Wednesday, 19 August 2009

So what's with all the aeroplane stuff then?

I hate flying!

Last time I flew was about 5 and a half years ago, when I flew back from my honeymoon in Amsterdam. As we travelled 30,000 feet above Eastern England, I was conscious all the time of the yawning gulf of thin air just a couple of feet beneath my feet.

But you know how children develop an obsessive, almost autistic focus on things, whether it be football or dinosaurs or whatever? Well I was into aeroplanes. I'd build airfix models. Buy the observer's book every year. Look up to the sky whenever I heard the whine of a turboprop. (usually a Vickers Viscount on it's final approach into Liverpool) That kind of stuff. My drawings were full of them. I even sent a design off to British Aerospace when I was about 12 or 13. They gave me a guided tour of their Broughton factory and told me I could have a job with them if I got the right qualifications. And I got to see Concorde land at Liverpool Airport from one of their satellite control centres, courtesy of a friend's older brother who was an air traffic controller.

Ian, if you happen to read this, thank you! I've never forgotten this.

Anyway, ecologically speaking, I think that flying is bad news. I will never fly again as a matter of principle. Least I can do given that I have one of the worst jobs you could get in terms of saving the planet.

Still, I still find the whole thing awe inspiring, and doing this stuff on GE comes easily. I can take a close look at airports, fly from one to another, develop my skills and understanding, and since I'm using my computer anyway, this is at a zero carbon cost.

What not to like?

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