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Calling All Who Know DFW...  
User currently offlineMatt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 43
Posted (15 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 1820 times:

I have decided on DFW as my next airport for a photo shoot. I figured there I can get TWA DC-9's and 717's plus AA MD-11's, and most of the Delta (and DeltaFlot) fleet.

Since I have never been there, can someone give me some tips on how to get good shots? How big is that airport? How easy is it to get around between the terminals?

Some pictures posted would be nice too.

Any other FYI's for DFW will be appreciated.


11 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineUs330 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 4165 posts, RR: 13
Reply 1, posted (15 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1757 times:

Well, the terminals have very large windows, so they are very welcoming to spotters. There is the founders plaza which is right next to a runway, as well as the International Cargo Building parking lot. As for getting around the terminals, it is relatively easy. A, B, and C are all connected via skybridges because of AA's connecting passengers, and Terminal E can be easily reached via the train.

User currently offlineBrick From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 1703 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (15 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 1745 times:

The terminals are absolutely terrible for photography! Don't even bother with it. Outside however, there are a few places.

My first question to you is are you going for spotting or for photography? Second question is what month are you planning on going?

Mark Abbott
Minneapolis, MN

A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man...
User currently offlineMatt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 43
Reply 3, posted (15 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 1741 times:


I am planning to go for photography.

I am looking to go most likely during the second half of May (next month).

Here are the planes I'm hoping to get:




Delta (anything '97 or new livery)

I am very picky about my pix, and these are the kind of shots I am hoping to get, all taken at DFW:

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Brian Peters

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Brian Peters

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Brian Peters

User currently offlineAA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6292 posts, RR: 10
Reply 4, posted (15 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1731 times:

well, let's see...

If you arrive on American, as I assume you would, you will be in one of three terminals, A,B, or C. It is very easy to get around these three. You can take the skywAAlk from A/C to B, and the moving wAAlkwAAy between A and C is a GREAT place to see them, but I don't know about photo oportunities... I have not had good luck there. It's hard to take a shot while MOVING down a walkway with other people...

The AA train that connects the three AA terminals is an interesting thing, and I suggest you ride it as it will not be here much longer- along with our new international terminal comes a NEW TRAIN SYSTEM!!!

But if you want to get to the Delta/AirTran terminal (D), you'll need to take the airport train. It's exactly like the AA train, but it runs outside of secure areas. And it's accessed in the underground parts of our praking garages.

We have a wide range of ages at DFW. First, it was all built at the same time. All four terminals opened very close to each other, around 1974. But Braniff is, well, gone. So the other airlines have remodeled as they see fit- which is not very much. Parts of the B (Braniff's old terminal) are very... old, and other parts are new. American built some gates onto B, and they are brand new and the nicest part of the airport. Delta's is okay, not that great. American's two terminals are pretty nice. I reccomend going underground from Delta's terminal into their regional terminal- it's unique.

I have never been to the founders plaza, but would like to learn about it.

The bad thing about DFW is that it is ALWAYS busy. From 6 am to about 9 pm there are THRONGS of people all over the place.

I also recommend going to the chapel in terminal B. It was put there by Braniff, and has the original commemorative plaque on the wall. It is also a quiet place to go amidst the hectic atmosphere.

Also, when you come to DFW, you can get a good idea of what it was like before/after security.
Our terminals are all horseshoe shaped, with parking garages on the inside of the horseshoe, and the ramps on the outside. Well, the entire building used to be open in all of the terminals. But when security became a necessity, they put in the huge grey wall that divides it in half. The inside half is unsecured, while the outside half by the gates is secure. It's not nearly as great as it once was...

That's all I know about DFW. I have flown in and out more than 35 times in the last few years. It's a great airport and I like it. Lots of stuff to do, eat, et cetera. But we have NO plane store! Dulles does, why can't we?


User currently offlineBlink182 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 5500 posts, RR: 14
Reply 5, posted (15 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 1710 times:

MattD is coming to town!! Yeehaw! Welcome to ole' tayxisz(in a deep texas accent, which I am proud to say I don't have) As for spotting, pretty much all of the good spots have been mentioned, but on some highways that go right next to the airport, you can get a good view of 1 or 2 runways and an okay view of the terminals and all the AA widebodies. The terminal has big panoramic windows, but they have tints on them which make it hard to get the perfect shot. I do regret to say that we no longer have Braniff. My Dad always tells me(I was too young to remember) how colorfull Braniff would make the airport with it's numerous schemes. It is definately a shame that Braniff is gone, they used to be at DFW what American is now at DFW. AA737-823 also talked about the chapel, I have not seen it, but I am sure it has the plaque as DFW has kept some of the bigger Braniff things around. In fact, there is a highway from Dallas to DFW called "Tom Braniff Highway". The only aviation shop at DFW is the C.R. Smith Museam, which tells the past of AA and the future and all the significant events in AA's 75 year history, there is a lot of neat exhibits there with a great gift shop. This is something which I highly recommend. There is a good Aviation Shop- at Love Field. US330 knows it also, it is called "Frontiers of Flight" to see the museam, they charge you up the wazzoo, but I get all of my schabak's and herpa's there.

Give me a break, I created this username when I was a kid...
User currently offlineBaec777 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 1231 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (15 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 1703 times:

Terminal A/C has a large belt walkway where u can walk from Terminal A to C & Terminal C to A @ DFW, also can walk over International Parkway to Terminal B thru the SkyBridge where AA also has gates there. You might see some American planes at the gate, mostly 777s, and smaller than that, not sure of the MD11... I suppose, you might wanna check into a hotel room for a day or 2, and get the best shots. You can also talk to airport police or someone who has access to some place above any terminals. http://www.dfwairport.com

Baec777  Wink/being sarcastic

User currently offlineUs330 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 4165 posts, RR: 13
Reply 7, posted (15 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 1698 times:

Oh yeah, I also forgot about the airport Hyatt. I have never stayed there, but, from the looks of it, it appears to be a nice place to take pictures. As for the weather, especially in the middle of May, you can look forward to pushing 90 degree heat and sunny days.

User currently offlineGib From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 286 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (15 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 1688 times:

Long ago, I took some pretty decent shots of an AF Concorde from the train (Airtrans, I think)that takes you to the parking areas FAR from the terminals. The main terminals A-C have a black netting (heat reduction, I assume) outside most of the windows, so rule these areas out for pics. It's been there as long as I can remember.

My Suggestion: Print AA737-823's reply above and take it with you!

User currently offlineToxtethogrady From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1781 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (15 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 1687 times:

Some of those service roads around the perimeter used to be accessible to the public, so you could get to within 2-3,000 feet of the approach end of the runways for some good pics. It was also possible to get some good shots along Valley View Drive (or whatever it's known as today). Also, the golf course is good watching.

But then again, there are some restaurants atop the hotels that have perhaps the best overview of the airport. Not as good as the ATCT, but then not everyone gets an all-access pass...

User currently offlineN757tw From United States of America, joined May 2000, 119 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (15 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 1683 times:

One good spot on the east side is where Rwys 17C/17L/13L intersect. Get on east airfield drive, towards founders plaza, airport administration, and delta's hanger. Keep going, and going, and going, till you get to the end, make a left towards the east tower, then get out of the car, and walk to the fence. With a little bit of a zoom, you have a great shot of the terminals and the touchdown area for inbound north to south arrivals, this can also be repeated for rwys 17L/13L if when airfield drive dead ends walk out into the field. Its not illegal. Just discouraged. )LOL(

Also, as think this was mentioned above, is by the west side international cargo (blue bordered buildings). Very good view of rwys 18R/L.

You might try pulling off west airfield drive, right before/after you get to/past the 13R bridge. There is a turnoff on the NE side of the road that gives you a view of rwy 13R arrivals from the NW.

If you are feeling brave and want some Terminal B and RWY 18R/L arrival pics, (and some taxing shots). Find your way into the 1W employee parking lot. To get there you need to get on the service road on the North Enterance, and make a right turn by the old rental car area, you kinda hook around until you get to a security shack in the middle of the road, sometimes there is a gaurd and somethimes he is sleeping, I have made it through without a rear view mirror hanging card thing, when I forget my real one. He should wave you on, just make it look like you know where you are going. Then once you clear the shack go down a block and turn into the lot, go all the way to the very SW corner, there you have ring side seats to the holding pads for 18R/L terminal B and A-B Bridge taxing traffic. If you get caught there is a way to walk in. Park you car in the normal terminal parking of Terminal B and walk down to the service road, this is how all the employees get to their cars, you will walk under the taxiway bridges and up into the parking lot.

N 7 5 7 T W

p.s. I am excited that someone accually wants to visit DFW!

User currently offlineMatt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 43
Reply 11, posted (15 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 1672 times:

Actually, I am planning on taking Delta from my local airport, Ontario, CA (ONT). If I'm lucky, I'll get an MD-90.

More details to come within the next couple of weeks.

Thanks for all the feedback so far.

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