This was a trip which was long due. And a ‘ homage ‘ which just had to be paid. For here I had been in Seattle for more than 2 months now, and the least I could do was
to visit the Boeing Field/Museum of Flight to acknowledge the invention thanks to which I could be here, so many thousands of miles away from home – the airplane.
Its amazing to see the evolution of the modern day jetliner. Right from the bicycle-plane of the Wright brothers to the Propeller planes , and then to the Jumbo Jet and finally the supersonic Concorde. Every time a new model of an airplane is rolled out its a wonder in itself. And a trip to the museum made me realize it.
Take for instance the 777. While flying to Seattle from Bombay, the first aircraft I boarded was an A300, the next ( for the trans-pacific trip) was a 777. All this while
I had hardly paid any attention to it and the uniqueness which had gone into its making. Yeah, it was just another twinjet aircraft , pretty big , that was it. All of a sudden
there was a whole lot more to it. It was the first aircraft to be designed purely on Computer using CAD/CAM provided by IBM. The first paperless-ly designed aircraft.
Which brings me back to my thoughts on what computing has done and what it could still do but that is another story altogether.
The first 747 – I have seen so many 747s and even travelled on them, but there was a special meaning in knowing that I was seeing the first 747. An aircraft which transformed peoples live,careers and probably entire cultures even maybe. An aircraft which dominates the concourses of every major international airport. Only when
you pick up the book ‘747’ can you realize the pains which went into its making.
The concorde – this looks way too slender & smart , it was an absolute wonder of technolgy and its sad that it had to be put out of service.
But somehow I felt a sense of far greater awe for the 747 since its made a much more visible impact on our lives today. And even as I make this statement there must be thousands of it up in the skies carrying people and cargo between nations and continents ; agents of a different kind of a world wide web which brought the world togther even when the Internet wasn’t there .