14 March 2008

Flying like the pioneers

As part of my current job, I have to try radars on airplanes. This usually involves a trip to Coventry airport fitting the radar to a plane and flying it around.

A DC-3 testing a radar

800px-Avro.anson.arp Nothing n-i-c-e here, but in Coventry airport, they have a company, Classic Flight that specialises in flying old airplanes. In the hangars you can see many older aircrafts.

G-FIND At the moment, we are only flying a Cessna with a radar at the bottom. There is a big hole in the aircraft to fit the radar and it gets very very cold. It can get quite bumpy sometimes as well.

Croix du Sud watch by LIPAll of this makes me admire the pilots who went and conquer the unknown in their unreliable airplanes.  I told this to my parents and my Dad gave me a LIP watch "La Croix du Sud", an homage to Mermoz who opened many routes to and through South-America.

Latecoère 300 - Croix du Sud "La Croix du Sud" was used to carry mail across the South Atlantic Ocean and Mermoz was the first person to do this crossing. He also opened a route across the Andes using airplanes that could not fly as high as those mountains but pilots used updrafts. Not without risking their lives.

Even though my new watch is not a very expensive watch it is very n-i-c-e and it has a lot of history associated to it. I spent quite a long time reading since X-mas. Especially since my sister gave me a magazine about Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, an other pilot and a journalist and writer, best known for Le Petit Prince, with a short but very filled life.

watchAndmag

It is just n-i-c-e to read about those pioneers of aviation and fill a little bit like them.

Mermoz and Couzinet

If you are piloting airplanes and feel like sharing stories, don't hesitate. And if you fly above the UK be very scared, I installed the radars that keep airplanes from colliding! But I am n-i-c-e.

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