|Quoting ZKNEA (Reply 21):|
It's those sorts of a/c that I would love to go watch in action at Sharjah.
That can be the problem with SHJ
: True, there's a lot of rare iron sitting there on the ground, but very often that's all it does: sit there...
I've already spent some days in SHJ
with less than 10-12 movements during daylight hours, and the max. I've ever had must have been something like 25-30 movements during daytime, with Lufthansa Cargo usually being the busiest daytime visitor. Some of the exotic airlines tend to fly at night (obvious reason: cooler temparatures that allow the crews zo squeeze a bit more thrust out of their Solovievs and Kuznetsovs!), others can sit there for days or weeks waiting for their next assignment.
is definitely an excellent choice for US and Asian freight aircraft, offering a good mix of freigth ops and other movements to keep your camera busy. In addition to that, it offers scenic surroundings, and long daylight hours during the Northern summer rewarding you with excellent chances to finally shoot all those Asian MD
-11F and B747F. On the other hand, it is a large airfield, and you'll inevitably end-up with just seeing that rare bird heading for the "wrong" runway.
Same applies for LHR
, you'll just have a fair share of birds taking the other runway. On the other hand, these airports are busy & diverse enough to still offer you a full bucket of surprises any day, and if you can stay for a couple of days in a row, you'll get what you want, sooner or later.
in Europe is definitely worth it, despite it small size. Like with other smaller airports, it all can depend whether you pick a good or slow day. Still, its well developed Cargo handling facilities make it a viable alternative to the large European airports (AMS
) which are already crammed with PAX flights and are not really enthusiastic about alloting yet a slot to another freighter. The LUX
-mix is made up from African, Asian, American and European (East & West) freight operators, including a good mixture of aircraft types: I've seen photographers taking in 20+ different B747F on one day, along with the odd DC-10F, An-12, B737F, Tu-204 and DC-8F. Two more benefits to take into account:
- Other than ANC
, it is a one-runway-airport, i.e. you cannot miss a thing.
- Along the perimeter fence, you find several spots that allow for good photography...
A final word: It all depends on what you call a mecca. A while ago, Oostende in Belgium used to be the place if you wanted to see all these odd DC-8s and B707s from Africa uniting in one place. Those glory days are over now, and today I regret I've been there only twice while it lasted, stupidly thinking the handful of movements a day was not worth it...