Sunday, October 23, 2016

Paying my homage to the Boeing 747

Hear me out, but that thing right there is beautiful. 

Yeah, giant old Boeing 747, I’m looking at you.

I’ve got a few hours until my flight to Iceland leaves…and this is definitely worthy of a blog post. Call me a geek all you want but the 747 has always been the original jumbo jet. The double-decker giant that’s flown people around the world. I had the opportunity a few years back of flying on one on Cathay Pacific on a non-stop flight from San Diego to Hong Kong. I remember walking to the gate at the airport, peeking out onto the tarmac at night, and saying out loud to myself “Whoa that’s a big plane!” I remember getting up in the middle of the night, somewhere over the Pacific Ocean when everyone was asleep, probably at like 3am and wandered around the plane, exploring its massive cabin.

My family and some friends know, I’ve been a huge aviation nerd since a young kid. Clearly, I still am and I’m damn proud of it haha. I’ve gone to U.S. Space Camp (yes, I have the blue jumpsuit still) a few times down in Florida and even got a few hours of seat-time in a single-engine RV-6 prop plane up at the EAA Air Academy in Oshkosh, WI. My room growing up had model airplanes and airliner identification books on its shelves. I can spot out and identify airplanes like I can cars, tell you the statistics of them, and could sit down and explain the whole Space Race history over a beer. That offer still stands. True fact, I’ve always wanted to be an airline pilot and almost ended up going to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University instead of Loyola University Chicago for college. My vision is horrendous, however, even with contacts in, so that faded some of those dreams. Maybe I’ll jump back on that quest to get my pilot’s license as I know the regulations and sight requirements aren’t that restrictive.

But back to that blue 747 out the window. The first 747 went into service in 1969. Fast-forward some fifty years later, these airliners are slowly going into retirement and will no longer be soaring the skies. Getting to see one today in 2016, especially in full KLM livery, makes me smile.

Side note, I also just saw a TSA agent pushing a basket full of Samsung Galaxy S7 phones in those combustible-proof, fire-proof bags. Yikes.