Flying has fascinated humans – especially men – for more than a century. It goes back to DaVinci, but really took on “wings” starting with the first zeppelin that took off in 1900 and then the first airplane, invented by the Wright brothers, that successfully went up in the air back in 1903.

It’s the dream of flying that goes hand in hand with the idea of freedom – and don’t men love their freedom? It’s that feeling of liberty that one can get hooked on so easily the minute the metal bird and ground lose connection, whether it be a large commercial plane or two-person prop job. Jetting through the clouds with immense speed, all of a sudden seeing the clear blue sky and sun – seemingly floating. Surrounded by complete calmness, just the soothing sound of the turbines.

Overcoming Natural Boundaries

Physically, we are not made to fly. That is the province of birds. But we had this dream, this vision, this determination. Improbably, against all odds, we built them, those big “fire birds” that weigh tons and, to look at them, applying “on the face of it” logic, seemingly cannot fly. Yet, fly they do. It just shows how far we as humankind have come and how advanced our engineering skills are. Men in particular share a love for the technological, for mechanics, for what can be achieved with technical creations.

United Lift Off

United airplane while take off in LAX – Los Angeles, USA

With the invention of the airplane, and mechanically-powered flight, man overcame the natural boundaries that kept us earthbound. We are the only species without God-given wings to master the art of flying. All because of technology. All because of brilliant engineering minds.  Men (giving male brains the credit here as those early inventors were all men) broke free from the bonds of gravity and leapt into the skies.

Men have the skills and they also like to have control. And controlling large flying machines certainly feeds their sense of achievement and superiority.

I am crazy about cars, […] boats, […] airplanes, […] anything mechanical. I am just a boy, really […] – Richard Mille

Flying is a triumph – and men love a good success story. The control factor also comes into play when thinking about it that way: They are steering an unimaginably heavy metal bird up in the air. Focus. This is the moment they have complete responsibility for their own life and mortality that can ultimately be so close together. They reach different spheres. Instead of being on the ground looking up, they look down. How could a sense of pride and superiority possibly not kick in?

Art of Flying – Perspectives

Mastering the art of controlling a machine that is technically so much greater and a gazillion times stronger than the person flying it is thrilling – specifically to men. It’s no secret that sitting in the pilot’s position can lift one’s self-esteem immensely, as well as engendering a lot of respect. Flying is a form of art not everyone can master.

Landing Airbus

An Airbus, seconds before touch down – Rarotonga, Cook Islands

It is peaceful up in the sky – and we know that men tend to be the quieter gender, savoring their peaceful moment of success and victory over something that just a handful of people do: fly. It’s about speed, power, and gracefulness all together up in the sky. The thrill stems from the seemingly irrational: bringing so many tons of steel and metal up to the skies. Up here, things can be seen like never before. The bird’s eye view has long been an attractive perspective.

And then, the landing. The plane is breaking through the clouds, gravity is getting a grip on it and it’s on the pilot to bring it down safely. A moment of adrenaline. It always will be.

Power Over Gravity

The greatest invention in aircraft history is undoubtedly the A380. Lufthansa is at the fore. Here, men’s – and women’s – fascination with flying and giant aircrafts make total sense. This gigantic bird is conquering gravity and our minds are having a hard time understanding how this can happen in such a graceful way.

It’s bigger, better, quieter. Yet faster, more powerful and aerodynamic. With flying mega-birds of steel like this, engineers have taken control over time. We arrive at places quicker, safer, and more comfortably than ever before in this marvel – a two-story airplane that is a world unto itself, above the clouds.

The huge plane rolls down the runway, faster and faster. Think of the power needed! Suddenly, majestically, it rises into the sky. The turbines are roaring, but only until the clouds have been broken through. Then, time seems to stand still. Moving rapidly, yet seemingly floating in one place.

One loses track of time.

And a man’s mind keeps racing and dreaming of taking over control of this behemoth. It may seem greater than anything, dwarfing man, yet, it is a masterful creation of men’s minds and hands. The fascination remains – and so does the dream of flying.