formerly "The View From Up Here"

Formerly titled "The View From Up Here" this column began in the Liberty Gazette June 26, 2007.

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April 7, 2015 In the Age of Airplanes

The Liberty Gazette
April 7, 2015
Ely Air Lines
By Mike Ely and Linda Street-Ely

Mike: Since the early ages Man has yearned to take flight. Philosophers pondered anti-gravity, artists painted winged images, writers penned humanity’s desire to break free from the ground. For them it was still a dream.

Greek mythological figure Daedalus fashioned wings for he and his son Icarus to escape the isle of Crete. Leonardo da Vinci rendered drawings of aircraft, and even of a helicopter, and inscribed, "Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return." Jules Verne wrote such tomes as From the Earth to the Moon and Around the World in Eighty Days and actually lived in the days of manned flight, though mostly by balloons. He died a couple years after the Wright Brothers made their historic flight.

In the 20th century Man not only took flight, but after making that initial jump of 120 feet, a little over a third the length of a football field, began trips to the moon and back. Now, nearly 100,000 commercial airline flights depart (and land) daily. Hundreds of people board a single flight to travel in relative comfort for 14 hours to a land nearly halfway around the world, although we grumble about false-sense-of-security lines and being sardinized. Has flying lost its luster, its sense of adventure, become ordinary?

Linda: Brian Terwilleger hopes to reacquaint us all with airplanes. A few years ago he produced the spectacular, romance-of-flight, award-winning movie, One-Six Right. The title is the number designation for one of the runways at Van Nuys Airport, and the movie celebrates the unsung hero of aviation – the local airport. Now Brian has teamed up with National Geographic Studios for his latest project and once again, the results are inspiring to say the least. Living in the Age of Airplanes will take you on a visual journey of past decades of incredible advances of flight, arousing your inner pilot.

Filmed in 95 locations around the world, on all seven continents including the South Pole, detailed stunning images dance with a beautiful score. Narrated by Harrison Ford, the movie premieres at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. on April 8, with general release beginning April 10th. Unfortunately, this much anticipated film is not yet scheduled for theaters in the Houston Museum of Natural Science or Space Center Houston; the closest locations scheduled for showings at this time are in Austin, Dallas and Lubbock. The site for more info – and a peek at the trailer – is, but fair warning: prepare to be entranced. Living in the Age of Airplanes will eventually be released on video and possibly cable, however, if you have the opportunity to see it on an IMAX screen, do that – that’s where it was meant to be seen.

Mike: Harrison Ford asks that you "leave behind everything you know about airplanes; anything you’ve heard about their history; every conclusion you’ve drawn from your own experience and prepare to see them again, for the first time."

Linda: Oh be still, my heart!

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