Saturday, April 21, 2007

Day at the airport

My younger son and I were taking out some trash this morning when we heard an airplane approaching that didn't sound like one of the planes that come and go from our local airport. We looked up to see a Boeing B17 flying overhead and he exclaimed, "Whoa!".

We rushed inside and grabbed my older son and my camera and drove to the airport. We arrived in time to see the B17 preparing to take off with a load of people who had paid for the chance to take a flight in this beautifully restored aircraft. After watching it take off, and knowing that it would be back in a little while, we enjoyed the comings and goings of the other aircraft and the kid friendly viewing area.

This lovingly restored DC3 is owned by Clay Lacy.

We watched the B17 come and go a few times and each time was just as exciting as the last. Hearing those four engines wind up and seeing that big bird start to lumber down the runway and then lift majestically in the sky are wonderful things to behold. Those sights and sounds take you back to another time and place when radial engines were high tech and flights of bombers were measured in the hundreds. Seeing it land is almost surreal. Here comes this massive aircraft, hardly making a sound, seeming as though it will fall out of the sky it's going so slow. And yet land it does, with the chirp of it's two massive tires and the gentle let down of it's tail.

The grace with which this aircraft flies is from a bygone era and I'm so glad I could share this experience and this time with my boys. They left with the sound of those big radial engines in the ears and their heads in the clouds.

Here's a video I made a few years ago at the same airport of another B17 giving rides.

No comments: