can't really make out the tail number, so I'm not really sure where it's headed.  JetBlue was founded as a low cost airline in order to compete with some of the larger airlines.  However, it followed some of Southwest's ideas, so it wasn't necessarily low frills.  The company was founded in 1999 and was originally named NewAir.  Originally it was going to be called Taxi and have yellow livery but that idea was dropped due negative connotations of taxis and possible confusion with air traffic commands.  Currently, the airline flies to over 96 destinations in the United States and recently was granted permission to offer service to Cuba.
 Even though this plane doesn't belong to Republic Airlines, I figured this would provide a good opportunity to clarify the title.  As I was listening to air traffic control, I heard the callsign "Brickyard" and I thought it was unusual.  Most airlines use their airline name as the callsign (with some exceptions).  It turns out that Brickyard belongs to Republic Airlines.  This however is not to be confused with the Republic Airlines that used to operate out of Metro and was bought by Northwest.
This particular version of Republic was founded in 1998 and served as the operator of some of the American Eagle commuter flights.  The company has headquarters in Indianapolis and Brickyard is a tribute to that.
 American Airways flight 408 to Charlotte, South Carolina.  Roughly one hour after landing in Charlotte, it will continue on to Florida.  This particular aircraft is an Airbus A319-132.
 Spirit was originally founded as Clipper Trucking Company in 1964.  The Airline was founded in 1980 as Charter One which was a charter service with flights to Atlantic City, Las Vegas and the Bahamas from Detroit.  In 1990, scheduled service was started and in 1992, it brought jet equipment and became Spirit Airlines.  In 2007, Spirit became an ultra low cost carrier and began to charge for things which used to be complimentary.  Currently it served 57 destinations with 85 aircraft.
 Delta Flight 2761 Heavy with service to San Francisco.  When you hear heavy after the call sign, it typically indicates an aircraft with a takeoff weight greater than 300,000 pounds in the United States.  It is basically a warning to aircraft that may be following of vortices that could disrupt their flight.  While the 757 is smaller than that, it has the designation heavy because it has some of the same flow characteristics of the heavier aircraft.
 I can't quite make out the designation of this aircraft but I'm pretty sure it is a 767.
 Flagship 4176 is a flight operated by Endeavor Air for Delta Express.  It was service to Des Moines, Iowa.  In the morning, this plane will return to Detroit.  Endeavor Air was founded as Express Airlines in 1985 and changed to Pinnacle Air in 2002.  It originally served as the regional carrier for Republic and continued with Northwest.  Like so many regional carriers, it services many smaller airports.  Flagship is the call sign used by them.
 This particular aircraft was on it's way to O'Hare Airport.  It flew back to Detroit tonight and will be on it's way to Cleveland in the morning.
 An Airbus 320 on its way to Minneapolis-St Paul.
And we end the evening with an MD-88 that was flying to Madison, Wisconsin, I think.