Here’s a fun video from the BBC. It’s an un-narrated view of the F-22 Raptor flying at the Farnborough Air Show in England last summer. If you haven’t already, you should try to go to an air show at least once. Watching a plane pirouette like this in person is a visceral thrill that’s hard to capture online. Nevertheless, I’m glad the web loves me enough to bring movies like this, because it’s been a long time since I went to an air show.
Even more fun than straightforward “Hey that’s cool!” videos are the videos that are narrated by the practitioners and protagonists themselves. They can tell you where to pay attention. I’ve been to an air show before, but I’ve never in my life watched an air show while sitting next to a test pilot who carefully describes what he’s doing and why. Here’s the same F-22 show, only narrated by Lockheed Martin test pilot Al Norman. Now that’s what I’m talking about. Here’s a quote from five minutes in:
Coming up is a slow speed pass… at a very slow very stable airspeed, 80 knots, maybe a little less, and we could fly this all day long.
Not that he wants to fly slow all day long, given that he can go Mach 2 if he wants, but I just love the idea of a supersonic jet poking along not much faster than a go-cart (or maybe an unladen swallow).
Anyway, listening to expert practitioners talk about their craft fits in with the idea of narrating your work that Jon Udell likes to talk about. Diego Rodriguez likes to call this the Director’s Commentary. Whatever you call it, I agree that it’s a wonderful gift to sit next to the best and scoop booty.