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NM5K

Saw #6 today..

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Last call for Vegas...

This was flight 254. On flightaware, it was listed as a 300 today, but it was actually

an 800, as it has been the last few days.

This is the sixth 800 that has been delivered to SWA.

It started out this AM in BWI, then to FLL, then to HOU, and now off to LAS.

The time stamps on the images are an hour early.. Seems I need to change my camera

to DST.. They are fixing to blast off on 12R..

 

 

swa800-1.jpg

swa800-3.jpg

swa800-4.jpg

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Nice. I wish I could fly on a brand new plane, sit at a brand new seat.

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Last call for Vegas...

This was flight 254. On flightaware, it was listed as a 300 today, but it was actually

an 800, as it has been the last few days.

This is the sixth 800 that has been delivered to SWA.

It started out this AM in BWI, then to FLL, then to HOU, and now off to LAS.

The time stamps on the images are an hour early.. Seems I need to change my camera

to DST.. They are fixing to blast off on 12R..

 

 

swa800-1.jpg

swa800-3.jpg

swa800-4.jpg

 

Very Cool!!

 

I had a question. How do you track a single aircraft and where it flies too. I've often gotten off flights and wanted to track where my aircraft went after. Just wondering, thanks for sharing the pics!

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Here's how I do it.... flightaware.com and go under aviation photos and search for whatever airline you are looking for and in your results it will give the aircraft registration number as a link and just click on that and there you have it. Some airlines, though, have poor coverage in this area.... Westjet is one of them. Hope this helps

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flightradar24.com is another option, the one i always use, but coverage is better in europe than the US

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In my case, I just use flightaware and punched in SWA and 254 for the flight..

But.. I had already been watching this plane on flightaware for a few days, and

had a fairly good hunch it would be showing up, even though they had listed it as a

300 for that day. The "plan" for that day said 300, but when you looked at the airplane

flying on the map, it did show as "738".

 

Anyway, I had a service call near the airport yesterday, and I finished up fairly

quick. So I went over to my usual watching spot and waited a bit.. Sure enough, the

plane landed.. I took pictures of it about to land, but they didn't come out too good..

I knew it was an 800 when I saw the dual exits on the side.

So I had to sit and wait for it to do it's thing on the ground, and snapped the usable

images when it was rolling onto 12R.

I had a pretty good hunch it was going to be an 800, but didn't know which one.

I found that out after I got home and searched the registration. Appeared to be #6

from the info I got. There is a fence surrounding the airport, but for the 800 shot,

I went up to the fence and stuck the lense up close and almost through the links

to avoid the usual fence clutter.. I also took a quick video of it taking off, but the

fence clutter whacked it out when he was about half way down the runway.

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I added that one to my collection.. I also had #1, but I wanted a "plane jane" version

as an everyday 800.. So this will be one of them..

As usual.. diddling with the blue.. :/ I wanted this one fairly dark, being new..

The real one is fairly dark, maybe slightly more in real life than my pictures show.

Depends on the light.. I'll try this one for a while.. :\

8306-10.jpg

8306-20.jpg

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You shouldn't need to mess with the blue...Chris Hicks received an exact RGB, and the files are already in the AVSIM library.

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Exact RGBs have nothing to do with how it will look in a specific rendering engine. So the spot color (not RGB by the way) used in the real livery would be useless in this case. What you need to do is adjust and compare in FS X many times until you get it right. Your eyes are the precious, rarely utilized tool used here.

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Yep.. It's basically just trial and error.. I go by what I see, and recall from real life using

my eyes. Going by images is very difficult, as the white balance varies from shot to shot,

differences in cameras, level of exposure, etc..

Then to complicate things, the shade of blue seems to lighten up as the planes age.

So the new ones tend to look darker in most cases, than the older ones.

Then to make it even trickier, my eyes seem to see just a tad bit of purple in the blue.

But.. This shows up the most in hangars, and when direct sun is not shining on them.

But with direct sun, and also the white reflections from clouds overhead, the blue tends

not to show much purple, but more of a darkish sky blue.

So I try to edge the blue slightly into purple territory, but not so much that you don't see

the more sky blue shade with bright sun.

Just this plane alone, "N8306H", I already have five working versions, but each with

slightly different shades. :/ I store them all in folders, and I can switch files quickly

to compare. I'm probably the pickiest person on the planet when it comes to the

shade of blue of my SWA jets.. :| It's almost an illness...

I've got my 700 about how I like it I think.. I haven't messed with it in a while.

But still messing with the 800's as they come along, and being new, I'm painting

them just a tad darker for the most part. I'll probably mess with this one even more

before I call it finished.

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Exact RGBs have nothing to do with how it will look in a specific rendering engine. So the spot color (not RGB by the way) used in the real livery would be useless in this case. What you need to do is adjust and compare in FS X many times until you get it right. Your eyes are the precious, rarely utilized tool used here.

 

 

It is a Pantone (not RGB or spot) mix I got from WN that was adapted for my liveries. The exact mix I was given appeared a bit murky in the sim, so I made adjustments, but it's still just a few percentage points away from the actual mix. I've been rather pleased with it, after months of eyeballing it.

 

Some color change occurs when converting the shots to Jpg, but here's a few of my newest.

 

Newly painted

2012-5-21_14-56-5-552.jpg

 

Faded

2012-5-21_14-57-20-795.jpg

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Here's two shots with indirect lighting and shade

2012-5-7_11-50-2-150.jpg

 

2012-5-5_22-59-44-504.jpg

 

The purple hues show mostly at sunset/sunrise in FS, but I don't have any shots handy.

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Since this is a Southwest thread, I thought I would post this article that came out today regarding Southwest's 39 straight years of profitability. It's a pretty good read and makes you think about the simple approach Southwest takes and what the rest of the airlines do. Here's the link:

 

http://www.slate.com...s_success_.html

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Thing is..is that from a flight operations standpoint, SWA isn't as simple as it used to be. For example, SWA is now starting to introduce (or will be in the near future) de-rates, and reduced climbs, and also variable cost indexes. They used to only use assumed temperature reduced take-offs, and all flights used the same CI of 20. A couple years back, the brought online VNAV and A/T, both of which they hadn't used before that, and also changed the displays from EFIS/MAP to PFD/ND. They are also getting ACARS printers, which even though a small change, makes the airplane more complicated. (Can you imagine how much the paper alone is going to cost?!) On a broader note, SWA used to be good at serving the "underserved" airports (e.g., DAL instead of DFW, and MDW instead of ORD) For the past couple of years, they have opened stations at many airports, which some people never thought that they would serve (LGA, EWR, ATL, BOS, etc...) Also, we know that they recently received ETOPS certified aircraft, and are planning on serving international routes, which if you told me that even two years ago, I wouldn't have believed it in a million years. So we are seeing a very evolving SWA, and many people (a lot of employees) don't know where the company will be in 5-10 years, at the current rate of growth/changes.

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Personally, I just find it very incredible that they weren't using VNAV or A/T. A lot of hand-flying and becoming absolute masters of trim. Also, staying on-time and accurate as far as cruise speed/wind goes....I feel like there's a lot of talent in there somewhere to keep the flights going, on-time, and flying accurately without those 2 features.

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Actually, a pilot I talked to said that he liked it better without A/T. This was due to a lot of the fast spool ups, and also all the changes during cruise. When your in turbulent air, your IAS is constantly changing, and the A/T tries to keep up with that. Without A/T, there aren't as many thrust changes, leading to PAX comfort, and possiably even fuel savings.

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They didn't use autothrottle? This I never knew. I wonder if they had it armed? Not a wise choice if they didn't since you lose alpha protection. I always scratched my head on why SWA never used some of the technology available. They use to not even use autobrakes before the chicago incident. Crazy.

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Yeah, up until a couple years ago, they never used A/T. If you search for cockpit pictures, you can see either an "INOP" sticker over the VNAV and A/T, or manually placed covers to prevent them from arming the A/T, and activating VNAV. They still don't use Auto brakes level 1, as that is not authorized.

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