Saturday, April 30, 2005

I’m Back

It is Saturday morning and I have “The Lone Star Jukebox” playing as I surf the Internets. The changes in the way we live over my lifetime would have been unimaginable when I was growing up on a West Texas dirt farm. From no phone or TV, coal oil stoves and lamps, outhouses, and “Amos and Andy” on the radio to today’s playing a Houston radio station while in Oregon, talking to the office or your loved ones on cell phones from remote areas of Africa and Asia, traveling from one coast to the other in less time than it took for us to go to town and buy supplies and all of it so common as to be unremarkable. Still no TV but that is by choice :-).

I spent some time in the new Air and Space Museum near Dulles Airport while in D.C. It brought home just how much of the history of aviation I have witnessed in my life, that I have been involved for just a couple of years short of half the time of powered flight. If it had not been for the Wright Brothers my life would have been very different. I often wonder how long it would have been before someone other than the Brothers solved the central problem of controlled flight, adverse yaw, if the Wright’s had not. Like most problems, once solved it is simple to understand but at the time of early powered flight no one other than the Wright Brothers had a clue and none were building machines that had a chance of being controlled once airborne. But once we solved that problem, progress was rapid. Like the other changes in my life time, today’s glass cockpit, speed, range and altitude capabilities of modern aircraft were unimaginable when I climbed into the rear seat of a J3 Cub for my first flight lesson.

Today I describe myself as an “antique flying antiques”. None of the airplanes I’m typed in are still in production and haven’t been for almost 20 years. That’s the bad news, the good is; the other airplanes are just now catching up to the performance of the LearJet. BTW, the first LearJet Model 23 is on display in the Air and Space Museum. I can’t tell you how it tugs my heartstrings to see it in its rightful place of honor.

The power of music is great; to think this post started because I heard Ray Wily Hubbard on my computer speakers.

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