As someone that goes planespotting a lot (as in so often that I feel like my hearing is worsening), I often get bored of having to watch the exact same flights come in and out the airport every time. Though HKG is a really big and busy airport, the flight schedules are pretty much the same each day and things can get real bland real fast. That’s why I get pretty excited about special liveries or non-typical aircraft movements, in this case the arrival of the Cathay and Finnair A350’s.
The last time I went spotting, I was lucky enough to have been able to witness (for the first time) with my very own eyes the arrival of the Finnair A350 (AY69 from Helsinki) and the Cathay A350 (CX900 from Manila). It turned out to be bolstering hot that day, but when I left home I thought that it wouldn’t be that bad and decided to forego the sunscreen. Not very smart. Though my skin was darkening by the minute, I was determined to wait until I’d get my first glimpse of the two A350’s. Waiting with me was a group of die-hard local planespotters whom I hadn’t really seen before and a friend of mine who isn’t really a planespotter but tags along sometimes on my spotting trips. The “die hard spotters” were smart enough to have found area with a little bit of shade where they seemed to hibernate whilst tracking the A350’s on their phones.
I decided to brave the heat so that I could spot other arrivals whilst waiting for the the A350’s. Bad idea, as I got some pretty weird tan lines as a result. Not too long after, at around 2:10pm, the first of the two A350’s arrived. It was the Finnair plane, and despite my high expectations after seeing it on the front page of Airliners.net for several weeks in a row, it did not fail to impress.
The Airbus A350 is in many aspects an absolutely remarkable aircraft. Though it may not appear so in pictures, it’s quite big. Incredibly sleek down its length with beautiful curved wingtips, it’s sort of a cross between an Airbus A330-300 and a Boeing 777-200LR. The curvature of the plane is absolutely amazing, though I found the engines to be a little disappointing. In the photos they look like the Rolls Royce Trent 800’s that are fitted on some 777’s, whereas I was expecting them to be much bigger and more resembling the Trent 900’s used on the Airbus A380’s. Let me know in the comments what your opinion on this matter is; I want to see if people agree with me or not. All in all I’d say the Airbus A350 is a beautiful aircraft and lived up to my expectations for it. Just hoping that I’ll get a chance to ride on it!