We have a stunning photo of a British Airways 777 passing the moon taken from the cockpit of a 747.
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The photo was taken by 747 Captain Christiaan van Heijst who takes up the story:
“Crossing traffic, a couple of thousand feet higher and in the opposite direction. A gracious British Airways 777 zips by, followed a few minutes later by a massive Emirates A380. Hundreds of people flying across the world in luxury and comfort using one of the most fuel-efficient methods of transportation ever.
“The backdrop could not have been better: the full moon in the deep blue sky.
“I remember reading an article in the NY Times from 1903 where the author predicted it would take roughly between “one and ten million years” for humans to achieve powered flight.
“Two months and eight days later, the Wright Brothers flew their wood & linen contraption for the first time during a 12-second flight, covering roughly 120 feet or 36 meters. A distance that covers roughly half the length of a 747.
“Yesterday was the 119th anniversary of that monumental day. Things went fast from there on, partially accelerated by two world wars that pushed science and technology beyond our wildest imaginations. Sixty-six years after that first flight we landed two people on the moon: another pivotal moment in the history of mankind. And all of that within the lifespan of a single person.
“We’ve developed so far in an unbelievably short time and I can only imagine what’s to come. After decades of lethargy and numbing disinterest, the spirit of adventure and exploration has come to the surface again: human exploration and commercial exploitation of the moon and beyond are back on the agenda. Finally.
“We need ambition and curiosity to keep our spirit alive, both as individuals and a species at large. Without those, the light will dim and the poison of nihilism starts to manifest.
“Time to get some moon-dust on my camera. When are we leaving?”
Christiaan is one of the world’s leading aviation photographers and more of his work and more close encounter (s) can be found here.
You can follow Christiaan on Instagram here: @jpcvanheijst
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