Sunday, May 24, 2009
Farman's Flying Machine
Well, we start a new week here at OPOD, and I think we should look at flying. The picture above was from the early days of aviation. It was taken in 1909, and shows Farman's flying machine. I love this picture because of the enthusiasm of the two men on the ground. You really get the sense of excitement that must have existed when someone achieved flight in the early days.
That little ultralight airplane I saw yesterday gave the fever to want to fly. In my former career, I had to travel usually once a week on an airplane. That is not what I am talking about. Traveling on a jet is not really flying. It is like sitting in a beer can . . . you do not really get the sense of flight. Maybe I was the only one, but when I was a little boy I would have dreams at night that I had built a flying machine, and would dream that I was flying around the property on something like a big kite. It was the most wonderful dream, and I was always sad when I woke up. That is the type of flight experience that I would want. I understand that ultralights are very dangerous. Many pilots do not have suitable training, and the equipment itself is not always up to standards. It is less regulated, and hence more susceptible to problems from lack of attention to maintenance and other things. I would really like the para-plane set up. There is something that looks like a little go cart, and it has a motor and big fan pointed backwards. The unit is hooked to a parachute. When the fan is turned on, the cart moves forward, the parachute catches the air, and the thing takes off. It is supposed to be safer than ultralights, and allows that full flight experience. Note to self; start working on Mrs. PJM that we need a para-plane and little landing strip.