Calgary, AB, Canada - June 2013

June 17 was a busy day around the WestJet hangar, with a new airplane to prepare and maintenance, flight crews and flight attendants to finish preparing for the launch of WestJet's new regional airline next week. (Trevor McTavish)

Aircraft 401 in the foreground arrived on June 11, while 402 in the back arrived on June 14. That 6-bladed Dowty R408 propeller sure looks big. (Trevor McTavish)

While the crew in 401 was preparing to take a class of Flight Attendants on a flight, the maintenance crew was ready to do some of their own training in aircraft 402. (Trevor McTavish)

After weeks of rain and unusually cloudy skies it was nice to have Mother Nature cooperate this morning and provide some beautiful blue skies. (Trevor McTavish)

Compared to the tall vertical stabilizer of the Boeings, the Q400's T-tail makes it easier to capture the whole fin. Here we see aircraft 401, C-FOEN, which arrived last week. The fleet numbers start in the 400-series because the 700s are 200-series (our 737-200s were in the 700-series), the 600s and 800s are 600- and 800-series respectively. (Trevor McTavish)

The Q400 looks long, but you don't realize just how long it is until you try to get a profile shot. If there's one complaint I have about the WestJet ramp, it's that light standard in the parking lot that ends up sticking out of every airplane. Somehow I think I'd get in trouble if someone made it mysteriously fall over one night... (Trevor McTavish)

There are a lot of unflattering nicknames for long airplanes but maybe we can head them all off by calling these planes the big white pencils? (Trevor McTavish)

Airplane number 2 will forever be known as aircraft 402, but watch out, because WestJet will never have an airplane with a fleet number ending in '4'. That's a carry-over from the days of Pacific Western Airlines who had a rash of accidents with airplanes that ended in '4'. (Trevor McTavish)

Beneath the rear fuselage are two additional finlets that add directional stability without having to increase to size of the vertical stabilizer and rudder. They're required because of the extra length inserted into the fuselage ahead of the wing. You see these quite often on float planes. (Trevor McTavish)

Can you spot two brand-new arrivals on the Calgary International Airport? The Encore Q400 is obvious enough but the massive control tower just opened. Incidentally the tower occupies a corner of the WestJet campus that was formerly a bunch of parking stalls. (Trevor McTavish)

Ever since 401 arrived in Calgary, everyone's been slowing down and taking a look. That includes the crew of this Air Canada Embraer 175. Oddly enough, WestJet evaluated the Embraer years ago before buying our 737-600s. (Trevor McTavish)

Someone gave me a hard time about taking pictures of taxi guidelines in the last gallery, but see, I was serious when I said I take pictures of taxi way lights too. (Trevor McTavish)

The photographer is clear - start the engines... (Trevor McTavish)

...power up... (Trevor McTavish)

...release the brakes... (Trevor McTavish)

...and away you go. Sorry Ferio, but I still think the Q400 looks unfinished with that white-painted dorsal fin... (Trevor McTavish)

How often can you capture an entire airline's fleet in a single photo? In only a couple more years Encore could have as many as 45 Q400s in service all across Canada. (Trevor McTavish)

The 737NGs have their winglets to promote, but no one offers winglets for Dash 8s, so the nacelles will have to do. (Trevor McTavish)

Now that 402 is clear, it's time for 401 to fire up and head off on her mission. (Trevor McTavish)

Both engines running, all that's left is for the Captain to order the chocks pulled. (Trevor McTavish)

How can you tell your company is different? How about by having one of your Vice Presidents risking a hernia and pull a power cart out of the way. (Trevor McTavish)

See - there's that darned light pole again! (Trevor McTavish)

Starting to roll... (Trevor McTavish)

...with the closed YYC control tower... (Trevor McTavish)

...and the city skyline... (Trevor McTavish)

...turn the corner and roll on to Foxtrot. Have a good flight everyone. (Trevor McTavish)

After aircraft 401 returned from its flight there were a couple group photos scheduled. Here we see everyone that helped get Encore ready for service. Many of the people in this image are mainline WestJetters who've shared their knowledge. Congratulations everyone - from zero to airline in 16 months is a major achievement. (Trevor McTavish)

Same group - but without all the waving. Shooting the airplanes in the morning had drained my first set of batteries, and my backup batteries are apparently only good for about 20 shots before they died too. (Trevor McTavish)