Mark Fetters/Staff Reporter
With the school year in full swing, I am excited to share some of my summer adventures with you. Though I was in Daytona for the better half of the summer, I still found time to hop on a plane on the weekends and travel. I traveled everywhere from Amsterdam to Berlin to Barcelona for the semi-finals of champions league and as far south as Santiago, Buenos Aires, and Johannesburg.
One of my more exciting trips was a trip to Paris and the 2015 Paris Airshow. I left for the trip on Friday and found myself sitting in business class on a 757 from Pittsburg with direct service to Paris; after arriving, I made my way to my hotel in Le Borget which happens to be the place where the airshow takes place. When I arrived, the gate I was supposed to enter was a disaster, with no organization at all. After an hour I found myself in the exhibitor halls, where to my disappointment everyone had packed up and left. As I proceeded outside, the second let down came my way. Qatar had left with their A380 and A350 and Boeing had left with their 787. I proceeded over to where the Airbus A350 was parked. A large crowd had gathered to watch them push it back in preparation for its flight demonstration.
Low clouds were in store for the first day and I was little worried some of the acts would not fly. The flying display for the day started with Flight of Airbus Group – E-FAN, one of the first all electric planes that is supposed to be the future of aviation as we know it. After a few more displays, the A350 lined up for the runway and was ready to take flight; as it thundered down the runway, everyone stood up to watch this new machine take flight. It soared through the air so peacefully, showing off its performance doing steep turns over the airport. After it landed, it was time for the A380 to take flight. While the A380 has been around a few years now, seeing the power and maneuverability of a plane that size impressed me. The day continued with other acts one would not normally see in America, including the Airbus A400M and a Eurofighter. One of the last acts I stayed for was the flight of the Air France DC-3. We have come so far in such a short period of time in aviation, from the engineering of the plane to the mechanics that work on them and the pilots that get to fly them. Everyone as students will be the generation to create, work, and fly the next era of aviation.