Virgin Atlantic Airbus - Different coloured contrails, Kernersville, North Carolina 16th March 2016

TEEJ

Senior Member.
The following video was uploaded by Michael Rutledge of Kernersville, North Carolina. The video has the following description.

upload_2016-3-21_20-16-18.png


Michael lives in Hendrix View Lane which he openly reveals in the video comments.

Screenshot from Planefinder. Virgin Atlantic Airbus A330, registration G-VINE.

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Posted on Facebook Page

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https://www.facebook.com/mike.rutledge.796/videos/10207388436888000/

There was another Virgin Atlantic Airbus A330 that passed over further to the west at 23:55 GMT, but I think the first one, G-VINE, is the one in the video.

upload_2016-3-21_20-33-7.png

It appears to me to be a simple case of the darker contrail in shadow. The starboard (right) hand side of the Airbus is shadow.

It also crossed my mind that it might possibly be a variant of the same engine Rolls Royce Trent 772-60?

See thread on likely intermixed engines.

https://www.metabunk.org/white-grey...likely-intermixed-engine-configuration.t3246/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolls-Royce_Trent_700

Possibly just the lighting on the following image but the starboard (right) engine appears to have a differently coloured front part of the engine cowling? This is G-VINE which I believe features in the video?

upload_2016-3-21_20-45-57.png


2015 image of G-VINE

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https://www.planespotters.net/photo/640325/g-vine-virgin-atlantic-airways-airbus-a330-343

Michael also filmed this airliner minutes after the Airbus flyover. Clearly the light is coming from the left with the darker trail in partial shadow of the other. Michael is claiming that following



https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?...74123111987.2049454.1199070566&type=3&theater

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TEEJ

Senior Member.
G-VINE is still operating with the different coloured cowling. Video from 20th March 2016

upload_2016-3-21_22-6-46.png


 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Seems like the mismatched cowlings were only from Jan 2015 to March 2015, based on flickr images.

However, after that the engines are still not matching, with different logos:
May 16, 2015
20160321-150622-mw477.jpg
Source
 

Trailspotter

Senior Member.
He also posted this photo on his Facebook page as a counterargument to @TEEJ's comments on the youtube video:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10207388454728446&set=ecnf.1199070566&type=3&theater

However, the photo clearly shows that the aircraft is lit up on the LEFT (port) side and its right (starboard) side in the shadow. Therefore, the dark right contrail must be in the shadow of the left one.

PS Apologies for repeating the picture and the argument from the end of OP, I've missed it somehow at the first read. Probably, I've just scrolled the page down too far.:oops:
 
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TEEJ

Senior Member.
Thanks, Mick.

G-VGEM also flew close to the filming location on 16th March. Judging by the video the Airbus A330 doesn't appear to have the starboard white cowling?

upload_2016-3-21_22-23-41.png
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I suspect the different engine showing up on different planes indicated that they swap individual engines out as needed for maintenance or repair, and that the G-VINE engine ended up on G-VGEM

It might even be that the white-banded engine is the "spare" engine - an older one they use while others are being serviced.
 

Clunk

New Member
Virgin engineering will be unlikely to have many, if any, spare cowlings like this in the stores that are painted up. I guess there's probably not much need for them. Should one get damaged and they haven't got a red one in stock, they'll just get one off the shelf from wherever is convenient at short notice and replace with a red one in due course. It's very unlikely that it's an indication that the engine itself has been changed. I have a contact and can probably find out if it's important.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Virgin engineering will be unlikely to have many, if any, spare cowlings like this in the stores that are painted up. I guess there's probably not much need for them. Should one get damaged and they haven't got a red one in stock, they'll just get one off the shelf from wherever is convenient at short notice and replace with a red one in due course. It's very unlikely that it's an indication that the engine itself has been changed. I have a contact and can probably find out if it's important.

I'm thinking that the cowling stays with the engine when they swap them out. Seems rather an odd coincidence otherwise, the same cowling swap on two planes a year apart.
 

Clunk

New Member
Not at all, Mick. Time before overhaul on a Trent 700 engine is 30-36000 hours, whereas it's very common to see mis-matched temporary cowls as they're quite vulnerable to damage.
 

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Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
A friend who is a pilot sent me this photo, taken from the cockpit. This is a Cathay Pacific 777, and the difference in colour between the sunlit and shadowed contrails is obvious.

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