Saturday 7 June 2003
Pix of the Day: Pigs With Wings Really Can Fly
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As promised yesterday, here is the proof of the old saying that if pigs had wings they would fly. That biplane is a replica of the Wright Brothers Flyer built by USU (Utah State University) students to commemorate the first centenary of the first heavier than air controlled powered flight at Kitty Hawk in the Kill Devil Hills of North Carolina, USA, on 17 December 1903.
The plane was shipped by road to St. George, UT, where pilot Wayne Larsen was only able to make a single flight on Saturday 31 May 2003 because of the cross winds blowing at the city's mesa top municipal airport. Those interested may follow these links: the Salt Lake Tribune report on the machine's first official flight; the USU report with links to video clips (RealOne Player required); the Official USU Wright Flyer web site; the US Centennial of Flight Commission web site; and the Wright Brothers Aeroplane Company and Museum of Pioneer Aviation web site.
The connection to flying pigs? Well, in 1920 the Harley-Davidson motorcycle company (now corporately known by the anaemic title of H-D Michigan, Inc.) had a successful racing team whose mascot was a pig, which was carried on a victory lap after each race won by the team. Soon the machines themselves became known by association as 'hogs'. H-D are also currently celebrating their first centenary. The replica Wright Brothers Flyer uses a hog engine, the same one used in the motorcycle that was on display nearby… complete with a price tag for $25,000.00! Some day I would love to own and ride a Harley, perhaps even a 2003 model, but as they say out there in the real world, "If pigs had wings they would fly".
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Jules Laforgue (1860-1887)
"Ah! que la vie est quotidienne."
Oh, what a day-to-day business life is.
'Complainte sur certains ennuis' (1885)