I’ve talked about my home airport in Milwaukee (MKE) before. I like convenient parking, short lines, the excellent Gallery of Flight Museum, and the fact that I can be there in less than 20 minutes on most days. There isn’t usually much interesting traffic coming through the airport, but in July this changes around the time of the EAA Airventure in Oshkosh. The air traffic control tower at Wittman Regional Airport (OSH) becomes the busiest in the world for a week or so each year.
At times like this MKE occasionally becomes a staging area for some of this traffic going into Wittman. The commercial airport at Mitchell Field shares space with the Air National Guard base for the 128th Air Refueling Wing, with its KC-135s plus daily flights on wide bodies from FedEx and UPS, does make for a somewhat diverse array of traffic.
Back in 2011, when the 787 was presented at EAA it flew into MKE before going into OSH. This week, the same thing occurred with the A350XWB which was going to be on display at EAA. The A350 will also return to MKE before returning to Toulouse. This isn’t quite as much of an early preview as the 787 was was since the A350 is already in commercial service, but without any US carriers flying the A350 yet, Airbus did a marketing tour this summer in the US. Matthew was on the Qatar A350 inaugural and James will be on the first A350 flight for Vietnam Airlines.
the A350 departing MKE
Thanks to a tip from Daniel, I learned the schedule of when the A350 would be departing for Oshkosh, so I was able to get some photos. There was a very light drizzle, and cloudy skies didn’t make for great photos, but here are a few of the photos I took.
The A350 spent a few days in Milwaukee, and apparently there were some tours on board over the weekend. I am not sure if this was open to the public, but I didn’t find this out until too late.
A350 just before departure
A350 Taxiing to the runway
More typical MKE traffic
While I was waiting for the A350 to depart I took photos of some other traffic.
Southwest is by far the largest carrier at MKE
American usually flies 3 MD80s daily to Dallas-Fort Worth (plus multiple flights to O’Hare)
Another reason to like Milwaukee Airport, there is free parking for the first 60 minutes in the main ramp. I went to the roof of the main parking garage for these photos. There is also an observation area north of the airport. This ground level area is further away from the terminal, but would work for East/West departures. It was fun to do some planespotting while I was home.