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Thread: Visiting PHL

  1. #1
    Senior Member Chris102's Avatar
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    Visiting PHL

    I'll be in Philadelphia later this week and am thinking about visiting PHL for the first time. Seems like there are a lot of great spots to take photos from.

    Anyone have any tips for a first-time visit to PHL? Anything I should know? And will 400mm be enough for the usual locations?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Kiffy's Avatar
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    Here's a excerpt from a airliners.net thread from a few years back that I've now updated:

    PHL is a great place to go spotting; there is a nice stream of traffic and I have never been bothered by any authorities. There is a road surrounding most of the airport (Hog Island/Fort Mifflin rd) and for most of it, it is alright to pullover (look out for the no parking signs parallel to runway 9L). Keep in mind you are not allowed to be on the airport side of the road, so stay away from the fence. I prefer runway 27R (most used) to do the majority of my spotting, especially around 3-7pm when Frontier, Alaska, Virgin America, Jetblue, Spirit, UPS, FedEx and most of the European flights (Lufthansa and British Airways) arrive. You can just spot on the side of the road and not be bothered.

    Example: AWE A333 to arrive on runway 27R with a focal length of 80mm. I have even done spotting with my 50mm lenses here as well.



    Runway 35 mostly used by CRJs, DH-8s and sometimes Southwest Airlines. Theres some off-road tracks that you can spot on just watch out for the crazy ATV drivers!

    Example: SWA 737 on final for runway 35 with a focal length of 100mm (or less depending where you go).



    There is a small gravel parking lot about half a mile away from the UPS hub (across from the fire training area) that is public parking where you can get good runway 27L departure shots. You can even spot from across the road on the old railroad tracks.

    Example: UPS MD-11 departing runway 27L with a focal length of 105mm. With the A319s and plenty of CRJs a focal length of around 200-300mm might be needed.



    Here's a handy sun calculator for PHL:
    SunCalc.net

    Its great that PHL is now being served by so many new airlines, there for a while it was pretty boring!

    Happy spottings!

  3. #3
    Senior Member megatop412's Avatar
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    I live nearby and routinely photograph at PHL. Hog Island Road is the place to be. As Kiffy said do not park on the fence side of the road.

    We had a great Cargo Rush at the end of 2012, with DC-8's, classic 747's, and A300's visiting.

    Virgin America, Alaska, Spirit, and(most recently) jetBlue have begun(or resumed) services to PHL.

    400mm is more than enough to get what you need. Heck, when the A330's come in you'll need wider than 100mm to get the whole aircraft in frame.

    Visit: www.phlairline.com for more info. You will probably see Paul out there, he's out there on a regular basis and knows most about the fleet movements(as well as being a fountain of GA knowledge).

    See my dropshots site for examples.

    William

  4. #4
    Senior Member Chris102's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips guys! I'll keep you posted on how it turns out. Hoping for good weather tomorrow!

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