I saw something cool today—the second-biggest airplane in the world in flight. I was treated to the sight of a Lockheed C-5 shortly after takeoff. (An ex-Air Force guy identified it for me. All I knew is that it was waaaaaaay bigger than a C-130.) I watched it make a lazy turn to the north and gradually vanish.
Wikipedia tells me that the airplane I saw today weighed at least 400,000 pounds, and had a wingspan just short of three-quarters of a football field. It’s so freakishly huge it doesn’t look real in the sky.
I’m fair at estimating distance along the ground, but I’ve never been worth a damn at estimating altitude (and the unusually large size of the aircraft messed with my perspective further). That said, I don’t think it could have been any higher than 2,000 feet when I saw it. When it turned just so and hit us with the noise full force, it was absolutely unbelievable. You could have screamed at the top of your lungs standing right in front of me, and I wouldn’t have been able to hear it. I swear my sternum was resonating.
It was one of those increasingly rare moments during which I felt like a kid again at the pure wonder I experienced. “Look what we can do!” I thought, giddily and unreservedly.
I deeply hope we can find our way past our technological adolescence without exterminating the human race.
Because that would suck.
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