I’m a bit of a plane dork.  I mean, yes, I love flying in airplanes but I have a very child-like fascination and adoration of airplanes as well.  There’s just something audacious about the idea of getting into a large metal tube, sticking 2-4 engines on it, and firing off into the sky, only to land hours later in a familiar or unfamiliar land where adventure awaits!

This brings me to the hobby of planespotting.  It’s basically the same as birdwatching, you go to where planes are taking off or landing and take pictures or just watch the beauty of aviation!  I know it may not sound exceedingly wonderful to many people but hey, this is a travel/photography blog so hopefully I have the right audience 🙂

While LAX is probably the best planespotting airport in the world (I said that just for my buddy Mike, although I do agree with him), my home airport of DFW has its moments!  Yes, DFW is dominated with American Airlines narrowbody aircraft like the Boeing 737 and Airbus A321 but there are quite a few widebody variants as well (like the Boeing 777 and Airbus A330).  Then, of course, there’s the whale: the Qantas A380 for it’s almost-daily nonstop to/from Sydney.  On the cargo side of things you’ll typically see quite a few Boeing 747s coming in, since DFW is a bit of a shipping hub and Amazon has an enormous fulfillment facility nearby.

One of the jewels of DFW Airport is Founders’ Plaza.  Located near the Remote North parking area on Airport Road, it sits on a slight hill (as much of a hill as we get in this part of Texas) just outside of the airport fence overlooking runway 18L/36R.  Most days you’ll see all manner of aircraft either taking off or landing on this side of the airport, especially so for the “superheavies”.  The A380, in particular, always lands or takes off from the runway nearest to Founders’ Plaza.

I was out at DFW the other day finally enrolling in TSA Precheck (I know I know…) and had a bit of extra time on my lunch break.  I had a special “new” lens with me: Canon’s legendary 200mm f1.8 “Eye of Sauron” lens.  I traded a camera straight up for it and thought it might be decent for some planespotting.  If nothing else, it would be a chance to use the new lens!  I attached it to my Sony a6500 with a Sigma MC-11 adaptor and got to shooting.

It wasn’t the most interesting day for planespotting but I knew one thing: the Qantas A380 usually lands around 1pm this time of year.  A quick check of FlightAware confirmed its arrival time and sure enough I eventually saw it in line with some great clouds as a backdrop.  I thought I’d give you a taste of some DFW Airport planespotting for this week’s pictures of the week!

a plane flying over a runway

One of the rare prop planes you’ll see at DFW Airport

an airplane flying in the sky

Airbus A321

a large airplane on a runway

an airplane in the sky

Boeing 737

a large airplane flying in the sky

Qantas A380 approaching from Sydney

a large white airplane flying in the sky

Zoomed in on the new Qantas livery!

a large airplane taking off

Flare out!


Which picture is your favorite?  Where do you like to go planespotting?  Tell me in the comments below!

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