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Block40Osan
Topic Author
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:23 pm

Planespotting in London

Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:17 pm

Hello everyone,

I‘m traveling to London on January 13th and staying until the 28th, and planning to do some planespotting while I'm there. This would be my first time spotting in London, and whilst I read many other posts on this forum I still have few questions that are yet to be answered.

First of all, Luton and Stansted seems almost impossible without car, hence I’ll be spending most my time at LHR, LGW, LCY (if possible). I’m staying around Swiss Cottage so it would be fairly easy to get around to LHR with Underground or Crossrail. Gatwick is rather of a concern but there seems to be Thameslink train connecting the city center to the airport so I’m not really worrying on that either! Here are my questions below.

Generic question first, how is the weather in average in January? I understand UK’s weather is not reliable thus unpredictable in advance, but throught my two weeks stay, will it be possible to get more than 4~5 days of sunny (including partly cloudy) days? I’m probably too used to the sunny winter we have here in Seoul, so this is actually the most worried part for me at the time being.

Regarding LHR:

A. I’ve checked out few spotting guides available on the web, but could anyone confirm are these generally up-to-date? I heard Bedfont & Feltham Football Field is good for 27L arrivals, but I heard from few locals that they are now building a fence around the entrance. Any updates on this?

http://www.spotterguide.net/planespotti ... -lhr-egll/

http://www.plane-mad.com/airport-spotti ... -egll.html

B. Is it common to see 27s being used in January? From what I understand, UK in genera receives predominantly westerly wind, but I wonder if that trend is to continue in January.

C. Regarding Bedfont & Feltham Football Field, if I decide to spot I’ll probably out from the sunrise till sunset. Is it likely to have an entrance to the football field open at 8AM or something early in the morning? Do they keep the doors open in weekdays as well? If it is not the case, where would be a good place to spot 27L landings, apart from Myrtle Ave. and Permiter Rd.?

Regarding LGW

1) Only reason I’m going Gatwick is for Virgin 747 - will they be still around LGW by the time I get there? I heard they’re adding some 747 services from/to Manchester and got suddenly worried if 747 service at Gatwick would subsequently be replaced with 787 or other type.

2) Is it correct that weekends are the busiest in terms of traffic at LGW?

3) Do you often get business jet arrivals in Gatwick? What I mean by business jet here is something like Gulfstream, Global Express or even Learjets.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you :D
 
JakTrax
Posts: 4892
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:30 am

Re: Planespotting in London

Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:03 pm

Hi Block40Osan,

As you say UK weather is unpredictable, but westerly/northerly winds are typical throughout winter. London normally sees a few clear January days and I'd certainly hope you'd see some sun during such a long stay, however we can go weeks at a time with very little sunshine unfortunately! You rarely get two or three sunny days in a row to be honest, but you can get two or three each week if you're lucky.

I am away in early January but might be able to personally help you out after 17th (I am actually from the north of England but frequent LHR in winter) - there is an excellent spot near the end of Cains Lane that requires a ladder but I have a spare and so it wouldn't be a problem.

As you can see from this photo, the aircraft are much lower than at Myrtle Avenue and the football club, and you get some nice LHR backgrounds.

https://www.airliners.net/photo/Transae ... Hwg6Mfc%3D

Virgin 744s are best photographed at MAN (my local), and with so much time here it would be very easy to book some last-minute travel up north (about 4-5hrs on a coach from London, or 45 minutes by air). LGW can be very repetitive and the photo spots are not great; it also doesn't see too many bizjets.

Both LHR and MAN offer superb winter photography. LTN is good also - if not a little slow at times - but you're right in that you definitely need a car to get to the best location.

Cheers,
Karl
 
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Block40Osan
Topic Author
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:23 pm

Re: Planespotting in London

Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:43 am

JakTrax wrote:
Hi Block40Osan,

As you say UK weather is unpredictable, but westerly/northerly winds are typical throughout winter. London normally sees a few clear January days and I'd certainly hope you'd see some sun during such a long stay, however we can go weeks at a time with very little sunshine unfortunately! You rarely get two or three sunny days in a row to be honest, but you can get two or three each week if you're lucky.

I am away in early January but might be able to personally help you out after 17th (I am actually from the north of England but frequent LHR in winter) - there is an excellent spot near the end of Cains Lane that requires a ladder but I have a spare and so it wouldn't be a problem.

As you can see from this photo, the aircraft are much lower than at Myrtle Avenue and the football club, and you get some nice LHR backgrounds.

https://www.airliners.net/photo/Transae ... Hwg6Mfc%3D

Virgin 744s are best photographed at MAN (my local), and with so much time here it would be very easy to book some last-minute travel up north (about 4-5hrs on a coach from London, or 45 minutes by air). LGW can be very repetitive and the photo spots are not great; it also doesn't see too many bizjets.

Both LHR and MAN offer superb winter photography. LTN is good also - if not a little slow at times - but you're right in that you definitely need a car to get to the best location.

Cheers,
Karl


Hi Karl,

Photo location you suggested looks very good, would love to try it when 27L is in use for landing. Any chance I might be able to do line-up photos from that location?

Regarding Virgin 747s I'm seriously considering Manchester, location near runway thresholds are phenomenal!

Thanks again!
 
JakTrax
Posts: 4892
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:30 am

Re: Planespotting in London

Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:09 am

Line-ups at LHR are practically impossible now due to a double fence. :-(

MAN is probably the best airport in the UK for variety of photography locations, and has some pretty good traffic too - well worth booking a trip north for a couple of days if you can!
 
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flyingphil
Posts: 135
Joined: Wed May 16, 2007 2:56 am

Re: Planespotting in London

Wed Aug 29, 2018 6:01 pm

London City Airport can be good for spotting... can be quiet outside of the morning and evening rush..

And dont forget that it is closed on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning,
You can get there on the bus or on the Docklands Light Railway

British Aerospace BAe-146-200 - Air France (CityJet) | Aviation Photo #1286701 | Airliners.net https://www.airliners.net/photo/Air-Fra ... 00/1286701

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