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Amazing Boxes

rstark
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It is a technological marvel that seems miraculous. I sit in comfort at 40,000 feet halfway to Hawaii in a jet while those all around me are reading, sleeping, watching the movie, or doing whatever people do to while away the time to get to their destination. Everyone seems oblivious to the fact that we are all flying through the air at 575 mph. It's as if they have forgotten how this marvel of modern life came to be. A quickie recap for those who may have forgotten: Smart, determined individuals dug a mineral out of the ground and figured out how to make it into light but strong metal. They perfected alloys that were even stronger than the base metal itself. Other smart, determined individuals designed funny-shaped boxes out of the metal to house people and their luggage. Yet other smart, determined individuals used these metal alloys to make the engines that power these "boxes." These engines produce unimaginable power with efficiency and unbelievable reliability. It really is a crazy process when you extract it to its most basic elements. After building these boxes, they fill them up with people and luggage; pour fuel in the wings, and these magnificent "boxes" fly over the horizon to deliver the passengers and their luggage to some far-off city. These people get off, more get on, more fuel is added and the contraption again heads out over the next horizon. This goes on thousands and thousands of times a day and yet we look at it a mundane and routine. What has happened to us? If this isn't a miracle come true, it's about as close as mankind has come to it. Phoenix to Hawaii in six hours? A century ago this trip would have taken almost a month.   I fly these fantastic machines and even I have to marvel sometimes. At the birth of aviation only a hundred years ago, who would have thought the safest way to travel would one day be by air? I have flown the Smithsonian Wright Flyer Simulator and found it nearly uncontrollable and totally underpowered by today's standards. I am glad that intelligent minds powered by wonder and hard-headed determination risked all to make this dream a reality.   That makes me wonder...what is next?
8 Comments
Jody_Keydash
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I sure do agree with Captain Stark...As a Flight Instructor and former line pilot, even to this day marvel how this piece of machinery can get up in the air, stay in the air, and can do it with such grace. I always said to my students, there sure a lot of smart people out there, that design all these wonderful flying machines. Even the navigation equipment is wonderious how it can get us from A to B with such precision. When Apollo 11 landed on the moon, all the esteemed newscaster Water Cronkite could say was WOW! So after 33 years in the flying business, all I can say is WOW!
mary_westmorela
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I have flew on Sothwest for years and love it I like the first come about the seats.Don't change
mary_westmorela
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Love Southwest have flew it for years. Please keep it first come with seating.
Mim_Anne_Houk
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I just returned from a four-leg flight on Southwest, from Tampa to Nashville to Los Angeles to Orange County to Portland, OR (sounds like five, but really just four) from May 25 to June 20th. What a terrific experience that was! I just had my 80th birthday and need a walker to navigate efficiently (I was offered a wheel-chair at each stop but was able to stick with my walker), and I had dreaded all the hassle of flying. Southwest made it downright fun. What a great bunch of people work for you. My walker was stowed and then waiting for me at every stop, and offeres of help were made with kindness and consideration and a smile. Thank you for letting me feel free to travel about the country.
Dirk_Plantinga
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And let us not forget about the human marvel called "the pilot". Captain Ray is a humble man. Passengers may take flight for granted, but the pilot never do - and thank goodness. I've watched as they walk around their "funny shaped box" before each flight, ensuring its reliability that allows his passengers and cargo to take their incredible journey for granted. Bravo, Captain Ray. Thanks for some great perspective.
Dirk_Plantinga
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Let's not forget about the human marvel that drives the "funny shaped box". Captain Ray is much too humble. Thank goodness he doesn't take flying for granted.
Bynum
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You are right! It amazes me all the time when I get on an aircarft and it is able to lift a hundred or so people into the air. WOW! is definitely the word.
Adam15
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It is amazing and humbling when you think about it. I marvel at it all the time when I travel for business. I think the "Star Treck Teleporter" is next! That way we can just send our molecules from place to place - think of all the fuel we'd save!