Saturday, 21 January 2017

The magic of a dawn flight

A strange flight this morning, racing the sun from Warsaw to London. I took the 6am WizzAir to Luton, which parted company with the runway at 06:11 in darkness. After an hour-long doze I woke to see a slither or orange on an otherwise dark horizon when looking as far back behind the plane as I could. By the time the plane landed at 07:19, the bright orange slither had grown, but there was still no sun to be seen in the sky. The dawn had been approaching, but at a far slower pace than what an observer on the ground would perceive.

My plane took off 1hr 21 mins before the sun rose over Warsaw, and landed 37 mins before the sun rose over Luton - despite being airborne for 2hrs 8mins. The earth spins at 360 degrees every 24 hours, or 15 degrees per hour. Warsaw to London Luton is around 20 degrees, which my plane covered in a little over two hours, or about 10 degrees per hour.

Flying west slows down the rising and setting of the sun; flying east accelerates it. In midwinter, the early-afternoon flight from Luton to Warsaw takes off in broad daylight, dusk falls quickly, and by the time the plane lands, it's been dark in Warsaw for over two hours.

Disembarking from the plane this morning at Luton, I crossed the tarmac to reach the Arrivals terminal, and found lots of passengers turned around, looking at the sky and photographing it with their phones. Why? This...

On the morning after the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the USA, what can such a sign... mean? Compass and set-square... a Masonic plot... Helping others? Couldn't hurt.

A beautiful day in London; clear sky from dawn to dusk, for the third day in a row, and with more to come. Good thing that I came with my Nikon CoolPix P900 - it's definitely a clear-weather camera; when the sky's clear it is at its best. So - some aviation shots, capturing the sublime aesthetic of travelling in the stratosphere.

Below: a Canadian Boeing 787 Dreamliner flies over Pitshanger Park, Ealing, minutes after taking off to the east from Heathrow Airport.

Eight miles high - at cruising altitude, on its way to North America from continental Europe. Below: a Lufthansa Airbus A380

Below: heading east - a Cargolux Boeing 747-400ERF overflies North London

Below: An Airbus A340 in Star Alliance livery heads west.

Below: A KLM Boeing 777 in Sky Team colours over North London.

Below: different camera/lens, different spot: Turkish Airline's Boeing 777 over Jeziorki (Nikon D3300 with 55-300mm lens zoomed out (450mm equivalent).

Musical bonus: Eight Miles High, by the Byrds, recorded 51 years ago (alluding to yesterday's post). Click and enjoy.

Below: bonus photo - also taken with the P900 with lens zoomed out - portrait of a young female pheasant in my garden, this Thursday morning.

This time last year:
Warsaw as a voivodship (a good idea PiS has forgotten about)

This time four years ago:
Around town in the snow

This time five years ago:
Reference books are dead

This time six years ago:
A winter walk to work, and wet socks


Anonymous said...

Lucky you to escape the Warsaw smog (even if it is replaced by the London version). The smog in Warsaw is causing huge issues with kids and adults with breathing difficulties - would appreciate if you continue to highlight this to the international audience - I'm seriously thinking of leaving Warsaw when I retire to escape the muck that my neighbours burn, sickly diesel engines sitting in gridlock and the acrid smell and pollution of burning coal deemed by our government as the future of power! How do you plan to respond to this issue?

DC said...

It's a hashtag from an unfinished tweet. Lol