Wax On, Wax Off

“I’ve never been certain whether the moral of the Icarus story should only be, as is generally accepted, ‘don’t try to fly too high,’ or whether it might also be thought of as ‘forget the wax and feathers, and do a better job on the wings.”

— Stanley Kubrick

I don't know about you, but I dream about flying all the time. I love it. And I can tell when I am close to waking up because my 'flights' turn into a strange kind of bunny hopping where I don't achieve much height and can only get off the ground for about ten seconds at a time; and the more I drift towards consciousness the shallower the jumps become.


But when I am truly sleeps - then I am soaring over power lines, zipping around the sky, having a total blast. It's the ultimate freedom. Possibly, much like birds, I should be looking out for passing A380s, but in dreams they tend not to be a feature - it's all swooping and soaring and not so much being sucked into jet engines.

I sometimes wonder what would have happened with old Daedalus and the luckless Icarus if the latter hadn't got a bit too big for his feathers. Would the course of aviation history have moved up a good two millennium or so? Or did they even really exist - and if they were real people, did their wings do anything other than look like big flappy things which would have been ace Mardi Gras accoutrements? 

I may be naive, or simply a believer in the improbable, but I like to think that young Icarus was (obviously before he went splat) on the right track. You know why? A couple of reasons. One, he was willing to try something radical; and two, he was massively grateful that the the only person his father wanted involved in this project was him. So many parents would say 'don't - you'll always be here. This is my project, not yours, so naff off and leave me to it.'

Hubris may have gotten the better of I&D Industrial Aerospace, but if you are lucky enough to have awesome parents - or family members - who you engage with on a personal and professional level, don't ever, ever underestimate the value of their brains and their passion for what they do. If they let you in, be in.

And if they make you a set of fairy wings?

Wow. Never, ever stop being grateful.

And don't fly too close to the outdoor gas heaters.