Another week, another topic - it might not be my target but I somehow can’t stop this pace either. This week, it was quite a bit different from usual and brought some very new experiences at two new airports.
It all started on Monday morning. Even though weather was bad - in fact the only bad weather of the entire week - I headed up to Ingolstadt to spot a special visitor. The airport which serves as a plant for Airbus, a small business airport and an air base with rather big maintenance facilities and even as a former Space Shuttle landing facility got a visit from NATO. Usually based in Geilenkirchen, one of their three E3-A Sentry aircraft used the airport for a three hour landing training - usually long enough to get a lot of great shots but with the weather during the visit, most turned out rather dull. Standing on the extended centerline was an amazing (and ear-wrecking) experience nevertheless - and it also offered an impressive perspective.
Between the patterns - and, as visible in this pic, in rather heavy rain - one of the German Air Force’s Panavia Tornados departed for a test flight after maintenance at the field. With the afterburner in use, the sound this bird produced was even more impressive than the one of the E3 and it somewhat felt like a little earthquake. In fact, this Tornado was the first fighter jet I ever spotted in operation.
After a lot of patterns, the AWACS plane with its huge radar dome performed a final touch and go before heading back to Geilenkirchen showing off its enormous trail of smoke it produced throughout the training session. No need to mention that the sun finally appeared from behind the clouds right when it climbed out for the last time.
Since the traffic at Ingolstadt was basically done for the day after that departure, I left the airport again. Since we learned that the E3 would return again the next day with much better weather, this topic still continues though.
On Tuesday, I teamed up with a friend who wasn’t able to join us on Monday. Since the E3 was expected in the early afternoon, we decided to try another new airport a few miles west of Ingolstadt - Neuburg Air Base, home to the Luftwaffengeschwader 47 of the German Air Force - essentially a lot of Eurofighters in one place.
For the morning flights, two Eurofighters left the base at 10 am. My first Eurofighter to spot taxied out right in front of us.
It was eventually accompanied by one of the special liveries the German Air Force has in its fleet. We wouldn’t have seen this plane if the plane they initially planned hadn’t gone AOG right before takeoff.
While the two airplanes were perfoming their missions, the rest of the fleet was mainly maintained, like this fighter that was pulled to the maintenance area from its shelter.
About one and a half hours later, the traffic lights on the road right next to the airport fence turned red once again and the fighters returned to their base.
After the rollout, the Eurofighters turned around at the end of the runway and back taxied right towards us. Unfortunately, the heat haze was rather intense already but the angle and the livery promoting the 60th anniversary of the German Air Force back in 2016 were just too amazing not to share it.
Another plane flying at Neuburg was this rather un-impressive Learjet. It’s not as boring as it may seem though since this plane of the Gesellschaft für Flugzieldarstellung (~Company for target simulation) serves as a target for the fighter jets during their training flights. That day, it was mainly checking the ILSs of the airport though.
Since the morning run was over, we continued our trip to Ingolstadt for the afternoon traffic there. As I mentioned, the airport is also used by Airbus. That’s why it regularly sees the Airbus Beluga from Hamburg. It usually provides parts for Airbus Helicopters and picks up the aircraft doors produced at the Airbus plant in Donauwörth.
Just like on Monday, the GAF’s Tornado was once again conducting a test flight. Just like the day before, it performed a low approach over the runway before extending its wings and landing after another pattern.
And then here’s the reason for that trip again. Being a different registration than the day before, another NATO E3 visited the airport for 3 approaches in much better light than on Monday.
I hope you once again enjoyed the topic with different views than usual. Let’s see where the next trip leads me to, I can certainly say that I want to return to Neuburg for some more Eurofighter action and to Ingolstadt for some more Beluga (XL?) movements!
Canon EOS 80D
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS II USM (99% of pics)
NEW: Canon EF 24-105mm f/4.0 L IS II USM (for wide angle pics)
Backup / Old Lenses
Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS (for the 1% of the cases where I needed a wide angle lens)
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS STM (for the majority of my very old pics, bascially completely replaced by the 100-400 now)
You can follow me on twitter and Instagram to get more shots on a daily basis. Also, keep your eyes open on Flightradar24 where you might see some of my recent shots.
My spotting topics on the IFC (sorted by years since this is slowly getting endless)
Spring Spotting 1
Spring Spotting 2 with Lorenzo
Spring Spotting 3 (feat. Hekla Aurora)
August spotting with some sunrise shots
September 30 with quite some special liveries and bizjets
Spotting in Zurich on the way to Cosford
Spotting Laura and more in Birmingham
Spotting in fog with a sunny end
Special planes at Munich - Munich Security Conference feat. E-4B
Valentine’s Spotting 2019 - Civil Traffic around the Munich Security Conference
Retro Time - British Airways BEA A319
First weekend in Innsbruck - Charter Flights in the Alps
Second Innsbruck Spotting Weekend
Bringing Israeli soldiers to Munich - El Al 747
Another visit of ElAl’s queen - El Al 747
Spotting in the Morning Sun - South African Special Livery A340-300
A full day of Spotting
London Calling - Spotting at MUC and LCY on the way to London
London Heathrow Evening Spotting Before the Meetup
London Heathrow Meetup Spotting
Last Day at Heathrow: Landor, Negus and more
Government Jets and New Perspectives at Munich Airport
One Day Spotting Trip to Frankfurt Airport
Spotting Trip to Berlin
A lot of Specials at Munich
Quick after work spotting for a private A340
Another Sunny Spotting Day in Fall
Spotting with a Female closer than 5 miles, so definitely click even though she’s in none of the Pics!!!
Day and Night Shots at Munich
Deicing and more
Condor’s new colors and a big chopper
Stunning Condensations and a Royal 747
Azimuth Superjet and more for the last topic in a decade
The Final EXPO A380
Special Cargos in the Evening
Zurich’s Airline Traffic during the WEF Week
Air Force One Ramp Tour
Air Force One Arriving in Zurich
Heavy Contrasts for Air Malta’s Retro Jet
First Two Days of SiKo - Kuwait A340, Russia Il96
Amazing Security Conference Perspectives feat. Kuwait’s A340 and more
Etihad’s Choose China Livery
Security Conference Final
Trying A New Position for Condor‘s and United‘s New Liveries
Last Specials Prior to the Corona Break
First Spotting Trip After the Corona Restrictions With Some Cargo Specials
50 Years Special Livery on a Rescue Helicopter
Spotting AN-22 in Leipzig
Spotting the Last Departing A340s of Lufthansa
First Visit of Qatar’s OneWorld A350-1000
AN124 and Other Specials in Munich
Spotting in Frankfurt With Several Specials
Early Morning Cargo Movements
Government Flights at Munich
TL;DR service for @dush19: Actually, I can’t be bothered to continue this any longer but: Planes, Planes, Planes.
@MrMrMan: Look, something new to quote again! You’ll end up in a burnout very soon I fear…
@Marc you’re welcome 😉
@Nathan time to visit this place again
@Balloonchaser since you asked…