Thought for the Day: Planes as ‘transportation,’

“If you tell people outside of aviation that “a plane can take you a lot of places”, they most often think of it as some sort of alternative form of a car. What is far harder to explain to them is how a plane is the ideal vehicle to travel to a different state, not a different geographical one, but a different mental state.

I have tried telling people how you can go flying for the last 30 minutes of the day, stare at the sky in awe, and feel the distinct division between you and the plane fading. As the sun sinks, you can quietly come down the sliding board and roll out on the grass and come to a halt.  I can do this fluidly and gently roll into my front yard. This always gives me the very powerful feeling I have just been somewhere else.

The timer on the dash may record the exact number of minutes aloft, but it seems untrustworthy. The correct answer seems to be that I have been gone months not minutes, that I have been to a place thousands of miles away not thousands of feet away.  It is just not possible to explain to people that a plane is the only vehicle that can transport you like that.”

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Our 601XL going aloft at sunset, 2006

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About William Wynne
I have been continuously building, testing and flying Corvair engines since 1989. Information, parts and components that we developed and tested are now flying on several hundred Corvair powered aircraft. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Professional Aeronautics and an A&P license from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and have a proven 20 year track record of effectively teaching homebuilders how to create and fly their own Corvair powered planes. Much of this is chronicled at www.FlyCorvair.com and in more than 50 magazine articles.

2 Responses to Thought for the Day: Planes as ‘transportation,’

  1. dan glaze says:

    I put a little Floyd on the head-set, pigs on the wing, sets me free from the day

  2. Jeff Moores says:

    Nice perspective William. Most of the plane drivers here with the big iron have to have a mission to justify flying. For me there is nothing like a sunset flight over uninhabited wilderness followed by a nice water landing back at the seaplane base. I taxi my Merlin in and it slides up the wooden slipway and gently stops. I let the Corvair idle smoothly for a minute or so. I then shut it down and sit and listen as the engine cools. I usually think “Man, how lucky am I?” Priceless.

    Jeff

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