The first car that I ever wanted to drive was a Honda Accord. Don’t ask me why, there is a long convoluted tale behind that desire that goes all the way back to Abdullah Haroon Road, traffic duties as a prefect and my school days. Twelve years later the car I first learnt how to drive on was an Accord. And the roads I practiced my driving skills on, with one of the most learned and skillful instructors on the planet, all led to Route 101 (aka the Pacific Coast Highway). I still cherish my California drivers license.
The first plane that I ever want to fly is the F104-Star Fighter. Look at the lines and the grace on this aircraft. For something that is 45 years old in a space where a decade is as long as a generation, the F-104 has aged really well. One look at this baby and you are all set to party. Imagine the feeling when you are standing within breathing distance of this aircraft. If there was ever a fix for a has been, wannabe, wild pilot, it is the PAF airforce Museum in Karachi, first thing on a Sunday morning. It is as if you are the only invitee to a private party for two at your favourite restaurant serving as your own private dinning room (something along the lines of lunch at the Great Kebab Factor at Arabian Mall in Dubai).
But then its not just the 104 that catch your eye. You see this tank of a bomber, decked out in black, all set for its bombing run and your imagination does a wild weasel.
And if you don’t like the graceful but aged Star Fighter, there is stuff along slightly more modern lines, but of Chinese origin. I have nothing against the Chinese infact I would be the first to enroll my first born in a Mandrin course if I could find a decent instructor.
But that is language, global dynamics and the future. When it comes to aircrafts, for some of us, there is only one design on this planet. Worthy of our drool and aircrafty puppy love.
As in how could you not fall in love. I forget how to breath when I see these lines.
And then I have to remind myself that one day when all my debts are paid off and my responsibilities taken care of, just before retirement, I will go out and buy myself one of these drool worthy machines and take it out for a spin. CAA and PAF clearances permitting ofcourse.
Please note I am not a violent man. I don’t want to bomb, or maim or straff anyone. I would just love to find out what this airframe and the engine inside is capable of doing, all by myself, up in the skies above.
Not on the simulator, but for real.
So if you have nothing better to do on a Sunday morning, head out to the Airforce Museum with your kids. Show them the toys real men would want to play with, when they have the money, the time and the requisite CAA clearances.