Sunday, May 22, 2005

ten thousand feet

1115, 10,000 feet. The fog's lifted and flights are going out. There's something magical about the way airplanes hang in the air. It's not that there's anything strange about the physics. After all, an airplane flies because of its shape: as long as it has that same shape, an airplane pretty much can't fall out of the air. The physics simply doesn't work that way. It's just that you can't normally see the air flowing over the wings, or the downwash coming off the trailing edge, and you have some idea of just how big and heavy that chunk of aluminum is. My first reaction is that the thing has no business being in the air. It sometimes hits me while I'm flying, and it almost always hits when watching a 747 on final approach.

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