I have been grounded for much too long now, and my eyes turn skyward as I long to return there.
But twice recently, while visiting the Jamaica Bay Wildlife refuge that sits opposite JFK airport on an otherwise peaceful stretch of shallow water, I was blessed by the sight of my new favorite flying giant, undeniable queen of our modern skies, the Airbus A380.
Double-deck, wide-body, four-engine jetliner, she sits 500 to 800 passengers for trips of up to 15,400 kilometers (9,600 mi), sufficient to fly from New York to Hong Kong, at a cruising speed of about 900 km/h or 560 mph (Mach 0.85) at cruising altitude, just below the speed of sound.
She is seen here in her Korean Air livery, but I was lucky enough to fly on the Emirates sister last year on my way to Dubai and South Africa, and such wonderful flight these were. Sigh.