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Time Flight.

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Edward Darbyshire Original Writing-Time Flight Eleven years later I returned to the Smithsonian institute as a graduate student of aeronautical engineering. As I walked along Constitution Avenue I recaptured that sense of excitement I had felt when, as a boy I walked into the main hall of the museum and saw the Wright Flyer in its place of honour. Those flimsy white wings had lifted Orville Wright off the planet surface and made history in 1903. It had started my deep interest in aviation and so in the early years of the 21st Century I found myself returning to this place to work on aircraft of the future. I was to work with Professor Jim Lovell who was an expert on high-speed aircraft controls. I met the professor for the first time at a party for new students in a beautiful wooden house on a broad boulevard in Arlington. Mrs Lovell was enthusiastically friendly to us all and when she discovered my interest in the Wright brothers she took me into her husband's study and brought down a wooden case. ...read more.


The place was filled with the warm honey glow of an oil lamp. I stood up and walked towards the door following the man who had just awoken me. I looked out of the doorway across the cold landscape of sand dunes stretching away towards the grey sea in the distance. The wind hummed and the air was filled with the calls of gulls. I followed my unknown companion towards a group congregated around a glowing fire. One of the group turned towards us. "Hi Joe we think we'll be able to go in the next five minutes. We tossed a coin to see who should fly. It'll be Orville. We'll need you and Ed on the wing tips to keep her steady, its very blustery". I saw Joe take out the notebook, check his watch and record the time on the next clean page. We walked across the crisp brittle surface of the sand towards the aircraft that lay like some frail insect beyond the dunes. The 'Flyer' was a beautiful intricate creation. ...read more.


All sense of speed had left the image and she seemed to hang suspended in time. It was if the frail craft was weightless and had broken free of the force of gravity. Even stranger was the sense that she was flying in a pocket of air in which time itself stood still. As I looked up I felt my foot strike something solid and I fell forward into the soft embracing mass of the sand dune. A hand touched my shoulder. "So there you are Ed. I wondered where you were". It was Tom Nelson, one of the other new students, a tall friendly boy from Boston. " You've obviously been working to hard! Falling asleep at a party. Come on down! I watched Tom leave the study. I looked down at the table, at the old notebook still lying open. I read the last line. "And so exactly 12 seconds after the take off the flyer landed. The first flight had ended. It is strange that we never got the name of the young onlooker who had assisted with the take off. Ed who? We'll have to find out." I closed the notebook and stared at my hand. The backs of my fingers were dusted with sand. E.Darbyshire(c)(r) ...read more.

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