Leitmotif

Reason as the Leading Motive

Giant in the Sky

Posted by Jerry on October 25, 2007

I love airplanes. I love looking at them, I love flying in them, and I have always dreamed of being able to fly one of them. Unfortunately, due to an imperfect vision, I gave up on my dream to be a pilot. Even then, just to be surrounded by airplanes, I had even seriously considered becoming an Air Traffic Controllor.

My room has a view of the airport runway, from which I can see the jets land and take-off. My way to work goes around the perimeter of the airport landing strip just behind the airport wall. When I hear the roar of a jet approaching for a touchdown, I stick my head out of the autorickshaw to look up at the plane roaring past just a few feet above me. It’s often the highlight of my trip to work.

On my journey back from work, I usually take the public bus–because it’s cheaper and I’m in no hurry to get home. However, I often make it a point to get on a double-decker bus and climb up to the upper deck only so that I can get a good view of the runway when the bus passes by the airport along the perimeter road.

Today, the new Airbus A380–the largest jetliner in the world–took off officially as part of the Singapore Airlines fleet. While the Boeing 747 is also referred to as the “jumbo” jet, this Airbus giant is being called the “Superjumbo” jet.

[The aircraft] is as tall as a seven-story building. Each wing is big enough to hold about 70 mid-sized cars. 

The A380 ends the nearly 37-year reign of the U.S.-made Boeing 747 jumbojet as the world’s most spacious passenger plane. The A380 is also the most fuel efficient and quietest passenger jet ever built, from inside and outside, according to its European manufacturer, Airbus SAS.

This particular photograph of a man in front of the aircraft captures the significance of this achievement and that which made it possible.

Airbus A380

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2 Responses to “Giant in the Sky”

  1. Yes, jet plane travel is amazing. I feel awe every time I step on a plane. It still holds the same amazement it did for me when I was a child and would debate with myself which part was more exciting, the takeoff or the landing. I could (and still can) debate the relative merits of each at length. I still haven’t made up my mind conclusively on this issue, although I lean toward the takeoff.

    I can’t wait to travel in one of the new Airbus SuperJumbo cities-in-the-sky. In the future, I look forward to traveling on a supersonic jet (I regret never having flown on the Concorde, while it still flew), a flying car, and eventually, my own trip into outer space and to the moon. With some four or five decades of life ahead of me, even with our mixed economy’s less than ideal rate of technological progress, I expect to be able to indulge these goals in my lifetime.

    Here’s to happy flying!

  2. Ergo said

    Galileo,

    My sister and my bro-in-law are both pilots. From them, I listen to exciting stories about flying and airplanes and stuff. They tell me that landing an aircraft is a much more challenging task; and the challenge is pronounced in an Airbus plane because of the kinds of fail-safe redundancies incorporated in the computer system. Apparently, until an Airbus reaches 50ft above landing, the onboard computer of an Airbus flight refuses to let the pilot make drastic variations to the approach pattern. My bro-in-law used the word “counter-intuitive” to describe this mechanism.

    I, too, look forward to flying in the superjumbo and someday to outer space! 🙂 It would be breathtaking, I’m sure. Wow!

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