Monday, August 30, 2010

Up, Up, and Away

Not too long ago, a friend who has known me forever asked why I thought my “helicopter-in-every-garage” theory failed. Granted this theory was from fourth grade, but she remembered it as a hallmark moment in our speculation on the future.  Our teacher, Miss McAssey, had asked our class what differences we thought there would be in the year 2000. 

Now, this was in the fall of 1961. Alan Shepard had gone up, but John Glenn hadn’t gone around yet. The year 2000 was 39 years away; we’d all be pushing 50. That was very scary stuff for a kid who was just about to hit a double-digit age!  When it was my turn, I said that by 2000 we would all be driving helicopters instead of cars.  I believed this. I continued to believe this. When the whole Y2K thing was going on, I kept saying how disappointed I was that I hadn’t gotten my helicopter yet. Disappointed, but not without hope. I still believed that it was coming. 

Dutifully, I repeated the husband’s theory that helicopters fly, and cars drive. If your car breaks down, you are more likely to survive by pulling off the road than if your whirlybird falls out of the sky. Still, that never dissuaded him from saying things like, “you can’t fit your ‘copter in that garage if you don’t clean out the junk.” (Just for the record, I would like to point out that the junk in the garage was not, at that time, technically mine, although I suppose you can say it's all mine now. I wasn’t the one with the table saw, 3 ladders, the extra car, and defunct tools yet to be tossed. Oh, you know how that works.)

Anyway, I digress. I was talking about the helicopter-in-every-garage theory. Now, here’s the good news. 

It may be closer than you think. In July, Sikorsky Aircraft unveiled the Firefly, a full electric one-seater helicopter.  It runs on 2 lithium batteries, and right now, can fly for about fifteen minutes…more than enough to get me to the office and back. But just as cell phones once came in metal Halliburton cases, this will improve and I’m sure that they’ll add a little trunk in the back so I can pop over the Byerly’s for groceries after work.  What worries me most, though, is getting the guy who puts in bags in the trunk to grok the concept of weight distribution. I’ll have to watch him carefully. 

Meanwhile, I think it’ll fit in the garage, right beside my PT Cruiser. I may have to move the John Deere over a bit, but it looks like they’ll all fit…and I won’t even have to sell the RX-7 Radish Rocket to do it.

Yep, I am definitely making plans for my Firefly. I wanna be the first on my block to have one!

1 comment:

  1. Really, an open-topped structure would work much better for helicopters. Maybe sukkahs are more future-friendly than you think.