Mid-Summer Spotting Part #2 A Recent Look at the Freighter Traffic at Chicago O’Hare Airport.

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We continue our look into a recent spotting trip to Chicago O’Hare International Airport with a closer look at pure freighter traffic. The downturn in traffic on the passenger side has been very evident since the Covid-19 Pandemic began, but that has not affected air freight in the least, with current demand often exceeding capacity.

 

O’Hare has always been an important and busy cargo hub, and has seen an increase in traffic with passenger aircraft being pressed into service as freighters carrying cargo in their belly holds. On any given day you will see a wide variety of freighters including numerous Boeing 747’s from Atlas Air and a variety of Boeing 767’s operating by ATSG Holdings for Amazon.

 

The demand for air freight even brings out more exotic visitors including a Volga Dnepr IL-76TD-90VD which carried a payload of medical supplies. Air freight has been, continues to be, and will be another vital component of the daily traffic into and out of O’Hare.

In our third and final article we will take a look at the more common narrow body and regional aircraft types that frequent O’Hare, along with several special color schemes. Until next time, “Blue Skies To All!”

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Scott Jankowski

Scott Jankowski - Franklin, Wisconsin Like so many others my love of aviation started when I was young, very young. I was only three years old when my Parents took me to my first air show here in Milwaukee, the rest you could say is “history”. I would read aviation magazines instead of Comic Books. I would prefer my Dad take me to the airport to watch airplanes instead of throwing a Football around. I grew up watching Convair 580’s, DC9’s and 727’s from the terminal here in Milwaukee, no Stage Three noise compliance back then! I started to seriously take pictures in the Mid 1980’s , for my birthday that year I finally had my first decent camera. I would head down to the airport with my pockets full of Kodak Film and take pictures of anything and everything. It did not matter if it was a Air Wisconsin Dash-7 or a 128TH ARW KC-135E if it had an engine I took a picture of it. I would drop those rolls off to be developed and three days later tear into the envelopes to see the results, which to be honest were not that good but there were a few keepers every once and a while. Fast forwarding to today with much better equipment and skills I spend as much time as I can at both General Mitchell International and Chicago O’Hare which are my Hometown Airports. While times and aircraft have changed the excitement is still as great as it was back all of those years ago. It makes no difference if it is 737, P-51, F-16, or Lear 35 I will not pass on any photo opportunity as you may not get that chance again. Even though my primary focus is on Commercial Aviation I still frequent as many Air shows as I can in the short Summer Season. I am fortunate enough to have EAA Air Venture in my backyard only being only an Hour and Half from my home. I routinely attend Air shows here in Milwaukee, Rockford, Chicago, Ypsilanti and the Quad Cities. I am very fortunate to be part of the Photorecon.Net and PHX Spotters Team and am looking forward to bringing everyone some Air show and Airliner action from the Midwest Region!

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