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The Boeing 747

This month is the 40th anniversary of the first flight of the Boeing 747.

I'm familiar with Bernoulli's principle. I understand how lift is generated. I know that aircraft lift off literally because, at that moment, the forces causing them to do so are overwhelming. Rationally, I comprehend powered flight and am completely comfortable with it.

And yet when I see an airplane like the 747 up close, I can't help but be amazed that it actually flies -- that the thrust generated by its engines is strong enough to propel it down the runway at such a speed that it lifts off the ground. I've been flying in commercial aircraft since I was 9 and I don't think I'll ever get over my amazement.

If you're in Seattle, the original 747 that flew 40 years ago is on display at the Museum of Flight at Boeing Field. Recommended.

Boeing 747 2

My daughter Kelsey in front of the first 747 at the Museum of Flight.

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