If ever there was a better encapsulation of the joy of flying, I would love to read it!

Published: 04 Apr 2018


This week we hear from Paul, a pilot at British Airways, who shares with us the reason why he loves flight. This is a great read, so dive in...

If ever there was a better encapsulation of the joy of flying, I would love to read it!

I wish I had written it myself.

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,

And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth

Of sun-split clouds, --and done a hundred things

You have not dreamed of --Wheeled and soared and swung

High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there

I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung

My eager craft through footless halls of air...

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue

I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace

Where never lark or even eagle flew --

And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod

The high untrespassed sanctity of space,

Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

John Gillespie Magee, Jr

I have had the huge privilege during my aviation career to fly two of the most iconic aircraft that have graced the skies, the Vulcan and the 747, over 42 years from 1976 to 2018.  I would not trade that experience for anything.

In my view, the 747 ranks with Concorde as the most revolutionary aircraft in the history of Commercial Aviation.


The 747 project was almost halted, nearly bankrupting Boeing, and prevailed only because of the resolve of Joe Sutter, the remarkable Boeing chief design engineer whose inspirational design skills and dedication to excellence saw the project through to its successful completion.

A final observation:

“There are old pilot, and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots.”

There are, however, old bald pilots!

Paul Beech

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