Robert and I took off from SLC to CDG then TXL for the 2012 ISER meeting yesterday. I thought that the SLC to CDG flight might be a bit more convenient than going through ATL or JFK and while it is certainly more reliable in terms of an on-time departure than JFK or ATL, going through Paris is always a hassle. I thought that a two hour layover in Paris would be plenty and wow, due to the inefficiency in Paris and the general slowness of airport staff, it was *just* enough time for us to get to our next flight.
I will say however, that SLC is a wonderful airport to fly out of. Fantastic on-time departure statistics, not at all crowded and clean. It’ll be interesting to see what the new expansion is going to bring. Judging from the 747 and 777 markings on the runway, they are at least anticipating larger aircraft in the near future.
I am also using this trip as a shakedown cruise for the Canon 1DX and so far, what I am seeing is a new level in clarity and performance. Even shots out of the airplane window are sharper and clearer than I’ve previously been able to get. I can’t wait to get together with Duncan and do a 1DX/D4 shootout.
I am trying to get back into more photographs from planes as I fly. I kind of got out of it for a while, but there is always something interesting to see when looking out of the window. For example, the photo just above is Pine Mountain Wyoming, an outcropping over 8200 feet in altitude of Mesozoic rocks ranging from the Jurassic formation into the Cretaceous.
Some things are unexpected, such as this Fed Ex cargo plane that came pretty darned close. With a combined closing speed of over 1000 MPH, you sort of realize what combat pilots must be dealing with. He was moving pretty quickly past the window…
Even clouds up this high are interesting. Because of the aberrations the airplane window puts into things, its not a great test of the 1DX capabilities, but I will say that these images look significantly better than previous images of clouds shot through the perspex and glass.
I stayed up as long as I could working because the plan was to watch the auroral activity as it was supposed to be high due to solar flares. Unfortunately, I did not see any auroras, though my friend Dean tells me that the flight was diverted South to avoid auroral activity which would *totally* explain why we flew so far South for most of the flight compared with previous flights.
The new MacBook Pro seems to give an honest 7hrs or more of battery life. I was able to work for a substantial portion of the flight from SLC to CDG excepting the meal service and a 2hr nap. P.S., Delta, thanks for the Business Elite seats. I always love getting upgraded as it means you hit the ground on the other side, just a little bit more refreshed.
More from Berlin later…