One If by Air, Two If by Sea
Section I, “One if by Air….”
In the near future….
M inisoft senior executive Jack Williamson finished his walk-around of his new
favorite toy. Dark gray and black, the twin engined carbon-fibre and titanium XB-171
was the newest, state-of-the-art personal jet available to the general public. With a
forward swept main wing, two canards flanking the pilot’s canopy, and two 12,000 pound
thrust jet engines, she had power to spare, if you had the cash to spare. Williamson
finished his pre-flight checklist, inserted the security key into the floor-mounted switch,
and pressed the pre-start pushbuttons for the twin General Electric engines. Immediately,
the APU came on-line, and the turbines growled up to speed. Thumbing through the
various sub-system readouts on the triple full-color cockpit VDU’s, Jack was satisfied
that everything was working correctly, and signaled the ground crewman to remove the
APU power umbilicals and roll the boarding ladder away. He cinched his restraining
harness tighter, then released the brakes. The sleek aircraft rolled forward slowly, and
took up its position in the queue of planes awaiting take-off permission. The twin engined
Cessna in front of him rolled out, then climbed, and he was next.
“November eight seven niner tango, you are go for launch on runway two fiver
west,” the bored voice from the tower informed him. “Seven niner tango, switch on your
transponder. We are not painting you on the tower radar.”
Pete Anderson, 'One if by Air, Two if by Sea'