Trip Report: Düsseldorf
On the 25th of May, I and a friend started our journey to Düsseldorf. We went to Zurich airport in the morning and had enough time to do some spotting in the airport terminals. At 12:15 we were ready to board our Fokker F100 registered as HB-JVH of Helvetic Airways. We had some delay, therefore the pilot offered the legendary Swiss chocolate to every passenger.
We had a calm flight until we descended into Düsseldorf. Then it got a bit bumpy. We had a remarkable touch down at Düsseldorf and got an outer stand. I got to have a short look into the cockpit though.
We then got to see the fantastic All Nippon Airways Star Wars Dreamliner which arrived just in time. After it arrived on blocks we left for the hotel to drop off our luggage and have a first look into our room. It was a big and nice room. I plugged in the first batteries to load them for the next day, and then we left again for the airport. We went there again for the ANA 787 which left at 8 o'clock p.m. for Tokyo. We had a warm and nice evening at the airport and then we left for a calm dinner and went back to the hotel. I just backed up my photos of the day (around 2000 pictures...) and plugged in all batteries.
On the second day, we started with a large breakfast and walked to the airport to get the first local heavies and the Singapore Airlines A350! I was happy to get also the Mahan Air and the Eurowings heavy which are mostly based at Cologne.
After the departures of those aircraft we went to the train station and took the local train to the city, where we searched for a nice looking restaurant to get some food. After a long search, interrupted by a few stopovers in different clothing stores (like Superdry :P) we finally found a restaurant near the Rhine. Afterward we headed again into the city to do some more shopping and sightseeing.
In the early evening, we decided to go back to the airport to see the evening heavies, like ANA and Etihad. We went to a different location close to the autobahn and directly under the localizer of the runway. There we could do some nice spotting with great light in the evening. It was still warm in the late evening. The highlight of the evening was the AirSeychelles A330, which departed some minutes after 8 p.m. Later we also got at least one of the few SunExpress Germany special paint schemes. Afterward we went back to the city where we eat a Currywurst, a typical German snack. Then we went back into the hotel where we had a drink before going to bed.
The third and already last day at Düsseldorf started with a nice and extended breakfast. We went to the airport again to meet a colleague of my friend which is also related to aviation. We had lunch together and had some nice conversations. Later, this colleague had to leave and my friend and I went to the observation deck for the last time. We were surprised by two MD-87 of Bulgaria Air and I finally got to see the 757 of Titan Airways. Unfortunately, it was the same one which did the Swiss Explorers World Tour and was at Zurich airport already two times. Nevertheless, I took some photos of it. The time was over very fast and we had again to check-in for the flight back to Switzerland.
When we checked in on the desk I was a bit frustrated that I got seat 5E. No window seat! I prayed to have a nice seat neighbor which could change the seat with me. The more time passed, I became more nervous. I finally wanted to know who has the seat beside me! The boarding started and I sat down on the predetermined seat and waited for my neighbor. My friend sat a few rows behind me on 9E. He had not even an open window to lookout.
Finally, my seat neighbor arrived on the plane, and I quickly asked her, if she would change the seat with me. She asked if I want to take some pictures, and gave me her place. I was absolutely happy and thankful! Later she became interested in the results. I showed her some pictures and she seemed impressed.
The flight all in all was absolutely calm. We had one microburst while turning on final to runways 28, but we had a smooth landing. Only the break and reverse after landing was really strong. I've never had a 28 landing before, so I can not say if it's always like this. After vacating the runway we taxied to the Alpha gates on the north side of the terminal. We both were a bit tired after the flight and the hot day in Düsseldorf, so we decided to have a relaxed dinner at the airport's restaurant and go home to my colleague. We just took the chance to take some pictures of the two specials at Zurich, the CS300 which arrived an hour before we did, and an Antonov AN-12 which was parked on the ramp.
I've to say a big thank you to my colleague who organized the whole journey and I'd like to do another trip with you! :)
On the way back home we checked the ages and stories of the planes we flew with. The Fokker 100 which we took to Düsseldorf was 28 years old, and it is still a very comfy and at all, a very unique aircraft! The Airbus A320SL which brought us back home was just seven months old. It was great to have an SL version, so I still haven't flown a "regular" A320 yet.