Since I'm six feet plus tall, and my corporate sponsor won't buy me Business (or, Heaven forbid, First) Class tickets, I always try and sit in an exit row seat. This really restricts my view down, but it does allow me to examine the wing of the airplane quite closely.

These photographs are all taken from that vantage point.

Unfortunately, most of my travel invovles short hops on regional-size jets. With the exception of the tripple-slotted flaps of the 727, most of these planes (737, DC-9, MD-80, etc.) have pretty boring wing structures.

There are two groups of pictures on this page: photos taken under interesting lighting conditions, like sunrise and sundown; and photos taken at interesting phases of flight, like take-off and landing.

One of my goals is to get some really nice pictures of the condensation trails formed in the airflow from various wing structures. One often sees a very distinct trail formed in the air escaping around the end of the flaps when they are fully extended for landing. I've also seen a neat trail formed at the strake located on the inboard side of the engine cowling of 737's with CFM engines and extending up and over the wing.

© 1997 Geoff Sobering, Non-commercial Use Allowed with Attribution, All Other Rights Reserved

Wings at Sunrise and Sundown:

These three photographs are of DC-9 (or MD-80, I can't remember) wings taken at sunset and dusk. I've included somewhat larger sized "thumbnails" than I would normally, since I think the photos are really neat.

The top two photos were taken as we were flying between two cloud layers. In the right-hand ("Sunset") picture, this produced some really spectacular colors on the two cloud banks. In the left-hand photo ("Dusk") it created an interesting gradient effect at the horizon.
I think the bottom shot may be from an earlier moment in the same flight as the one above it, but I can't figure it out from the rolls of film and my notes.

Smaller thumbnail of above

Smaller thumbnail of above

Full scanned resolution copy of above

Wings at Take-Off and Landing:

The double-slotted flaps on the Boeing 737 wing isn't quite as spectacular as the tripple-slotted ones on the 727, but it can still draw startled, "the wing's falling appart!", reactions from first-time flyers when the spoilers pop up and you can see there is a sizable gap between the main part of the wing and the flaps:

Full scanned resolution copy of above

Full scanned resolution copy of above

I really liked the colors playing across this (DC-9) wing as we climbed out of Raleigh/Durham: