The plane that made it exciting to look up again

  1. Listen All Things Considered: Bob Collins discusses the Antonov 225

    July 3, 2014

No doubt there are plenty of people who couldn’t care any less that a really large airplane — the world’s largest ever built — took off into a beautiful sunset at Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport on Wednesday evening.

But for thousands of others, the reaction to the four-day stay of the Antonov 225 was a stirring reminder of the magnificence of flight and the human mind that allows it to happen.

It’s a rare thing, not far removed from when the world watched men land on the moon, mostly lost now in the mundane routine of commercial flight. We are only occasionally stirred anymore to step back and admire what is possible. The Wright Brothers first flight could have taken place entirely in the Antonov 225’s cargo bay.

Parents dragged their kids to the airport, a reminder of generations past when youngsters would hang at the local airstrip, hoping someone would offer a ride.

Now? We hardly even look up.

But for an evening, we were generations in awe again.

Photo: Nick Benson

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