The winner of Heathrow Airport’s September #AvGeek of the Month is Mohammed Firaas Naeem.
We’ve caught up with the #avgeek to find out more about his aviation experience and shared a selection of his incredible photographs. Enjoy!
Name: Mohammed Firaas Naeem
Age: 32 years old
Location: I live in a small town in Berkshire, just a short drive from the beautiful Windsor Castle – home to Her Majesty The Queen!
Aviation enthusiast, spotter or photographer? Or all 3? All 3!
What first interested you in aviation?/Why are you an #AvGeek?
Aviation is in my blood. Many members of my family work at Heathrow Airport, with my grandfather leading the way since the late ninety sixties. My school was directly under the flightpath so seeing aircraft taking off and land was the norm throughout most of my childhood. I recall seeing some legendary aircraft such as the Boeing 757, 767, 747, Airbus A300/A310/A340, Fokker F50/F100 and the mighty Concorde!
At a very young age, my parents would often take us abroad to see our extended family and friends. Thanks to Heathrow’s diverse connections, we travelled to cities in the US, Europe, Middle East and Southeast Asia. This is where my passion really began. Travelling on a variety of aircraft and through a number of airports really made me appreciate the technological advances made in connecting us to the far corners of the world.
Check out a selection of Mohammed’s spectacular shots!
Favourite aircraft livery at Heathrow?
The aircraft and livery that holds a place in my heart is the Gulf Air Airbus A330-200 painted in the special Formula 1 livery. Aircraft registration A9C-KB.
Gulf Air, the national airline of the Kingdom of Bahrain, has been the main sponsor of the Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix since 2004. Bahrain was the first country in the Middle East to hold these championships and to mark the occasion the airline painted this aircraft to celebrate its huge achievement in bringing the races to the region. I was lucky enough to travel on this very same aircraft twice – both being memorable experiences!
The livery is ingenious. The fuselage is painted in dull gold separated at the centre with the official F1 race track and Bahraini flags. The engines are painted in patriotic red whilst the trademark golden falcon is depicted on the tail.
Favourite fact about a particular aircraft? (or aviation?)
Did you know the diameter of the Boeing 777 engine is roughly the same size of the cabin of a Boeing 737! That means you could fit six standard economy seats across the diameter of the Boeing 777 engine… how enormous must those engines be!
Social media accounts:
Twitter – raisinganchor
Instagram – raisinganchor
I initially started with twitter. I found twitter to be an excellent platform for sharing photographs and having conversations with #avgeeks from different airports in the world. I found airlines were also very encouraging even to the point where my photographs were featured on the official accounts of Qatar Airways, Gulf Air, British Airways, Air Canada as well as the very own Heathrow Airport.
My Instagram account is for anything that catches my eye… whether it is an aircraft, something that looked good on a plate or a place I have visited.
Any tips for other #AvGeeks?
- Read – Try to subscribe to a magazine like Airliner World, Flight International etc. I found what really excelled my interest in aircraft, airports and airlines was reading material written by key stakeholders in the industry. The magazines are published monthly or bi-monthly and are available online or from your local supermarket.
- Join social media groups – There are several Facebook groups and pages where you can keep up to date with the latest information. A key way to grow your passion is to start a conversation with other #avgeeks as you can learn a lot from their experiences.
- Databases – There are a number of databases (which are free) where you can read up on new aircraft that’s being produced, especially the ones you may have spotted. For example, Flightradar24.com and airfleets.net have very good search engines where you can learn a great deal about the aircraft’s history.
- Camera & Editing – You do not have to invest in an expensive camera, some mobile phones are pretty good these days. Also, learn how to process your photographs by looking at tutorials on YouTube and finding a decent photo editing software like Adobe Lightroom to improve the quality of your photograph. The key is in the editing – it will make your photographs stand out in the crowd!
- Enjoy – Above all have fun! Find new things that you want to learn about. Try and find some cheap flights by using search engines like Google Flights or Flightscanner. Travelling is a great way to experience the joys of aviation and the amazing marvels that man has created.
Think you know someone who should be Heathrow’s #AvGeek of the Month? Tweet us @yourHeathrow or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org