TEEJ Senior Member

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


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

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


    Posted on Facebook Page



    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.


    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.



    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?


    2015 image of G-VINE



    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



    • Like Like x 1
  2. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    There's certainly a very significant shadow in that direction.

    Another of uncertain date showing different engines http://www.ryan-douglas.co.uk/virgin-atlantic.html
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Spectrar Ghost

    Spectrar Ghost Senior Member

    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  4. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    • Like Like x 1
  5. TEEJ

    TEEJ Senior Member

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


  6. Mick West

    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
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Trailspotter

    Trailspotter Senior Member

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

    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:
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    On March 20 VS109 was G-VGEM, not G-VINE
    • Like Like x 1
  9. TEEJ

    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?

  10. Mick West

    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.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Clunk

    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.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    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.
  13. Clunk

    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.

    Attached Files:

    • Informative Informative x 3
  14. Trailblazer

    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.

    • Like Like x 3