Wednesday, February 8, 2012
I was watching an episode of Top Gear a few years back (the rightful UK version, not that unspeakably stupid and moronic American travesty. Seriously, why do we feel the need to constantly "Americanize" television shows whose charm lies in their very Britishness? The Office is the only one that's ever come close to pulling it off. Rant off...) when Clarkson and Company asked the question "what's the most beautiful machine ever made by man?" (I'm writing from memory here, so I may be paraphrasing a bit).
The answer was "the Spitfire," and while I think the classic English double, as well as the traditional recurve and longbow, are equally beautiful (if you can classify them as "machines") I am not inclined to disagree with the Top Gear guys' assertion. Many people believe the Supermarine Spitfire was not only the most beautiful airplane of the WWII era, but one of the most beautiful airplanes ever made.
But my personal favorite has always been the Vought F4U Corsair. No, it can't compete with the Spitfire for sheer elegance and beauty, but for a history-obsessed kid growing up in the seventies, hanging on each episode of Baa Baa Black Sheep every week (until it got cancelled, damn it) the Corsair with its menacing midnight blue paint and awesome gullwings was - to use the patois - the shizzle.
This one resides at the Commemorative Air Force museum in Galveston. I took the pic last summer on our Galveston trip. She's a looker, isn't she?
Posted by Chad Love at 6:06 PM