Virgin Atlantic 747-4Q8 G-VTOP thunders away from the sizzling tarmac at McCarran International Airport, heading for the cooler climate of Great Britain.
This was taken from the well-known planespotting area that's just next to the two main runways, basically a small parking lot along the road going past the airport. There was an annoying mesh wire fence all along the perimeter, but apart from that, it was the ideal location, with most twinjets rotating and touching down right in front of you. Larger birds like this 747 needed a bit more of the runway of course.
I do realize that this was shot from behind and into the sun, but I really love this photo. The colour of the runway, the heat distortion, the strong contrast, the glints coming off the fuselage, it just really adds up. And an American flag for all you Patriots out there.
Also, as you may be able to see by the distortion near the ground, it was very, very hot. I think temperatures were well above 40°C on some days, and as expected, I came back to the hotel looking like Mr. Tanning Salon.