Friday, July 17, 2009

Come fly with me: 100 years of Canadian Air Flight

Since the beginning of history humans have dreamed the dream of soaring on wings with the freedom of birds. 100 years ago that dream became reality for the first time in Canada when the Silver Dart lifted off from a frozen lake surface near the Alexander Graham Bell home in Nova Scotia.

While the technical achievement of this conquest is impressive what struck me was the personal dimension of the flight. This magnificent achievement which would change Canada forever, was conceived and executed by ordinary people outside of government or military backing. The airplane they built was surprisingly simple. The wings were covered with silver Japanese silk; hence the name the "Silver Dart". The engine, developed just 35 hp and the propeller was carved from a block of wood. In contrast, the Smithsonian Institute at the same time, received a $50,000 grant to build a flying machine that never got off the ground.

What made the difference for those Canadian pioneers that day was that they had something that money could not buy; they were driven by the spirit of adventure and the passion to fly. Now 100 years later, I decided there could be no greater tribute to that first flight than to organize a cross Canada flight.

This will be a coast-to-coast flight of 100 light aircraft made up of steel tubing, aluminum and flown mainly by private civilian private pilots. This has never been done and it will take a big commitment by a lot of pilots. To be successful and overcome the adversities of mountains, weather and a vast Canadian landscape, we will need to share the same spirit of adventure and passion of flight.

A hundred years ago the dream to get in the air inspired the people in Baddeck, Nova Scotia to great adventure. Today that dream still inspires us....

Go check out the site for lots of info on this historic celebration here. And, of course:

Yeah, baaaaaaaby! I am off to go watch the skies, and spread my wings.... Come fly with ME!!!!

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