What we take for granted…….

28 Dec

I fly quite a bit these days, its part of the job and to be honest although commercial jet flights reduce time travelling dramatically and are in the main comfortable and reliable, its is boring. These days jumping on an aeroplane has all the excitement value of catching a commuter train or bus. But it hasn’t always been that way..at least for me. I love planes, I wanted to be a pilot but wearing glasses kind of makes me not quite the first pick for the airforce or an airline to train. My dad flew in the airforce for years and has a library of memories that would fill albums of boys own adventures. I flew gliders for  a while and found it satisfying and restricting at the same time. Great freedom with no motor in your ear, but the logistics of launching and recovery etc took away the ability to have any sort of self adventure.

Recently at another visit to Brisbane airport, this time to pick up a colleague, I was early and decided to have a look at the monument to one of Australia’s’ greatest pioneering aviators, Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith. A hero to millions of people, he was an interesting character that, after some research, is best remembered for his heroic flights rather than his moral standards.

The Fokker tri-motor aeroplane that he flew on some of his greatest journeys is, in my eyes, a flying backyard shed, corrugated metal and slipstream design that would make washing machine look sleek. Can you image the noise, three radial engines vibrating thru the metal clad fuselage. No insulation of any note, no air conditioning or heating, no inflight movies, thermos coffee and a shot of brandy to fight the cold. I wouldn’t want to swap but these pioneers managed to wring every last drop of adventure out of their often short lives.

Next time you board Boeing or Airbus’ latest flying coach, spare a thought for the men that did it tough, albeit I suspect with a huge smile on their face.

 

 

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2 Responses to “What we take for granted…….”

  1. reading-stars December 28, 2011 at 3:01 pm #

    We take so many things for granted now.

  2. hosting January 22, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

    I’ve never felt so inspired from any other site. Enjoyed reading this today.

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