I sweep the skies with fire and steel
My highway is the cloud
I swoop, I soar, aloft I wheel
My engine laughing loud
I fight with gleaming blades the wind
That dares dispute my path
I leave the howling storm behind
I ride upon it’s wrath.
I laugh to see your tiny world
Your toys of ships, your cars
I rove an endless road unfurled
Where the mile stones are the stars
And far below, men wait and peer
For what my coming brings
I fill their quaking hearts with fear
For death…is in my wings.
— Gordon Boshell, written after watching Battle of Britain dogfights from the streets of London.
"Flying got into my soul instantly but the answer as to why must be found somewhere back in the mystic maze of my birth and childhood and the circumstances of my earlier life. Whatever I am is elemental and the beginnings of it all have their roots in Sawdust Road. I might have been born in a hovel, but I determined to travel with the wind and stars."
— Jacqueline Cochran, The Stars at Noon, 1954.
Flying is not about whether the pilot is a man or a woman. It is about the results of the actions imposed by the pilot and the responses returned by the aircraft. The aircraft does not know or understand gender. It only knows the difference in a true pilot, and one who was perhaps not meant to fly.
— Captain Jennifer Kaye
All humans deserves to fly.
The modern airplane creates a new geographical dimension. A navigable ocean of air blankets the whole surface of the globe. There are no distant places any longer: the world is small and the world is one.
— Wendell Willkie
Cat shot of F-14 Tomcat
F-14 Tomcat sonic boom
It has been demonstrated by the fruitlessness of a thousand attempts that it is not possible for a machine, moving under its own power, to generate enough force to raise itself, or sustain itself. in the air. (M. de Marles, 1847.)
Yet, here we are.
The aeroplane is an invention of the devil and will never play any part in such a serious business as the defence of the nation, my boy!
— Sir Sam Hughes
After about 30 minutes I puked all over my airplane. I said to my self, “Man, you made a big mistake.”
— Charles ‘Chuck’ Yeager, regards to his first flight
Oh! I’ve slipped through the swirling clouds of dust,
a few feet from the dirt,
I’ve flown the Phantom low enough,
to make my bottom hurt.
I’ve TFO’d the deserts, hills,
valleys and mountains too,
Frolicked in the trees,
where only flying squirrels flew.
Chased the frightened cows along,
disturbed the ram and ewe,
And done a hundred other things,
that you’d not care to do.
I’ve smacked the tiny sparrow,
bluebird, robin, all the rest,
I’ve ingested baby eaglets,
simply sucked them from their nest!
I’ve streaked through total darkness,
just the other guy and me,
And spent the night in terror of
things I could not see.
I’ve turned my eyes to heaven,
as I sweated through the flight,
Put out my hand and touched,
the master caution light.