As many times as I have flown on an airplane, I have never lost the wonder of takeoffs and landings. I may snooze through the instructions from the crew on how to buckle my seatbelt or locate emergency exits, but I am always alert and looking out the window as the plane hurtles down the runway and leaps into the sky. I don't want to miss it. I still find the physics of flight incredible, and I don't ever want to take it for granted.
When my husband and I were in Seattle this summer, we booked a tour of the Boeing facility in Everett. My husband has been enamored with airplanes since he was a boy and knows all of their names as though they have been personally introduced. Even though I am not an airplane aficionado, I also enjoyed the tour.
We were thrilled to see a Dreamlifter unloading as we ended our tour. The Dreamlifter is currently the largest air cargo plane in the world, and the plane that transports sections of the Dreamliner from Japan and Italy to South Carolina and from there to the factory in Everett. Like a rare bird, there are only four of its kind. We watched as the entire mid-section of a Dreamliner fuselage was unloaded from the belly of the plane and stored in a nearby hanger beside its cockpit. I was reminded of the Bible story of Jonah inside the whale.
Then we watched as this behemoth of a plane lumbered down the runway for takeoff. It seemed too large and slow and heavy to fly...
But, of course, it did.