Monday, October 6, 2008

What Year is This?

I'm sure that many bloggers go back and edit (or improve) old posts. I find lots of typos (sorry) and some real whopper errors, and fix them. Not for posterity, but for my own satisfaction.

So there I am am fixing my mistakes, trying to be as up-to-date as humanly possible, and a pattern starts to become clear:

  • I wrote about Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, mentioning Amelia Earhart;
  • I wrote about The Hindenburg;
  • I wrote an essay on preflight briefings accompanied by a George Gershwin song;
  • I wrote about encountering a B-17 and a B-29.

  • There were also mentions of NDBs and CONSOLAN. I didn't write up every encounter with history; I saw another B-17 while driving to my sister's house in New Hampshire last summer. I used to own a 1946 Taylorcraft, and was always disappointed that the EAA would not classify it as an antique.

    In aviation, history is always with us.

    One of my goals as a pilot, and as an instructor, is to stay absolutely up-to-date. I have subscribed to Aviation Week and Space Technology for over twenty years, and actively seek out the newest and shiniest gizmos. I was one of the first pilots at my home field to buy a hand-held GPS.

    But I was the only one who bought a sextant. I stood on the ramp and calculated quite precisely that the airport was in a different time zone...those old navigators were good!

    Like I said, in aviation history is always with us.

    The 1930s produced some amazing aircraft, but it also was the time of the Great Depression, the rise of totalitarianism in Europe, and horrible war in Asia. Another time of turbulence is approaching. Let's be positive and hope it brings us lots of fascinating aircraft for the next generation to ponder.


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