In the middle of a MetaFilter thread about the relative attractiveness of various military aircaft, MeFi user Devonian found the perfect words to express something that I've felt ever since I was in the Air Training Corps back in the 1970s and spent a week's summer camp at RAF Marham, which was home at the time to a squadron of Victor tanker aircraft:
Yeah, the Vulcan is best appreciated when it - preferably them - are doing a QRA-style get-upstairs-fast scramble from the runway you're standing next to. Static, it's impressive just for its size and alien-ness (although not as Vogonesque as the Victor, which still looks like something from a parallel universe where Chris Foss is a defence minister) but you don't get the pretty. Cranked up to 11 and pointing at the sky, it's just pure triangular porn.
Which is a shame, given it's designed to kill people in seven-digit quantities. It's easier to feel good about, say, Concorde, which can't even kill you by alcohol poisoning as there's just not enough time during the trip to drink that much champagne.
posted by Devonian at 6:25 PM on February 24
Seriously, I was as awe struck by the sight and sound of a Vulcan bomber (especially one flying low) as the next air cadet, but for my money there has never been another big aircraft - not even the Concorde - quite as futuristic looking as the Handley Page Victor.