• Dr. Herpy

Planespotting at Cleveland

After the uptick in holiday travel, the demand for air travel has increased, and  Cleveland is once again a paradise for plane spotters. A few months ago, United Airlines stored at least 30 aircraft because of the pandemic. Now, most of these planes have returned to service or sent out into the desert to await scrapping. Today there are less than 5 planes in long term storage at Cleveland. Many plane spotters flock to Cleveland to see the unusual aircraft that sometimes fly in. For example on January 7th and 8, a Armée de l’Air (French Air Force) A310 flew into Hopkins on a training mission. This aircraft is sometimes used to transport the prime minister of France. Cleveland sees its fair share of unusual aircraft, NASA’s Glenn Research Center located at the airport, is home to a T-34C Mentor, A Dehavilland DHC-6 Twin Otter and a S-3 Viking. Rare classic jets like DC-9s operated by cargo airlines like USA Jet are relatively frequent visitors to Cleveland because of the auto industry in the area. The Mexican cargo airline, Aeronaves TSM also sometimes flies cargo flights to Cleveland. It is also important to remember that because of the Cleveland Clinic many heads of state travel to Cleveland for medical appointments. About once a year, the Dubai Royal Flight flies a 747-400 into Cleveland. Several Arab oil tycoons also fly their massive private jets into Cleveland. These jets often attract many planespotters. During the NFL season many big jets are chartered to carry the massive football teams. Many teams fly in aircraft like the 747, 767, 777, and A330 that are not flown to Cleveland for regular service. These aircraft are a favorite catch among planespotters. Although Cleveland lost its United hub status in 2014 and doesn’t have the number of cargo flights that Cincinnati (CVG) has, it is still a great place to go plane spotting.