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London Spotting  
User currently offlineteopilot From Italy, joined Jul 2010, 548 posts, RR: 1
Posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3620 times:

Hello everybody,

In a few days I will be in London to visit the city. Along with this, it would be my intention to spend some time spotting... you know, as an aviation enthusiast is nearly mandatory!  


First, I will land at LCY: I am going to check on the airport's website the night before to see if there is any traffic coming in for the time I will be there; in case, I would like to stop there for half an hour or 1 hour.
Do you have any spot to suggest me where to take pictures from? (I aim for "creative ones", those typical of LCY... not a simple sky shot... I have something like this in mind:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Randy Harricharan

)



Let's now get to the very business, LHR:

1. Which is the runway operations and usage? Generally, with no wind, are 27s or 09s the preferred ones?

2. I have checked some guides and I think I will base my "tour" on these two ones:
http://www.nycaviation.com/spotting-guides/lhr/
http://www.plane-mad.com/airport-spo...gdom/london-heathrow-lhr-egll.html
I won't have a car so I will be using public transportation or, if possible, public transportation.
Would you mind to piont me the "must" spots for every runway according to the limitation above?

3. The traffic is huge and various and I am particularly interested in wide bodies (A380s, 787s first of all)... which day and time of the day would you suggest in this sense? (I am not aiming to catch everything, but I would like to know if there is a particular day/time combo that would make me gain more chances!).

Last but not least: anything to point out about the relationships between spotters and airport security / police? I mean, I would like to avoid bad circumstances...  
(in case there are spots to avoid etc.)

For now that's all.
Thank you very much in advance,

Matteo

12 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6457 posts, RR: 38
Reply 1, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 3577 times:

Quoting teopilot (Thread starter):

First, I will land at LCY: I am going to check on the airport's website the night before to see if there is any traffic coming in for the time I will be there; in case, I would like to stop there for half an hour or 1 hour.
Do you have any spot to suggest me where to take pictures from?

Look on Google Maps for a bridge which is to the east of the runway. That's where this was taken from. You can also go down following a road around so you're close to the threshold of the runway itself. Police have been fine with me taking photos from there.

Quoting teopilot (Thread starter):
1. Which is the runway operations and usage? Generally, with no wind, are 27s or 09s the preferred ones?

I'm pretty sure it's 27. But it's the changing of the runway from L to R or R to L at 1500 or thereabouts which is annoying. Can't help you too much more with the locations because I've only spotted in 2 of them; giving sky shots for all my pics..



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlinejaktrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3505 times:

Without a tall set of steps you will only really be able to get 'blue sky' shots at LHR, unless they're on the 09s and you use the smoking area outside T5. The sheer volume of traffic should make up for it though.

As for best times, it really depends on which heavies you want as they're pretty constant all day. You'll see the most 787s late morning, and there's a small wave of 380 departures around lunchtime. I doubt you'll be disappointed any time of day, as there's always a few heavies in the stack amongst the myriad of 320s and 737s.

Karl


User currently offlineteopilot From Italy, joined Jul 2010, 548 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3501 times:

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
But it's the changing of the runway from L to R or R to L at 1500 or thereabouts which is annoying.

Well, if this would be the case, I cannot complain. I know, runways "switch" is always a pain in the neck, but then it seems that we have some good spots for both 27L and 27R while, on the other hand, spots for 09s are less.
I hope not to be there on a "bad" day, with 09s in use...

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
giving sky shots for all my pics..
Quoting jaktrax (Reply 2):
The sheer volume of traffic should make up for it though.

Totally agree, In fact as far as LHR is concerned I am more interested in the traffic rather than searching for a "composed" picture... I leave the latter for my home airport  
Quoting jaktrax (Reply 2):
As for best times, it really depends on which heavies you want as they're pretty constant all day. You'll see the most 787s late morning, and there's a small wave of 380 departures around lunchtime. I doubt you'll be disappointed any time of day, as there's always a few heavies in the stack amongst the myriad of 320s and 737s.

This means that some 380s arrive early in the morning, right?
I will try with a deeper research on the airport website and see the results.
Anyway, glad to know that, so that in case I will be able to get there only in the afternoon, I won't be disappointed.


A couple of further questions:

- How long does it take from city center to get to myrtle ave.? (let's say from piccadilly circus)

- I wil take my flight back to Italy at Terminal 4. Any chance of any panoramic terrace or something like that? Or will I have to be satisfied with an eventual view from the terminal's windows only?


User currently offlinehotplane From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3500 times:

Re LCY. You want the Steve Redgrave Bridge. You'll need to walk from one of the DLR stops either north or south side.

User currently offlineG-CIVP From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 1338 posts, RR: 10
Reply 5, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 3443 times:

There are loads of resources on the internet regarding LHR, arrivals, departures, etc but to help you along.

Quoting teopilot (Reply 3):
- How long does it take from city center to get to myrtle ave.? (let's say from piccadilly circus)

- I wil take my flight back to Italy at Terminal 4. Any chance of any panoramic terrace or something like that? Or will I have to be satisfied with an eventual view from the terminal's windows only?

From Hammersmith Tube, I would say 30 mins at least to Hatton Cross. It is painfully slow.

As for T4, there are sufficient windows for you to take photos, etc, but bear in mind that you will be looking into the sun from late afternoon and evening.


User currently offlineteopilot From Italy, joined Jul 2010, 548 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 3408 times:

Quoting hotplane (Reply 4):
Re LCY. You want the Steve Redgrave Bridge. You'll need to walk from one of the DLR stops either north or south side.

Thanks  
Quoting G-CIVP (Reply 5):
From Hammersmith Tube, I would say 30 mins at least to Hatton Cross. It is painfully slow.

Probably a bit... it was just to have an idea to take into account also travel time from city center to Hatton cross  
Quoting G-CIVP (Reply 5):
As for T4, there are sufficient windows for you to take photos, etc, but bear in mind that you will be looking into the sun from late afternoon and evening.

So, no terrace or similar, nor great chances to take some pictures to 27L traffic too? (also because I am taking the flight back in the evening...)

Just another question: I have searched for this but I have found some contraddictory stuff.
Is a BA Concorde present somewhere at LHR, in static display ? (I am thinking to something like the AF one in static display at CDG)


User currently offlineG-CIVP From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 1338 posts, RR: 10
Reply 7, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 3398 times:

Quoting teopilot (Reply 6):
So, no terrace or similar, nor great chances to take some pictures to 27L traffic too? (also because I am taking the flight back in the evening...)

Just another question: I have searched for this but I have found some contraddictory stuff.
Is a BA Concorde present somewhere at LHR, in static display ? (I am thinking to something like the AF one in static display at CDG)

No terrace, all through windows once airside, so check in early! Concorde G-BOAB is roughly where G-YMMM was parked before it was broken up. It is not on display.


User currently offlinehotplane From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 3388 times:

Best to stay on the Piccadilly line tube to Green Park, then Jubilee Line to Canning Town, then DLR to King George V or Cyprus.

User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6457 posts, RR: 38
Reply 9, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 3372 times:

Quoting hotplane (Reply 8):

Gallions Reach is the best station to use for getting to the bridge. Just a bit of a pain if you're coming from LCY.



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineteopilot From Italy, joined Jul 2010, 548 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3352 times:

Quoting hotplane (Reply 8):
Best to stay on the Piccadilly line tube to Green Park, then Jubilee Line to Canning Town, then DLR to King George V or Cyprus.
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 9):
Gallions Reach is the best station to use for getting to the bridge. Just a bit of a pain if you're coming from LCY.

Even if, to be honest, the Gallions Reach station looks the best choice in this sense, I think I will go for King George V in this case. Getting to Gallions reach from LCY I agree that would really be a pain in the neck. I still have to check the walking distance from the station to the bridge, but it doesn't look so much, does it?


User currently offlinehotplane From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 3346 times:

About 10-12 mins walking time.

User currently offlineteopilot From Italy, joined Jul 2010, 548 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3312 times:

Quoting hotplane (Reply 11):

About 10-12 mins walking time.

Very well! Something very "affordable"... thanks for the info!


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